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date: 13 August 2020

Abstract and Keywords

The collapse of the Bourbon Kingdom of the Two Sicilies in 1860 made possible Italy’s political and territorial unification, but since then the tensions and disparities between the north and the south—the “Southern Question”—have been constant and distinctive features of modern Italian history and politics. This chapter examines the different phases of the “Southern Question” from its origins to the present and its changing but always central role in Italian politics. Discussing the different explanations proposed by economists, political scientists and sociologists for the persistence of the “Southern Question” and its place in modern Italian politics, the chapter concludes with a discussion of developments in the last two decades, including the growth of popular support for southern separatist movements.

Keywords: Bourbon Kingdom of the Two Sicilies, “Southern Question”, territorial unification, Italian politics

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