Mezzogiorno - an Attempt of Re-Interpretation Cover Image
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Mezzogiorno: próba reinterpretacji
Mezzogiorno - an Attempt of Re-Interpretation

Author(s): Anna Gąsior-Niemiec
Subject(s): Social Sciences
Published by: EUROREG - Uniwersytet Warszawski, Regional Studies Association - Sekcja Polska
Keywords: Mezzogiorno; Italy; peripheral region; socio-economic development

Summary/Abstract: The article focuses on the discussion over attempts to re-interpret causes and effects of the state of permanent socio-economic under-development of peripheral regions in Europe invoking Italian Mezzogiorno as a case. Mezzogiorno widely held to be a monolith paradigm of unsuccessful modernization, is being cognitively deconstructed in the face of a two-way running stream of analyses and enunciations. Ideologically imbued political discourse originating in the separatist North reinforces and emphasizes an image of South as a lawless consumer of the Italian state’s resources produced in the North. As a response arises an equally ideologically motivated discourse of academic and cultural elites of the South, whose aims to produce a new, positive image of the South as a space alternative to northern egoism and materialism, a space bridging Europe and the rest of non-Atlantic world. In this context, a discourse of social sciences ever stronger marks its presence; considering conditions of socio-economic development of peripheral regions it forfeits a unidimensional neoliberal approach and instead turns to multidimensional analyses of institutional environment as a primary source of socio-economic dynamics. The debate surrounding Italian Mezzogiorno may constitute at the same time a useful vantage point for a debate over the Polish model of development, especially with regard to peripheral and backward regions in Poland.

  • Issue Year: 4/2003
  • Issue No: 11
  • Page Range: 125-148
  • Page Count: 24
  • Language: Polish