Markets, Productivity, and Happiness in a Historical Perspective

Angela Zucconi and the fundamentals of a system of social-economic reform

Misiani Simone, University of Teramo

This paper aims to examine the biographical itinerary of Angela Zucconi from the immediate post-war period up to the seventies. She was the founder of the School for Social Services which was set-up for the professional formation of social workers (CEPAS). She was a collaborator of Adriano Olivetti and was responsible for development plans. She was also the animator of international debates and the director of the magazine 'Centro Sociale' She particularly wanted to analyse one of the ways to engage women in civil undertakings and to encourage their rapport in the formulation of democratic socio-economic reforms, above all through their participation in voluntary associations and cultural institutions. She proposed verifying the thesis on the origins of social assistance as a distinct element in the engagement of women but also as a relevant contribution to the renewal of the economic culture which formed part of the plans for Post-War Reconstruction. The theme of social assistance went beyond the questions of humanitarian emergencies to include the politics of literacy to the social and employment questions and was also recognised as an active element in Post-War development. The projects, which had already been advanced first during Fascism, and developed during the brief period from the Resistance to the Post-War experience, were to be within the framework of international aid for reconstruction (UNRRA) following the model of the Beveridge Plan and, above all, the American experience of the New Deal. She examined the forms of collaboration with those in power, above all with the Ministry for Post-War Assistance and UNRRA and with the Convention for the studies of social assistance in Tremezzo (Como) (August - September 1946) which was held a few months after the first votes for women were granted and the establishment of the Republic. The thesis which was to be demonstrated through the figure of Angela Zucconi is that this sphere constitutes the first time women were recognised as an essential element in the public debate on socio-economic reforms and the fight against inequality which were to be above the ideological divisions of the political parties. - AISPE session "Women and economic thought in Italy (1850-1950)"

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Keywords: Economic thought in Italy; Post-War development; Angela Zucconi; Adriano Olivetti; the School for Social Services

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