chapter  15
41 Pages

Local Political Classes and Economic Development. The Cases of Abruzzo and Puglia in the 1970s and 1980s

Despite recent political changes and economic upheavals, the southern question still looms large in Italian political and economic affairs. Many problems today on top of the agenda are perceived as being directly or indirectly connected to the persistence of an economic, political and possibly a cultural gap between the north and the south of the country. The electoral success of the Lombard League in the north and the revival of the Movimento Sociale Italiano (MSI) in the south are arguably the political expression of this dualism. That these parties, which on many social and economic issues take opposite stands, had to accept an uneasy cohabitation in the Berlusconi government is a sign, at the same time, of the existence of the gap and of the difficulty of closing it.