The geopolitical role of financial institutions. Italy’s international public financing as pivot between government policies and firms’ internationalization

Authors: Christian Sellar*, University of Mississippi, Silvia Grandi, University of Bologna
Topics: Political Geography, Europe, Economic Geography
Keywords: geopolitics, finance, bureaucracies
Session Type: Paper
Day: 4/8/2020
Start / End Time: 1:45 PM / 3:00 PM
Room: Plaza Court 1, Sheraton, Concourse Level
Presentation File: No File Uploaded


As a result of the combined decline of regional geographies and the rise of thematic sub disciplines, it is becoming more theoretically challenging to account for new synergies between political economic and social geographies. Even though a growing scholarship is investigating the entanglement between states and markets, boundaries between the sub-disciplines create obstacles to analyzing the direct and indirect political role played by firms in shaping and re-shaping the political geographies of the nation state. In response to such drift away from increasingly relevant themes of political economy, recent efforts by Moisio (2019) and others are (re)building the foundations of a ‘political geography of economic geographies’ by working through the geopolitical foundation of the economy.
Contributing to the reclaim of the geographies of political economy, this paper analyzes the mutual influences between the restructuring of Italy’s bureaucracy and firms’ internationalization. In so doing, first, it argues that publicly owned financial institutions play a pivotal role in connecting the economic strategies of the government with private firms’ internationalization, by guiding the availability of financial resources through a system of guarantees. Second, it also argues that these institutions are part of a broader range of public and private actors that convey mutual feedback between firms and governmental organizations. It builds on fieldwork conducted in Rome by the authors between 2017 and 2019.

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