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Accounting for propaganda and indoctrination: Calculative practices in the Ministry of Popular Culture (Fascist Italy, 1937-1943)

Antonelli, Valerio, Bigoni, M., Funnell, Warwick N., Deidda Gagliardo, E, Cafaro, E.M. (2019) Accounting for propaganda and indoctrination: Calculative practices in the Ministry of Popular Culture (Fascist Italy, 1937-1943). In: 10th Accounting History International Conference, 03-05 Sep 2019, Paris, France. (Unpublished) (Access to this publication is currently restricted. You may be able to access a copy if URLs are provided) (KAR id:76747)

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Both democratic and totalitarian States have shown considerable interest in art and culture. 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 calculative 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’. Archival evidence has allowed documentation of the attempt by the Ministry to control the producers of culture and also intellectuals between 1937 and 1945. The paper presents the first in-depth historical study of the relationship between accounting, art/culture and a totalitarian State. Moreover, it highlights the role of accounting in the service of the State’s plan to control the production of culture as a tool of the Fascist regime propaganda and indoctrination. It also offers an application of Hannah Arendt’s theory of totalitarianism to accounting history.

Item Type: Conference or workshop item (Paper)
Uncontrolled keywords: accounting; history
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: 24 Sep 2019 08:13 UTC
Last Modified: 02 Aug 2022 14:48 UTC
Resource URI: (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)

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