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Redistribution within a Democratic society : the 'finished business' of he Italian agrarian reform

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dc.contributor.advisor Judith Tendler. en_US Bianchi, Tito en_US
dc.contributor.other Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Dept. of Urban Studies and Planning. en_US 2005-10-14T19:30:20Z 2005-10-14T19:30:20Z 2002 en_US 2002 en_US
dc.description Thesis (Ph. D.)--Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Dept. of Urban Studies and Planning, 2002. en_US
dc.description Includes bibliographical references (p. 219-237). en_US
dc.description.abstract The experience of the Italian agrarian reform defies the dominant view in today's development literature that the redistribution of agricultural land to the rural poor is not feasible under democratic regimes. This pessimistic view is based on the slowness and inefficiency of many expropriation and settlement schemes in the developing world, which have fallen victim of the undue influence of the landowners and of the technical complexities of implementation. This bleak generalization ignores the case of the Italian agrarian reform of the 1950s, which took place in the context of a newly restored democracy, and yet has effectively expropriated and redistributed hundreds of thousands of hectares to the rural poor in only three years. Despite its limited geographical coverage, agrarian reform has been able to end to a decades- long rural conflict; to eliminate the backward production system based on absentee latifundia; has re-vitalized land markets and promoted family farming. The following factors explain the unexpected effectiveness of the Italian agrarian reform. First, the concessions that the government chose to make to the landowning class - necessary within a democratic power-sharing system - consisted in a reduction of the territorial area covered by the program, but not in the relaxation of the expropriation procedure, whose automatism and objectiveness left few chances to the landowners to influence the process at the implementation stage. en_US
dc.description.abstract (cont.) Second, the mobilization of the landless against the government, that the international experience recognizes as key to the formation of a redistributive political will, in the Italian case also helped the reform's implementation, thanks to the role of an advocate for the rural poor and of a watchdog of the program's performance that the Communist party played. Third, the agronomists employed in the reform administration have protected it against the abuse of the reform benefits by the forces in power for the pursuit of rent-seeking and patronage. These agronomists' strong professional bond and shared technical values contributed to the independence of the reform administration from segments of society interested in stopping the progress of redistribution. en_US
dc.description.statementofresponsibility by Tito Bianchi. en_US
dc.format.extent 237 p. en_US
dc.format.extent 12677922 bytes
dc.format.extent 12677725 bytes
dc.format.mimetype application/pdf
dc.format.mimetype application/pdf
dc.language.iso eng en_US
dc.publisher Massachusetts Institute of Technology en_US
dc.rights M.I.T. theses are protected by copyright. They may be viewed from this source for any purpose, but reproduction or distribution in any format is prohibited without written permission. See provided URL for inquiries about permission. en_US
dc.subject Urban Studies and Planning. en_US
dc.title Redistribution within a Democratic society : the 'finished business' of he Italian agrarian reform en_US
dc.type Thesis en_US Ph.D. en_US
dc.contributor.department Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Dept. of Urban Studies and Planning. en_US
dc.identifier.oclc 51895509 en_US

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