Rethinking the Italian liberal state

Journal article


Carter, Nick. (2011) Rethinking the Italian liberal state. Bulletin of Italian Politics. 3(2), pp. 225-245.
AuthorsCarter, Nick
Abstract

This article explores historians’ changing and competing interpretations of the liberal Italian state, its governing class, the bourgeoisie, and of the performance of – and state’s role in – the Italian economy, 1861-1915. Post-war accounts of the period commonly split along two lines: those that emphasised the peculiarities and shortcomings of the liberal state and held the state (and the bourgeoisie) responsible for Italy’s failings and for Fascism, and those that stressed Italy’s progress under liberalism and denied or played down the link between liberal and Fascist Italy. In recent decades, however, ‘revisionist’ interpretations of liberal Italy have reframed the debate. By looking at liberal Italy ‘on its own terms’ (i.e. rather than in relation to Fascism) and by placing the Italian experience within the broader European context, revisionism has helped to ‘normalise’ the Italian state and bourgeoisie. Similarly, studies since the 1990s of the liberal Italian economy have generally presented a more positive picture of growth, development and state intervention than traditionally has been the case.

Keywordsliberal Italy; historiography; liberal state; Italian bourgeoisie; liberal economy
Year2011
JournalBulletin of Italian Politics
Journal citation3 (2), pp. 225-245
ISSN1759-3077
Web address (URL)http://www.gla.ac.uk/media/media_224799_en.pdf
Research or scholarlyResearch
Page range225-245
Research GroupSchool of Arts
Publisher's version
File Access Level
Controlled
Place of publicationUnited Kingdom
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