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Italy at 150 : still a divided society - has the italian state given up on the Mezzogiorno?

Polverari, Laura (2001) Italy at 150 : still a divided society - has the italian state given up on the Mezzogiorno? In: American Political Science Association Conference, 2010-09-01.

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As Italy celebrates 150 years of life as a unified State, it remains a divided country. Notwithstanding decades of explicit regional policies and the constitutional commitment that all Italian citizens have equal rights, access to essential services and minimum living standards irrespective of where they live, not just the North-South divide remains sizeable but its overcome may be challenged even further by recent political, institutional and economic developments. The present paper focuses on the most recent phase of Italian regional development policy - known as the nuova programmazione - and shows that a primary factor in determining the disappointing performance of Italian regional policy in this phase has been a lack of political commitment. It will also demonstrate that, beyond the rhetoric on the importance of the Mezzogiorno, in reality the goal of the development and catching up of this area is not a primary aim of the current Government’s agenda.