The subject of this article is the political class of Calabria. The article analyses social background characteristics of the elected in the region of Calabria and in its municipalities, in comparison with national data. The article is divided into three sections. The first section reviews the literature on Southern Italy; in particular, it presents the most important studies about politics and political elites in Southern Italy. The second section proposes Polanyian categories in order to study changes in the South of Italy and in Calabria. The third section analyses the social background characteristics of politicians. Comparison with national data highlights similarities of social background characteristics between politicians of Calabria and those ones of other Italian regions. The findings of the study indicate that the few differences that emerged are linked to territorial contexts. This lead us to suppose that, despite significant territorial differences, there is an homologating trend in the political recruitment process across the national political system as a whole. Calabria, because of its grievous problems, more clearly shows difficulties of politics and democracy in Italy.