Macro-Regions, Local Systems and Cities: Conceptualisation of Territory in Italy since 1950 - (Paper first received, April 2009; in final form, July 2009) How to conceptualise the territory has been a controversial issue in Italy both because of the variety of the scientific research programmes seeking to explain territorial performances and because of the extent to which the territorial organisation of the economic process has changed in the past five decades. The paper primarily discusses how the Italian territory has been conceptualised since the 1950s, relating changing conceptualisations, on the one hand, to theoretical shifts and, on the other, to the need to capture the rapidly and profoundly changing territorial organisation of the Italian economy. The paper also argues that the introduction and use of the concept of ‘local system’ have raised two fundamental scientific questions which have still to be properly addressed - and are now prominent on the research agenda.
Keywords: territory, cities, local development, regional disparities, Italy
JEL Classification: R11, O18