The Limits of Technocracy: The Italian Central Bank and Its Publics, 1965-2000

Simone Polillo, Associate Professor (Sociology)

This project looks at the evolution of economic discourse in post-WWII Italy, with a specific focus on the annual reports authored and delivered to the public by the Italian Central Bank, and the press coverage received by these influential documents. Through historical analysis, it reveals that crisis served as much as a rhetorical device in shaping economic knowledge as it did as a descriptive term of the economic situation. Revisiting how and why the Italian central bank sparked and shaped a broader economic debate around the notion of crisis can alert us to the ways monetary authorities negotiate the visible, public, and ultimately deeply political position they occupy.