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The paper investigates the closure mechanisms and strategies of exclusion concerning the establishment and subsequent functioning of the Collegio dei Rasonati, the…
The paper investigates the closure mechanisms and strategies of exclusion concerning the establishment and subsequent functioning of the Collegio dei Rasonati, the professional body of accountants that was established in Venice in 1581 and operated until the end of the 18th century.
The research design offers a critical longitudinal explanation of the emergence of the Collegio dei Rasonati as a professional body in the context of Venetian society by relying on the social closure theory elaborated by Collins (1975); Parkin (1979) and Murphy (1988).
The Collegio dei Rasonati was established to overcome the prerogatives of a social class in accessing the accounting profession. However, the pre-existing professional elites enacted a set of social closure strategies able to transform this professional body into a stronghold of their privileges.
As virtually all of the evidence concerning the admission examinations has been lost over time, the investigation is restricted to the study of the few examples that have survived. The main implication of the study concerns the understanding of some dynamics leading to neutralize attempts to replace class privileges with a meritocratic system.
The research investigates the structure of the rules of social closure revealing the possibility of an antagonistic relationship between different co-existing forms of exclusion within the same structure. Moreover, it highlights that a form of exclusion can be made of different hierarchical levels.
The purpose of this paper is to examine the role of accounting in the enactment of the Napoleonic imperial project in Tuscany and the Kingdom of Naples in the early…
The purpose of this paper is to examine the role of accounting in the enactment of the Napoleonic imperial project in Tuscany and the Kingdom of Naples in the early nineteenth century.
The study adopts the Foucauldian theoretical framework of governmentality and a comparative approach to highlight similarities and differences between the two regions.
The presence of different cultural understandings and structures of power meant that in Tuscany accounting mirrored and reinforced the existing power structure, whereas in the Kingdom of Naples accounting practices were constitutive of power relations and acted as a compensatory mechanism. In the Kingdom of Naples, where local elites had been traditionally involved in ruling municipalities, control of accounting information and the use of resources “re-adjusted” the balance of power in favour of the French whilst letting local population believe that Napoleon was respectful of local customs.
The ability of accounting technologies to act as compensatory mechanisms within governmentality systems paves the way to further investigations about the relationships between accounting and other governmentality technologies as well as the adjustment mechanisms leading to accounting resilience in different contexts.
By identifying accounting as an adaptive instrument supporting less obvious practices of domination the study helps unmask a hidden mechanism underlying attempts to know, govern and control populations which still characterises modern forms of imperialism.
The comparative perspective leads to a new specification of the multifaceted roles that accounting plays in different cultural and political contexts in the achievement of the same set of imperial goals and enhances understanding of the translation of politics, rhetoric and power into a set of administrative tasks and calculative practices.