Some economists argue for the demise of local development and the policies to promote it in Southern Italy. They also claim a return in this area to a centralized system of regulation of economic activities. Nevertheless, the pattern of local development is still topical on academic and policy agendas since it is fostered by the economic transformations (the growth of territorial productive systems) and socio-cultural changes (the growth of intermediate institutions) occurred in the Mezzogiorno in the last two decades. Such pattern is also sustained by the process of globalization which reinforces, instead of devaluating, the role of localities. This does not necessarily mean that national development policies are useless. Rather, their effectiveness might be compromised if they remain confined
to the economic dimension and short term perspectives and if they are not tailored to the features of southern society.