Skip to main content
Kent Academic Repository

Railway Systems and the 'Universal Good of the State': Technologies of Government in the 19th-Century Papal State

Antonelli, Valerio, Bigoni, Michele, Cafaro, Emanuela Mattia, D'Alessio, Raffaele (2020) Railway Systems and the 'Universal Good of the State': Technologies of Government in the 19th-Century Papal State. Accounting History, 25 (3). pp. 375-402. ISSN 1032-3732. E-ISSN 1749-3374. (doi:10.1177/1032373219862615) (KAR id:73200)

PDF Author's Accepted Manuscript
Language: English

Download this file
[thumbnail of Papal%20State%20FINAL.pdf]
Request a format suitable for use with assistive technology e.g. a screenreader
XML Word Processing Document (DOCX) Author's Accepted Manuscript
Language: English

Restricted to Repository staff only
Contact us about this Publication
[thumbnail of Papal State FINAL.docx]
Official URL:


Informed by Foucault’s concept of governmentality, the paper focuses on nineteenth-century General Commissariat for the Railroad Industry in the Papal State. Unlike in liberal States, where government intervention in the affairs of railway companies was limited, the pressing need to reinforce the Pope’s pastoral power, strengthen the bond between the believers and the Holy See and ensure equity and the efficiency of the new infrastructure meant that the Commissariat acted as a governmental centre of calculation. Accounting technologies in the form of budgets, cost accounting systems and penetrating audits enabled the government to intervene in the operations of private railway companies. The study analyses the role of accounting and auditing practices in the pursuit of non-liberal goals in an industry which is traditionally perceived as critical to the development of a liberal economy, one in which accounting was traditionally used to maintain investors’ confidence in the capitalist system.

Item Type: Article
DOI/Identification number: 10.1177/1032373219862615
Uncontrolled keywords: Governmentality, calculative devices, railroad industry, 19th century, Papal State, centre of calculation
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HF Commerce > HF5601 Accounting
Divisions: Divisions > Kent Business School - Division > Department of Accounting and Finance
Depositing User: Michele Bigoni
Date Deposited: 26 Mar 2019 09:23 UTC
Last Modified: 08 Dec 2022 23:52 UTC
Resource URI: (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)

University of Kent Author Information

  • Depositors only (login required):

Total unique views for this document in KAR since July 2020. For more details click on the image.