Observing Agriculture in Early Twentieth-Century Italy : Agricultural economists and statistics book cover
1st Edition

Observing Agriculture in Early Twentieth-Century Italy
Agricultural economists and statistics

ISBN 9781032402482
Published August 29, 2022 by Routledge
206 Pages

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Book Description

Agricultural Economists in Early Twentieth-Century Italy describes how Italian agricultural economists collected information about the economy of Italy, between the Giolittian and the Fascist era. The book carefully describes three main forms of economic observation: enquiries, statistics, and farm surveys. For each of these forms of observation, the main participants to the investigation are discussed with their respective agendas, alongside the purposes of the investigation, and its practical constraints. This work introduces the concept of "stakeholder statistics", and stresses the two-way relation between the observer and the observed in the co-production of observational knowledge. Practices of observation developed together with agricultural economics as a discipline and a profession. The study of forms of investigation therefore shed light on the constitution of a coherent and self-conscious group of agricultural economists in Italy, and the scientific and methodological alliances they forged with agricultural economists elsewhere in Europe. Thanks to ambitious research projects, Ghino Valenti in the Giolittian period, and Arrigo Serpieri, after the First World War, led the transformation of Italian agricultural economists from agents of estate owners, to social and economic experts in the service of the Italian state. The group of agricultural economists who gathered around Serpieri played an important role in supplying the ideology of the agricultural elites with economic content, especially after the First World War, along lines that resemble the development of agrarian ideologies in other countries of Central Europe. This work discusses how observation entered the political debate on agricultural policies of the Fascist regime, namely the so-called Ruralismo.

Table of Contents



List of Acronyms

Main Investigations and Surveys

Dramatis Personae

List of Organizations

Chapter 1: Three Forms of Observation

Chapter 2: Agrarian Landscapes

Chapter 3: Packaging Agricultural Variety

Chapter 4: Measuring Stocks, Conjecturing Flows

Chapter 5: Stakeholder Statistics

Chapter 6: Observing Typicality

Chapter 7: Budget Studies

Chapter 8: Epilogue



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Federico D’Onofrio, Ph.D Utrecht University, has held post-doctoral fellowships at the Department of Political Science, Yale University, and the Paris School of Economics.