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Accounting, Art and the State: Technologies of government in the Ministry of Popular Culture (Fascist Italy, 1937-1945)

Antonelli, V., Bigoni, M., Cafaro, E. M., Deidda Gagliardo, Enrico (2018) Accounting, Art and the State: Technologies of government in the Ministry of Popular Culture (Fascist Italy, 1937-1945). In: Proceedings of the XIV National Conference of the Italian Society of Accounting History. . Rirea, Rome ISBN 978-88-6659-164-1. (doi:10.17408/DIG.A02/591641) (Access to this publication is currently restricted. You may be able to access a copy if URLs are provided)

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Abstract

The relationship between the State and the promotion of art has evolved over time, although art has consistently represented one of the forms through which power was made manifest. At the same time, art has always been a means for the diffusion of culture and values and hence a way to influence the beliefs of the masses. Accordingly, both democratic and totalitarian States have shown considerable interest for art. Nevertheless, the role of accounting in the artistic and cultural domain has mostly been analysed from the perspective of contemporary liberal States. The aim of the paper is to investigate the role played by accounting practices in a totalitarian regime, that of Italian Fascism, when a Ministry for Popular Culture was established to control the production of art and culture in all their forms, both ‘high’ and ‘low’. Evidence in the form of budgets and parliamentary debates drawn from the official archives of the Italian State allowed to document the attempt by the Ministry to control the producers of culture, intellectuals and art in the broadest sense between 1937 and 1945 and hence to intervene in the management of the Italian population. The paper presents the first in-depth historical study of the relationship between accounting, art and a totalitarian State. Moreover, it highlights the role of accounting as a technology of government in the service of the State’s governmental plan to control the production of culture. It also offers an application of Foucault’s concept of governmentality beyond the traditional context of liberal States.

Item Type: Conference or workshop item (Paper)
DOI/Identification number: 10.17408/DIG.A02/591641
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HF Commerce > HF5601 Accounting
Divisions: Faculties > Social Sciences > Kent Business School
Depositing User: Michele Bigoni
Date Deposited: 11 Dec 2018 17:27 UTC
Last Modified: 20 Aug 2019 13:21 UTC
Resource URI: https://kar.kent.ac.uk/id/eprint/70949 (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)
Bigoni, M.: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-5803-249X
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