The interview deals with continuity and innovation in Italian policies for industrial setting and improvement after the Second World War. It is based on Rolf Petri’s writings, in particular La frontiera industriale. Territorio, grande industria e leggi speciali prima della Cassa per il Mezzogiorno, Milano, FrancoAngeli, 1990; Industria, territorio, intervento speciale. Riflessioni su una tradizione non solo meridionalista, in «Meridiana. Rivista di storia e scienze sociali» 11 (1991), pp. 73-112; Storia economica d’Italia. Dalla Grande Guerra al miracolo economico (1918-1963), Bologna, il Mulino, 2002. In the first part of the dialogue the author and his interviewer discuss on the main theories of the post-war period concerning industrial location and improvement, by examining the choices of Cassa per il Mezzogiorno, a state-owned agency created to develop the Southern Italy. The strategies of the Cassa are observed within the context of the Italian tradition. This is characterized by public intervention in the field of economy which took place over the early and middle decades of the 20th century. The idiosyncrasies of Italian practices are highlighted, as well as the influence of the international debate on these practices. The second part of the interview goes more into detail on industrial location policies in relation to regional and local development schemes. In particular, some key issues of post-war urban development and regional planning efforts are considered. The conclusion is dedicated to the protagonists of the Italian industrialization process and their cultural background.
Keywords: Industrialization policies Industrialization theories Industrialist culture State intervention and industrial capital formation Development models