Deeply divided between North and South, the Italy of the 1980s represents an unparalleled example of dualistic development, counterposing two profoundly different models of society and politics. In the South, socioeconomic backwardness was matched by the persistence of traditional forms of political behaviour - a politics based primarily on personal ties and patronage rather than on broader bonds of interest or ideology. This study seeks to understand the sources of popular support for clientelism in a resource-scarce society such as southern Italy. It analyses the dynamics of continuity and change in a political system based primarily on clientelism rather than on broader bonds of interest or ideology. The author explores the concrete patronage mechanisms linking the dominant party to each of the major social groups in the city - ranging from the urban poor to the Mafia. By contrast, the sections on Naples address the question of the conditions under which political machines may have lost their mass base of support.
List of tables and figures; Acknowledgements; List of abbreviations; Introduction; Part I. The Roots of Clientelistic Power: 1. Politics in the South, 1860–1943: regime change and political immobility; 2. The southern economy: modernisation without development; 3. Christian democracy in the postwar South: clientelism and the failure of reform; Part II. The Social Bases of the Machine: 4. The white-collar middle class; 5. The local entrepreneurial class; 6. The Mafia as entrepreneur: the politics of urban expansion and urban renewal; 7. The urban poor: poverty and political control; 8. The urban poor: three neighbourhood studies; 9. Why does clientelism survive?; Part III. The Prospects and the Limits of Change: 10. Naples under the left; 11. Conclusion; Statistical appendix; Notes; Selected bibliography; Index.