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3. The Contemporary Relevance of Gramsci’s Views on the Italian ‘Southern Question’

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Chapter Summary

Antonio Gramsci's writings from 1916 to the 1930s on Italy's 'Southern question' remain relevant in the twenty-first century not only to the relations of force in postwar and contemporary Italy, but also to a larger set of issues having to do with the history of colonialism and postcolonialism. Gramsci's speech at the Third PCd'I congress in Lyons, France, in February 1926, written jointly with Palmiro Togliatti, was a kind of summing up of his own and his Party's positions since its founding in 1921, and an attempt to trace certain currents in Italian political history that had foreshadowed a radicalising turn in Italian politics after World War I. Postcolonialism, as one offshoot of postmodernism, is a body of thought and practice that in the domains of social, cultural and literary theory has placed concepts such as hybridity, indeterminateness, and unpredictability at the forefront of its investigations.

Keywords: Antonio Gramsci; colonialism; Italy; Palmiro Togliatti; postcolonialism; Southern question

10.1163/9789004265752_005
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