Journal of European Economic History - 2021 issue 1


Volume L

Editore
Bancaria Editrice
Anno
2021
Disponibilità
In uscita
Prezzo Copertina € 50,00
IVA assolta dall'editore

A View on Africa: Italy, the Mediterranean, the Horn of Africa, 19th and 20th Centuries
This issue inaugurates the 50th year of publication of The Journal of European Economic History, a milestone that the Editorial Board has elected to mark with a special issue on Africa, a geographical area so far touched on only marginally in the Journal. Since European economic history is now increasingly integrated with that of the neighbouring areas, we intend to offer deeper insights into Africa in future issues as well.
ARTICLES
Eurafrica. Vital Space, Demographic Planning and the Division of Labour in the Italian Empire: The Legacy of Fascist Autarky
The division of labour and the economic and social organisation of Italian Africa were established before the Second World War: Eritrea and the Addis Ababa area were destined to become the industrial regions of Italian East Africa and its main hubs for services, while the other regions of Ethiopia would have an agricultural economy comprising both small farms and large-scale production for the market. The latter type of agriculture become predominant in Somalia, where foodstuffs were produced for the imperial market, and where banana cultivation had been developed for the Italian market and for export elsewhere. In Tripolitania, demographic colonisation would be supplemented by manufacturing and service activities in the capital, while in Cyrenaica it was to be largely prevalent. Yet, investigation of the construction of the Fascist empire, directly planned by Mussolini, must always proceed on two different planes: myth and reality. The two continually intersected, though the former was certainly predominant, since Mussolini's aims were far more political and ideological than economic.
Of Capital and Power: Italian Late-Colonial Policies in Eritrea at the Onset of the Federation with Ethiopia
Scholars of African history have often inquired into the relationship between government and business in the making of North-South relations after decolonization. The neo-colonial thesis maintained that the metropolitan governments undertook overt and covert actions to preserve the dominant position of their own multinational corporations in the newly independent African nations. Historians of British Africa have partially revisited this thesis, suggesting a more nuanced understanding of the relationship between political and economic actors. This article seeks to test these arguments in relation to the Italian case, looking at the early process of decolonization in Eritrea. In 1952, the former Italian colony passed from British to Ethiopian rule, but Italian companies maintained the dominant position they had enjoyed for decades. The analysis of the relationship between the Italian authorities, Italian companies and African administrations in Ethiopia and Eritrea suggests that government intervention was crucial to support the positions of Italian capital in the former colonies, at least in the first few years of the Federation of Eritrea with Ethiopia. But it also shows that this alliance was possible only thanks to the subjugation of the needs of capital to those of raison d'état. Methodologically, the article is based on material from the historical archives of the Bank of Italy, those of the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the national archives of the United Kingdom, and the historical archives of the Italian bank Banco di Roma.
Shifting Tides: 120 Years of Migratory Flows between Italy and Tunisia
Historically, Mediterranean Africa has been a natural destination for emigrant Italian workers. Between 1900 and 1914, Tunisia was the main destination for Italians emigrating to Africa. Many Sicilian workers, accompanied by their families, settled there, buying small plots of land and thereby changing their status from temporary immigrants to permanent residents. By the late 1920s, nearly 100,000 Italians were living in Tunisia. Between 1940 and 1965, however, first the French colonial authorities and then, after Tunisia become independent on 8 May 1956, the Tunisian government expelled those Italian immigrants. When land confiscation became effective in 1964, Italian settlers returned to Italy for good with the help of Italy's programme for refugees. In June 1965, Italy passed a law indemnifying them for 50 per cent of the value of the farms they had lost in Tunisia. Attempts to obtain compensation from the Tunisian government proved frustrating for Italian refugees, and in the end the Italian government struck a deal whereby Italy offered development aid and took Tunisian wine imports in exchange for compensation for land confiscation. The migratory tide turned rapidly thereafter. From the 1980s onwards, temporary immigrants from Tunisia became indispensable to the “greenhouse district” of southeastern Sicily and to the building sector in Italy's northern regions. This paper will examine the economic motives and impacts of these migratory flows, and the respective governments' reaction to them. In the face of growing immigration from Tunisia, Italy has recently increased economic aid and investment in order to create jobs for young Tunisians at home and reduce the stream of migrants heading for Italy's coasts. In both the earlier departure of Italians for Tunisia and the more recent arrival of Tunisians in Italy, migration has temporarily alleviated poverty and economic hardship for individuals. Realistically, however, it is not a politically viable long-run solution.
NOTES
A Case of Its Own? A Review of Italy's Colonisation of Eritrea, 1890-1941
This paper considers Italy's short but intense colonisation of Eritrea in light of the more well-known European colonial histories in Africa. We review the Italian historiography on Italy's involvement in Eritrea, supplementing it with novel archival data. The focus is on the activities of private enterprises and agricultural settlements, and on the Italian state's colonial spending, particularly during Fascism. We reflect on the actual effects of these factors on Eritrea's development, as against those predicted by the leading theories, and show how these highlight the somewhat atypical nature of the case of Eritrea.
The Economic Policy of the Italian Administration in the Eritrean Colony in the Early 1920s: The Case of the Asmara Chamber of Commerce
This article analyses the brief history of the Eritrean Colony's Chamber of Commerce in the early 1920s and the intertwining of that institution's history with the advent of the Fascist regime. Upon taking power, Fascism did not immediately overturn Italy's approach to colonial and foreign policy. At least in the early years of the regime, it limited itself to breaking the chains of prudent liberal politics. The Chamber of Commerce of Asmara, which was supposed to represent, in an independent form, the economic and commercial interests of the companies of Italy's first-born colony, became a victim not of a new colonial policy but, rather, of the ideological straitjacket imposed by the regime. The Fascists had not formulated any programmes for the Italian colonies and would not devise a specific policy until the war with Ethiopia in the second half of the 1930s. This paper, drawing on both previously unpublished and already familiar documents in the Historical Archive of the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, investigates the social and economic context in which the Asmara Chamber of Commerce came to be established and the reasons for its premature dissolution.
Mediterranean Security Challenges, Terrorist Threats and Energy Issues: Italy and the Libyan Crisis of the 1980s
Italy's role in the Libyan-US clash caused by Muammar Gaddafi's support for international terrorism in the mid-1980s is a controversial issue whose treatment by Italian historians and scholars has been made difficult by the lack of relevant and reliable sources. This paper, based on significant documents from Giulio Andreotti's private papers, seeks to shed light on a highly critical moment for Italian foreign policy. The escalation of the Libyan-US crisis, which culminated in the armed clash in the Gulf of Sidra, the American bombing of Tripoli and Benghazi, and the Libyan missile launch against Lampedusa, overwhelmed the important political and economic initiatives that Italy had been patiently pursuing in Libya. Italy was torn between loyalty to the United States, Italy's paramount ally and a prime target of terrorist attacks, and the need to protect national strategic and economic interests in the Mediterranean region. In the end, despite the evident political and economic drawbacks, Italy had no choice but to take a stand against Libya and back the US government's hard-line policy.
PROBLEMS
Economic Policies in Spanish Morocco and the Case of the Electric Cooperative: A Venture for a Nationalistic Strategy
When the Treaty of Fez between the Makhzen (the Moroccan polity) and France was signed in 1912, Spain obtained its “Zone of influence” in northern Morocco. Like other European colonial powers, Spain resorted to using intermediaries to impose and strengthen its rule. In the city of Tetouan, the capital of the Spanish Zone, the administrative and political elite became the most suitable political intermediaries of the Spanish colonial administration. As an analytical and methodological category, intermediation reflects the subjectivity of the colonised in relation to the colonisers. This approach provides the framework for a historiographical interpretation focusing specifically on the political autonomy that colonial subjects obtained and enjoyed in the interstices of the colonial system. This paper deals with the case study of the Spanish-Moroccan Industrial (or Electric) Cooperative (Cooperativa Industrial Hispano-Marroquí), which was founded in 1928 in Tetouan thanks to Spanish, Jewish and Muslim shareholders. Given the broader framework of Spanish colonial economic policies in Morocco, the present study intends to demonstrate how the Cooperative acted as a financing instrument for al-Iṣlāḥ, the first Moroccan nationalist party, which was founded in Tetouan in 1936. The paper investigates the role that this economic venture played in developing the Moroccan nationalist movement and demonstrates that there was interplay between the economic and the political process of Morocco's transition to independence.
Africa. Migrations Between Perceptions and Data Production in the Long Run
Africa is a vast continent with more than a billion inhabitants in 54 countries and highly variegated political, economic, climatic and social conditions. Human mobility within a continent that has been the cradle of various cultures dates to prehistoric times. By the mid-21st century, Africa's population will reach two billion and account for almost a quarter of the planet's inhabitants. The continent will also continue to stand out for the low average age of the population (currently 19 years). Urbanization is increasing, with between 40% and 70% of the population living in cities, depending on the context, while the lack of comparable growth in economic and social resources is leading to a worsening of living conditions, with inevitable repercussions on already intense migratory flows. Forced or voluntary migration is, first of all, internal to the continent. But what are the reasons for emigration? Of the legacies that weigh on the history and present of Africa, the slave trade and colonialism are among the heaviest. This paper reviews the literature on the drivers of African migration, focusing particularly on African perceptions of Europe, and discusses the state of the art in the production of data on migration and its usability in the light of current conceptual and methodological issues.
From Political Independence to Economic Dependence. The Different Trajectories of Stabilisation and Adjustment in Morocco and Tunisia During the 1980s
As regards their recent history, Morocco and Tunisia are often analysed as similar cases studies, owing mainly to the lesser importance of oil revenues compared with the rest of North Africa. This simplistic representation, due in part to the insensitivity of the main international financial institutions (IFIs), IMF and World Bank, to cross-country differences, would preclude analysis of some of the factors that marked the first phase of the structural redefinition of the two countries and the onset of these processes in the broader context of the crisis and the redefinition of the international economic system starting in the late 1970s and early '80s. From this perspective, and precisely because of the profound differences, the Tunisian and Moroccan cases prove to be complementary. As exogenous as the crises were, so were the solutions proposed, based on identical macro-objectives and theoretical assumptions, although their relative importance varied between the two. In Morocco, the intervention of IMF and World Bank – even in the context of partially discordant agendas – would be determined by the decision to ensure debt service, in line with the general strategy adopted for the debt crisis of medium-income countries, and would result in a policy of austerity and an investment blockade with lasting effects that cast doubt on the effectiveness of the intervention as early as the '90s and eventually made pursuit of the liberalisation side of the two institutions' agenda impossible. In Tunisia, in view of the differences in the GDP and trade balance composition, the intervention of the IFIs came later, when most of the stabilisation measures to deal with the current account crisis had already been adopted by the government; following the outflow of currency reserves in the summer of 1986, the two institutions managed to transform a support intervention into a structural adjustment process by using two sectoral loans for which earlier consultations had taken place as quick-disbursement loans with more extensive conditionality. If in Morocco the primary objective was to avoid default and guarantee debt service while, given the prevalence of IMF programme conditionality, preventing the policy shift towards liberalisation, in Tunisia the strategy emphasised reform, considered necessary to restore debt refinancing by private lenders, attracting foreign investment and transforming Tunisia into an exportled economy. In both cases, the intervention of the IFIs in the 1980s was not confined to the medium term as initially designed, but instead initiated a lengthy process of support and reform – considered fundamental to consolidate the country's fragile achievements. During the 1990s and in the context traced by the Barcelona Agreement – seen as functional to adaptation to WTO rules – the EU would become a major stakeholder in the reform process, also given the WB's desire to reduce its financial exposure; this, together with the trend of the main macroeconomic variables and the attendant social and political effects, prompts one to question the effectiveness of these interventions and their underlying assumptions, while being typical of some of the main global economic and international policy developments from the 1970s to the 1990s and their effects in the southern Mediterranean.
BOOK REVIEWS
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La decisione di guerra: dalla Triplice alleanza al Patto di Londra
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Il recupero del Rinascimento. Arte, politica e mercato nei primi decenni di Roma capitale (1870-1911)
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A History of Wine in Europe, 19th to 20th Centuries
Rita D'Errico

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Luigi Einaudi e l'associazionismo economico nell'Italia liberale
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Cassa per il Mezzogiorno, Europa e Regioni nella stagione dell'industrializzazione: “Informazioni SVIMEZ” e la cultura del nuovo meridionalismo (1961-1973)
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The Marginal Revolutionaries. How Austrian Economists Fought the War of Ideas
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