Using accounting as a political weapon. The University of Ferrara and Italian Fascism

Author/s Luca Papi, Michele Bigoni, Giorgia Gobbo, Enrico Deidda Gagliardo
Publishing Year 2020 Issue 2020/1
Language English Pages 25 P. 7-31 File size 113 KB
DOI 10.3280/CCA2020-001002
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Introduction: The paper considers the case of the University of Ferrara during the Fascist regime (1922-1943) and investigates the use of accounting practices in the government's attempt to achieve control of the organisation. Aim of the work: The study seeks to document how accounting practices can be enlisted to subjugate institutions that had traditionally enjoyed significant inde-pendence from governments and pursue the ideological programmes of dominant elites. Methodological approach: The paper is based upon primary sources gathered from the historical archive of the University of Ferrara. Their interpretation has been guided by the literature that has explored the connections between ac-counting and the State. Main findings: Accounting ensured that key information on the University could be gathered by the government. It also helped to make visible the need of the University to rely on government funding when Fascist policies had the effect of "starving" the organisation of funds, which caused the University to accept pene-trating controls by the State. Originality: The paper has broadened the compass of research into the interrela-tion between accounting and State power by considering an under-research context and documenting the role of accounting in controlling institutions that were essential to the achievement of political goals.

Keywords: Power, Italian Fascism, totalitarian regimes, accounting, funding, university.

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Luca Papi, Michele Bigoni, Giorgia Gobbo, Enrico Deidda Gagliardo, Using accounting as a political weapon. The University of Ferrara and Italian Fascism in "CONTABILITÀ E CULTURA AZIENDALE" 1/2020, pp 7-31, DOI: 10.3280/CCA2020-001002