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Colonización interior y democracia: la reforma agraria italiana de 1950


  • Simone Misiani

    (Università degli Studi di Teramo)


Which was the role of the Italian land reform in the 20th century? Did the land reform carry out a democratic and anti-communist policy or was it an important step toward an anti-capitalist social revolution? None of those hypotheses are very convincing. This paper debates the thinking of the reformer and «meridionalist» intellectual Manlio Rossi-Doria, and the political evolution of the interior colonization policy and the «integral land reclamation» in Southern Italy. The study starts off in the fascist «ventenio» and finishes after the 2WW, in a time of democracy. Land reform was the first step of the European regional policy of cohesion as well as the continuation of the Risorgimento programme, aiming at the construction of contemporary Italy. The agrarian reform did not only force the redistribution of the extensive «latifondo» (large estate), but also the concentration of land plots. Generally speaking the «meridionalist» policy had diverse objectives: agronomic modernization, hydraulic and real estate appreciation, the transformation of human labour, environmental sustainability and the fostering of civic spirit and public morality. This paper deals too with the relationship between civilization and democratization. The aim is to shed some light on the role that interior colonization-land reform policy might have plaid in the Mediterranean area.

Suggested Citation

  • Simone Misiani, 2011. "Colonización interior y democracia: la reforma agraria italiana de 1950," Historia Agraria. Revista de Agricultura e Historia Rural, Sociedad Española de Historia Agraria, issue 54, pages 105-140, august.
  • Handle: RePEc:seh:journl:y:2011:i:54:m:august:p:105-140

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    Southern Question; Integral Rural Planning; Agrarian Reform; Manlio Rossi-Doria; Internal Colonization;

    JEL classification:

    • B29 - Schools of Economic Thought and Methodology - - History of Economic Thought since 1925 - - - Other
    • R52 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - Regional Government Analysis - - - Land Use and Other Regulations
    • N54 - Economic History - - Agriculture, Natural Resources, Environment and Extractive Industries - - - Europe: 1913-
    • Q15 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Agriculture - - - Land Ownership and Tenure; Land Reform; Land Use; Irrigation; Agriculture and Environment


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