Albert Hirschman entre Europa e América Latina

Preface by Osvaldo Feinstein, Editorial de la Universidad de Quilnes, Buenos Aires, 2017

Albert Hirschman, entre Europa y América Latina acerca a los lectores al pensamiento de un brillante economista, pionero en los estudios sobre desarrollo, Albert O. Hirschman, cuyas contribuciones son muy apreciadas también por cientistas políticos y sociólogos. El autor, Luca Meldolesi, discípulo y colaborador durante muchos años de Hirschman, aplicó sus ideas a la realidad del sur de Italia, enriqueciéndolas en una síntesis teórico-práctica con la filosofía de Eugenio Colorni. Este filósofo italiano, héroe de la resistencia antifascista, que murió asesinado en 1944 y es poco conocido en nuestra región, tuvo una influencia crucial sobre Hirschman, particularmente (pero no exclusivamente) por su insistencia en la importancia de las “pequeñas ideas”.
Meldolesi revisa un conjunto de conceptos elaborados por Hirschman a partir de sus experiencias y reflexiones sobre América Latina y aplicados también en Europa. Entre dichos conceptos, que amplían la “caja de herramientas” de los economistas, sociólogos, historiadores y politólogos, pueden citarse los encadenamientos o enlaces (linkages), la tríada “voz, salida y lealtad”, el “efecto túnel”, el posibilismo, “la mano encubridora”, la “fracasomanía”, el principio de conservación y mutación de la energía social y los mecanismos de inducción. Para el lector latinoamericano, este trabajo de Luca Meldolesi ofrece una rápida vía de acceso al pensamiento de Albert O. Hirschman desde una perspectiva original orientada hacia la acción.


Intransigenze, Mediterraneo e democrazia

IDE, 2016

Civil wars – open or hidden,  Middle-Eastern or African – and their serious repercussions on our zone of the globe suggested to search where few  are looking, with the aim of opening the way for a possible improvement of the situation.  With scientific rigor, no illusion whatsoever, and starting from some texts of Averincev, Hirschman and Geertz, the author inquired into some characteristics of Christian and Muslim religion, and religiosity.  His calm reasoning aims at fighting, above all, intransigence – starting from what ended into the many kinds of terrorism. His ambition is to contribute to shaping an environment more favorable to well-being, peace, democracy, liberty and social justice in the Mediterranean and in Europe. In this context, carrying on a dialogue with Piero Bassetti on Italicity, he discusses numerous new functions that our “community of sentiments” is – or could be in the future - called to perform.


Italici e città

Italic Digital Editions, Roma, 2015

Based on his long experience, which includes the advent of globalisation and the new all-encompassing scientific and technological revolution, Piero Bassetti (86) appeals today to the Italic world—to all those who feel connected to Italy in various ways—to take hold of their collective destiny as a community through new forms of expression and grassroots organization. Referring to this work and to other studies, Luca Meldolesi’s present booklet (and e-book) explores some illuminating characteristics of the global Italic network, the consequences of the emerging prominence of cities and metropolitan areas, the role of diasporas (including the Italian) in the ongoing process of overcoming the crisis within the Westphalian logic, the re-emergence of the ‘European Question’ (as seen from the East and the North rather than from the West and the South), and the beneficial consequences that could ensue, including those for our country.


Creare lavoro

Rubbettino, Soveria Mannelli, 2014

This book argues that focusing on employment and making the creation of independent and dependent work one of the explicit goals of our society is not only a deeply-cherished aspiration among Italian citizens. It also has the potential to become a widely-shared objective and to induce a deep cultural and practical metamorphosis, both private and public, to be pursued with intelligent determination. It could unite as never before Italians in the South and the North, both native and naturalised, in a process of democratic, transparent, free and cathartic national reconstruction, in order to overcome multiple and inevitable difficulties together


L'ultimo Hirschman e l'Europa

Esercizi teorici sull’ “auto-sovversione”
Rubbettino, Soveria Mannelli, 2014

Many are convinced of the need to ‘change Europe’. This book springs from the same need and begins to explore ways to satisfy it, moving in several directions in the footsteps of Albert Hirschman. This is because in the years after the fall of the Berlin Wall, he successfully re-entered the political and cultural life of Germany after half a century of absence, and was a privileged witness to the historical process that led to the unification of Germany, the expansion of the EU to the east, and the birth of the Euro. However, as is well known, this great process of continental-scale transformation has ended up faltering, and has thwarted the high hopes for prosperity, development of democracy and social justice of which it initially offered a glimpse. To explore the crux of this matter, Meldolesi discusses some aspects of the economic and political theory of this great German-American social scientist in order to elucidate the logic of his ‘Propensity to Self-Subversion’ (as a theoretical tool for intellectual transformation aimed at recognizing and promoting change), and to draw from it several lessons for the future of our local realities, of Italy and of Europe.


Imparare a imparare

Saggi d’incontro e di passione, all’origine di una possibile metamorfosi
Rubbettino, Soveria Mannelli, 2013

How can theoretical thinking help us escape the malaise plaguing us? This book tries to propose a possible solution to this intricate problem by combining some aspects of the approach of Eugenio Colorni and Albert Hirschman with the work of Louis Hartz and with the democratic federalist tradition of Carlo Cattaneo, Carlo Rosselli, Morton Grodzins, and Aaron Wildavsky. The aim is to encourage the reader to ‘learn how to learn’, to define unusual paths of knowledge acquisition by drawing on the experiences of others—through brief historical reconstructions of entire eras or, instead, through specific and minute events, through the interpretation of problems (and/or different conditions of time and space) according to established theoretical mechanisms, and through surprise expeditions across the Atlantic. Is this an approach that opens the mind? Does it bring into sharper focus some of the troubling questions facing Italy and Europe today? Are we better equipped to translate the essence of this discourse into concrete solutions to specific problems? The common thread underlying the entire discussion is the search for a positive answer to these questions that concern the economic and political circumstances afflicting the country.


Carlo Cattaneo e lo spirito italiano

Rubbettino, Soveria Mannelli,

According to Carlo Cattaneo, a long time ago ‘America and Australia were to Europeans what Europe was to the Asians’. However, things have evolved differently, because an Italic, European, Western ‘civilizing process’ was born in our country. Following the trail of Cattaneo’s reflections (which examine forty centuries of history) and comparing them with current knowledge about the ancient evolution of regions and areas in our part of the world, this book explores some of the roots of our civilization and discovers in them the logic behind associations and pluralities, the taming of barbarism to preserve independence, the fostering of generations of cities, and interactions of cooperation and emulation. This is a journey into the distant past motivated by the needs of the present. It urges us, in fact, to not lose heart, to sharpen our wits, to aim for autonomy and liberty, to increase the initiatives, leadership skills and responsibilities of governance. Therefore, we are encouraged to abandon the centralism that obstructs the revival of the country, replacing it with a democratic federalism that is concordant with the best international experiences and with the best of the Italian spirit in every age.


Federalismo possibile

Per liberare lo stato dallo statalismo e i cittadini dall’oppressione
Edizioni Studio Domenicano, Bologna, 2012

So finally, is there no alternative? Yes, an alternative exists, claims this book. By comparing the Italian situation with that of Australia, a country geographically distant but close to us in political culture, this book of accessible readings directly addresses the general public as well as President Napolitano; it demonstrates that a solution to the current crisis really does exist. This is a prospect inspired by the thought of Carlo Cattaneo. It is an approach of feasible federalism that, leveraging the experience of municipalities—the autonomists of the country—can usher in a new mode of functioning of the State at all levels, based on the need for recovery, collaboration and emulation, on the principle of ‘doing more and better with less’. In this manner, it will be possible to actually rehabilitate state finances, restart development, gradually make the management of the public sector more democratic in conditions of absolute transparency, and finally empower Italians to be protagonists, releasing them from servility and from the large, absurd burden of the State.


Italia federanda

Italia federanda
Rubbettino, Soveria Mannelli, 2011

How should we respond to the long affliction (or malaise) that has taken hold of our country? To many, it seems a ‘jinx’ that is impossible to break. But this is not so. In fact, it is enough to recognize the significance of the many concrete initiatives around us and the manner in which things evolve elsewhere—especially in countries that are the leaders of democratic federalism—to understand that a way out is possible; it is possible for subsequent efforts, emerging from diverse realities, to unlock the extraordinary untapped potential of the South and of the country. But to achieve this, it is necessary to abandon the approach of ‘spinning one’s wheels’ often seen in Italian politics, and to develop instead a solid and consistent passion for change: for multiple, concrete, and focussed (monitored and evaluated) results in the areas of progressive democratisation, of economic growth and civil development. The text focuses on some key aspects of this crucial questions and explores, on the basis of theoretical and practical experience, how Italy can truly become ‘a democratic Republic, founded on work’.


Federalismo oltre le contraffazioni

Napoli, Guida, 2011.

Despite the ongoing upheaval (and realignment) of the global economic system, the crisis and the low rate of growth of the Italian GDP, our economy has responded with tenacity in the face of adversity and continues to be the country with the second largest manufacturing output per capita in the world, after Germany. Yet, the average citizen is by no means satisfied with the current state of affairs, mainly because of the imprudent functioning of the public system. Experts such as Marco Vitale maintain that throughout the post-war period, our country has never been as badly-administered as it is today. Therefore, before this unbecoming and disorderly situation exhausts the vitality of the Italian economic system, it is necessary to examine ways to escape: beyond deceptions. The engaging (and fascinating) debate in this volume explores, in this regard, an attractive possibility of which Italians are not very aware. Namely, that despite the well-known national ‘plagues’ and beneath the daily clamour of political affairs, there exists a feasible course: a path of federalist democracy that, pursued with intelligent determination and gradually sustained by results (perhaps initiated in one part of the institutional system and then progressively diffused), could lead all of Italy—from the North to the South and vice versa—to become one of the most prosperous, civilised and democratic countries of the world.


Sud e federalismo

Denaro Libri, Napoli, 2010

This booklet intends to address the burning issue of the South and of federalism with clarity and sincerity. The text discusses the experiences of the South according to the theories described here, the grave consequences that could come from fiscal federalism in the South, and democratic federalism as an alternative to all forms of authoritarian centralism (and subjugated federalism). It goes on to examine the methods of effecting a necessary transformation of the public system for the socio-economic development of the South, relevant international experiences, and the essential steps that the South must take to regain its position.


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