The Italian group

The largest and most active of our national groups is in Italy where Angelo Salento from the University of Lecce is currently organising book projects which involve some forty academics. Those interested in the Italian group and its activities should in the first instance contact

The group builds on the success of the Italian edition of the Foundational Economy published as  Economia Fondamentale. This edition both translates from the English and revises the content for an Italian readership.

As the cover puts it, “F come Fondamentale. Il benessere dei cittadini dipende dallo stato dell’economia fondamentale: l’acqua, il cibo, le scuole, gli ospedali e così via. La logica degli affari, qui, ha fallito clamorosamente”. Which translates as “F” for  foundational. Citizen well-being depends on the state of the foundational economy: water, food, schools, hospitals, etc. The logic of private business has here failed dramatically”

This follows up an earlier book, Il Capitale Quotidianowhich the Italian group published in 2016.  If the foundational economy is the infrastructure of Italian daily life, the well-being of citizens should be the principle which drives provision of food, water, electricity and gas supply, transport, education, health and care services, For the past twenty years, however, the foundational zone of the Italian economy has been penetrated by profit maximization, short-termism, financial accumulation and value extraction.

In this book 17 authors analyse how in Italy, as elsewhere in Europe, companies, investment funds and local institutions, private and public economic players have been drawn into this pursuit of value extraction and short-term. A series of Italian case studies of major sectors shows how this shift is undermining the foundations of economic life, feeding economic divides and social inequalities.

Il Capitale Quotidiano argues that the existing defensive initiatives of collective social actors in Italy are inadequate as a response to this financialization of the foundational economy. The challenge for Italian politicians, civil society and academics is to open the path for radical social innovation. Hence, the proposal for a new kind of reformism whereby foundational activities – private or public- would be socially licensed so that they explicitly operated for the benefit of society. Follow the link to the publisher’s website to read reviews.