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Social Capital Accumulation and the Exercise of Power: The Case of P2 in Italy

Abstract : This article addresses the production of legitimate forms of power in our democracies by framing the rise and fall of Propaganda 2 (P2) a masonic lodge active in Italy during the 1970s in the analysis of social capital proposed by Pierre Bourdieu. This lens emphasizes the role played by networks in the accumulation of symbolic capital and their interaction with the historical and institutional context in the exercise of symbolic violence. The experience of P2 is then analyzed to describe, on one hand, the characteristics of the networks that are critical to its success and, on the other, the lodge's capacity to interfere with the economic and political systems within the context of the Cold War in Italy. The willingness to control and provoke institutional change expressed by P2's affiliates also shows to what extent the accumulation of social capital, in combination with other forms of capital, may represent a threat to public welfare. By illustrating the interaction between networks and the normative framework underlying our institutions, this case study suggests that the experience of P2 is not an exception in the functioning of our democracies.
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Contributor : Elisabeth Lhuillier Connect in order to contact the contributor
Submitted on : Monday, February 14, 2022 - 11:35:25 AM
Last modification on : Saturday, February 26, 2022 - 3:31:39 AM




Eleonora Lollo. Social Capital Accumulation and the Exercise of Power: The Case of P2 in Italy. Journal of Economic Issues, 2016, 50 (1), pp.59-71. ⟨10.1080/00213624.2016.1147311⟩. ⟨hal-03572404⟩



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