The paper discusses the relationship between Giacomo Sedati, an impotant Christian Democrat politician, and his community, the rural village of Riccia in Molise. Sedati gathered huge electoral wins there, thanks to the support of the local farming and peasant world, such that he remained a member of Parliament and a Cabinet minister for almost 40 years. The processes of modernization, management of power and public resources in which he played a crucial role are analyzed starting from a corpus of oral traditions of local folklore that points to a political model of inter-class cooperation thanks to the role of the trade association of small farmers, the Coldiretti, and a wide range of forms of clientelism. The inter-class policy management mechanism works for a long time, yet the limits of Christian Democrat political action are evident at the level of culture and sociality in the field of civil society. After the Sedati era, local politics lost a leadership that could mediate social and territorial interests in a common vision of regional development in the name of class alliance between landowners and small farmers.
Keywords: Political culture; Clientelism; Peasents; Modernization.