Can Italy Growth if the Mezzogiorno Does Not Growth?
«Meridiana» has promoted a forum starting from the issues raised by the volume of Carlo Trigilia, Non c’è Nord senza Sud. Perché la crescita dell’Italia si decide nel Mezzogiorno (Bologna 2012). In the discussion it is argued the need to change lenses through which reading the Southern society, first to try to explain why the «node» of the Mezzogiorno remains undissolved and why today it assumes a new and strong relevance for the whole Country. Then, the explanations on the persistence of this node are critically discussed, taking into consideration those who focus on the economic dimension and those that insist more on the cultural dimension. The first type of explanation refers mainly to a lack of resources, to the fact that there would be insufficient aid to sustain the development of the southern regions. The second explanation instead calls into question the low civic culture, defined in terms of lack of social capital also. In both cases, the political factors are underestimated, especially the role of policy, local and national. In this perspective, we also discuss the role that the central government should have, especially with regard to the allocation of public resources. In the volume placed at the center of the debate, it is argued that the main goal should be to promote the delivery of services and public goods that allows the best use of the local resources available to the southern regions. In fact, the problem lies not only in the allocation of local resources, but rather in their mobilization, that is the ability to transform them into economic activities and development opportunities.