Internal colonialism in Western Europe The case of Sardinia

GT 1.6 Teoría política y arreglos institucionales en Estados multinacionales.

Katjuscia Mattu (Universitat Autónoma de Barcelona)
Sesión 2
Día: viernes,20 de septiembre de 2013
Hora: 11:45 a 00:00
Lugar: E10SEM02

As at macro level the world can be conceptually divided in rich and poor countries,
interregional socio-economic inequality is observable within single countries. Structural
deficiencies and low standards of living characterize not only (a big portion of) the so-called
“Third World”, but also some sectors of the “First”. Though always considered and explained
separately, wealth and poverty are two sides of the same reality, and the one conditions the
other, as shown by dependency theory, neo-colonialist and post-colonialist accounts and, as
far as sub-state level is concerned, by internal colonialism theory.
In this paper we focus on the socio-economic conditions of a sub-state region in
Western Europe, i.e. Sardinia, which exhibits the characteristics of an internal colony. After a
general overview of internal colonialism theory and a conceptual definition in internal colony
(section 1), I briefly describe the socio-economic characteristics of Sardinia and show how
they fit in that definition (section 2), aiming to demonstrate the validity of internal colonialism
to characterize the Sardinian case. Finally I analyse this theory and present it as a valid
theoretical framework not just to describe but also to explain poverty in the First as well as in
the Third World, and, more generally, to understand interregional inequality within countries.

Palabras clave: regional inequality, north-south, Italy, Sardinia, internal colonialism, cultural division of labour