Questo numero di «Meridiana» si propone di approfondire la natura complessa e contraddittoria dei mutamenti che hanno investito una particolare realtà meridionale italiana dagli anni cinquanta a oggi, proponendo una riflessione sulla Basilicata e le dinamiche modernizzatrici, aggiornata al presente ma radicata in una prospettiva storica. I contenuti del volume, nel loro insieme, puntano a fornire un contributo al dibattito sulla attuale situazione socio-economica e politica lucana, attraverso una rassegna di ricerche in grado di offrire una profondità storica alla configurazione di una regione che ha sperimentato e continua a sperimentare processi di modernizzazione per certi versi originali ma, al tempo stesso, in linea con quelli di altri contesti italiani. In tal senso, gli approfondimenti proposti risultano funzionali all’idea secondo cui lo studio delle asimmetrie e delle differenze tra realtà territoriali del Mezzogiorno conservi un senso solo se messo in relazione a dimensioni più ampie.
Complessivamente, il numero monografico mira anche a comporre un’analisi orientata a sottrarre la Basilicata e la sua storia dell’ultimo ottantennio dalle raffigurazioni stereotipate attraverso cui sono state frequentemente rappresentate. In particolare, ci si riferisce a ricostruzioni che, pur nella loro valenza scientifica e letteraria, guardano al contesto lucano come a una dimensione sociale, politica ed economica immobile, sostanzialmente statica di fronte a mali storici e problemi endemici. I contributi che compongono il volume consentono, invece, di leggere in controluce la complessità delle dinamiche e la pluralità degli esiti dei processi di modernizzazione nel territorio lucano, svelando come l’immagine della regione omogeneamente segnata dall’arretratezza sociale ed economica sia quanto meno riduttiva. Emerge l’esistenza di diverse «Basilicate», dove la declinazione al plurale tende a superare la rappresentazione rigida di una Lucania uniformemente appiattita sotto il peso dei suoi limiti strutturali e a evidenziare, al netto di contraddizioni pure da considerare, la vitalità sociale ed economica di alcuni suoi territori in determinate fasi storiche.
I saggi proposti affrontano, attraverso un ricercato rapporto tra storia e scienze sociali, alcuni dei principali nodi della storia lucana del secondo Novecento: dalle trasformazioni indotte per effetto della Riforma Agraria e dell’azione della Cassa per il Mezzogiorno ai mutamenti socio-economici che hanno investito il Metapontino; da un approfondimento sulla vicenda industriale lucana frutto dell’interesse da parte di grandi gruppi finanziari italiani alla storia sindacale e politica della regione fra anni sessanta e settanta. Due ricerche più orientate al presente concludono il volume: un saggio sul modello di sviluppo estrattivo praticato in Val d’Agri, che illustra l’impatto effettivo dell’attività petrolifera in Basilicata, e un primo importante bilancio relativo allo sviluppo dell’energia eolica sul territorio regionale.
Basilicata o Basilicate?
Donato Di Sanzo, Giovanni Ferrarese
Basilicata or Basilicate?
The article introduces the monographic issue of the journal Meridiana relating with Basilicata and modernisation. Describing the key-topics considered by the essays enlisted in the issue, the introduction retraces, from an historical point of view, the steps of Lucan development during the second half of the Twentieth century. Debating on land reform, migrations, industrial development, political processes and development models, the article rediscusses also the main representations and «label» through which Basilicata and its history are depicted.
Keywords: Basilicata; Basilicate; Modernisation; Lucan history
Intervento straordinario and Unbalanced Development. The Land Reform in Eastern Basilicata after World War II
This article proposes a new reading on the divergent outcomes of agricultural development public policies in the plains of eastern Basilicata. Before the land reform and the pre-industrialization plan promoted by the Cassa del Mezzogiorno, the Bradano valley and the Metaponto plain presented the same environmental problems, settlement systems and property relations. These policies produced rapid development in the Metapontino thanks to the large availability of water for irrigation use, while the Bradano valley became a marginal economic area due to infrastructural deficiencies. This case study demonstrates how the first phase of the «intervento straordinario» in the South had very different outcomes even in neighboring area belonging to the same region.
Keywords: Land reform; Cassa per il Mezzogiorno; Agricultural development policies; Territorial gaps
Rural Migrations and New Settlements in the Metaponto Plain at the Time of the Land Reform
Mainly based on the documents stored in the agricultural agency of Basilicata archives, the article shows how the land reform helped many migrant laborers to settle on the Metaponto plain between 1950 and 1960. Considering social and economic impacts of land reform processes on Metapontino, the article also shows how new settlements caused the birth of a new rural middle class and political changes in the area.
Keywords: Land reform; Rural migrantions; Metapontino; Laborers’ mobility
«Chemical links»: Michele Sindona, the Ronson Affaire, and Some Aspects of Industrialization in Basilicata Between the 1960s and the 1970s
The essay aims to deepen some aspects related to the process of industrialization in Basilicata by framing them within the strategies outlined by the controversial figure of Michele Sindona. The study starts from the reconstruction of Sindona’s climb in America and his relations within both the financial and political system in the United States. Then the focus moves toward the so-called Ronson affaire treated in the light of the crisis that Sindona was dealing with at the beginning of the 1970s. Such an episode reveals largely unexplored links with the speculative movements in which Sindona and other «grey figures» of the Italian financial scene at that time were involved in Basilicata.
Keywords: Basilicata; Industrialization; Sindona; United States of America
La Regione Basilicata e il Pci lucano negli anni settanta
The Basilicata Region and the Lucanian Communist Party in the Seventies
The relations between the Italian Communist Party and the government of the Basilicata Region led by Christian Democrats in the Seventies tells how opposing political forces intended to cooperate for local development. Unpublished papers show the evolution of these relations according to the political line of Berlinguer. The communist group in the regional Council tried to be a force of opposition and government at the same time. In Basilicata too, political convergence with the CD party does not go beyond a programmatic agreement. A further dialogue would have been established to deal with the emergency following the 1980 earthquake.
Keywords: Basilicata; Region; Italian Communist Party; Seventies
The Oil Industry in Basilicata Between Persistence of Dualism and Institutional Deficits
For the past 25 years, Basilicata has been involved in a significant oil and gas extraction activity, initially by the Eni alone, and subsequently also by Total in a near territory, in an internal area of the region (Agri valley) where historically agricultural sector and zootechnic activities have been prevalent. Since from the start, the oil industry, despite environmental concerns, raised considerable expectations to economic development and employment. The article, in reconstructing the main phases of industrial activity and institutional bargaining that have affected the relationship between oil companies and the Basilicata Region, intends to evaluate the actual economic and employment impact generated by investments as well as the effects on regional public finance due to the royalties.
Keywords: Oil industry; Local development; Industrial employment; Regional economic planning
The Energy Transition in the Territories: the Case of Wind Power in Basilicata
The green energy transition is a radical socio-technical transformation that can both negatively and positively impact territorial contexts. The European Green Deal will further increase renewable facilities, and it seems necessary to reflect on promoting a markedly fair and sustainable territorial transition process. Focusing on wind power development in Basilicata, the paper aims to contribute to the just transition discussion. In this region, wind farms largely contributed to reducing the regional gap in electricity production, but with limited positive socio-territorial outcomes. The paper discusses which factors determine those outcomes and possible alternatives.
Keywords: Energy transition; Local impacts; Socio-territorial change; Wind power
Vertenza Basilicata: Lucan Trade Unions Facing the Challenge for Regional Development (1973-80)
During the Seventies, the Lucan trade unions led a season of struggles, which involved all political and social forces. The goal of the unions’ struggles was to promote the growth of regional employment levels, to improve the use of water resources for irrigation and to stop the closure of chemical e steel factories. The development model that had characterized the region after the Second World War was deeply questioned and, after gaining the support of local political forces, the unions managed to get a confrontation with the national government. These struggles took the name of «vertenza Basilicata». The article reconstructs causes, dynamics and outcomes of «vertenza Basilicata».
Keywords: Trade unions; Vertenza Basilicata; Union struggles; Regional development
Karl Polanyi: l’economia nella società
Karl Polanyi: the Economy in Society
Karl Polanyi was a maverick critic of the economic and social sciences. He did not leave behind his own theory of society, but in various works one can find concepts and interpretative models that continue to fuel research in history, economics, anthropology, political studies and sociology. The article is a brief introduction to Polanyi’s multifaceted figure, to the concepts he elaborated, with reference to the central problem of the place of the economy in society, and for a critique of an emancipated economy self-regulated by the market. In particular, the article considers his influence on economic sociology and on the formation of contemporary comparative political economy.
Keywords: Polanyian dictionary; Comparative political economy; Economic sociology; Interdisciplinarity
The Mobile Composition of the Government. The Case of the Privatization of Services in Naples
This paper examines the effects of the growing presence of management consultants in policy processes. In particular, it addresses the key concern that consultants employed by governments often operate in new institutional arrangements not subject to the formal rules of political systems. It is argued that the hiring of consultants should be seen not as a move from political to apparently neutral, expert forms of policy-making, but as a shift in the arena of political decision-making. Such shifts can contribute to the emergence of «institutional voids» of governance. The paper examines these issues with reference to a case study of consultants working for the Naples government on the privatizations.
Keywords: Governance; Depoliticization; Arena-shifting; Public policy
Which Autonomy? The 1990 Student Movement, the Italian Communist Party and the University Reform
The essay focuses on the relationship between the 1990 student movement (dubbed «the Panther») and the Italian communist party (Pci), starting from the analysis of the University reform proposals put forward by each of them. In the late 1980s, on the one side, civil and political engagement often took place outside of political parties; on the other, the Pci was undergoing a structural change of its political identity, which would eventually end in the dissolution of the party in 1991. For the last secretary, Achille Occhetto, this change should have to involve progressive movements coming from civil society. The relationship with «the Panther» was therefore a litmus test for his project.
Keywords: The 1990 student movement; Italian communist party; University reform; Civil society
L’antimafia sotto accusa
Antimafia Under Indictment
This essay reviews Alessandro Barbano’s book L’inganno. Antimafia. Usi e soprusi dei professionisti del bene (2022), and questiones this author’s sharp critics on Antimafia policy in Italy, and overall on the seizures of assets belonging to presumed Mafiosi, according to the existing laws.
Keywords: Antimafia; Mafia; Seizures of assets in Italy