This article deals with the relationship between science and politics and in particular with the reciprocal legitimation process involving research schools and political regimes. It focuses on the case of Italian statistics during the early twentieth century. Its emergence as both an independent scientific field and a national research school, in fact, went together with the rise of nationalism and the establishment of the fascist regime. The paper uses the biography of Corrado Gini to analyze the process of mutual legitimization between science and politics under fascism. Gini's academic and professional careers show in fact how actors and ideas could compete through their ability to alter the status of the discipline, the technical functions it was assigned, and to attract funds in a changing political context Gini, as an institutional entrepreneur, was able to make his research school hegemonic in Italy by leveraging the need for scientific legitimation of new state policies during World War I and under fascism. The reinterpretation he provided of his career after the end of World War II is crucial both to deconstructing this process and to shedding light on the postwar de-legitimation of Italian statistics.

A reciprocal legitimation: Corrado Gini and statistics in fascist Italy

FAVERO, Giovanni
2017-01-01

Abstract

This article deals with the relationship between science and politics and in particular with the reciprocal legitimation process involving research schools and political regimes. It focuses on the case of Italian statistics during the early twentieth century. Its emergence as both an independent scientific field and a national research school, in fact, went together with the rise of nationalism and the establishment of the fascist regime. The paper uses the biography of Corrado Gini to analyze the process of mutual legitimization between science and politics under fascism. Gini's academic and professional careers show in fact how actors and ideas could compete through their ability to alter the status of the discipline, the technical functions it was assigned, and to attract funds in a changing political context Gini, as an institutional entrepreneur, was able to make his research school hegemonic in Italy by leveraging the need for scientific legitimation of new state policies during World War I and under fascism. The reinterpretation he provided of his career after the end of World War II is crucial both to deconstructing this process and to shedding light on the postwar de-legitimation of Italian statistics.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/10278/3690855
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