In contrast to the conventional focus on social exclusion in studies of the accountancy profession, this paper examines the race-based expulsion of a group of established practitioners. It does so by analysing the removal of Jews from the profession in Fascist Italy. Drawing on Foucault’s concepts of biopolitics and race, and an array of primary and secondary sources, the paper explores the apparatuses of biopower deployed to cleanse the professional population of Jews. These included anti-Semitic legislation to define the offending population, a census to identify and locate it, and bureaucratic mechanisms to secure its removal. It is shown that following their fascistization, accountancy organisations in Italy functioned as agencies for the purification of the profession. Although the object to ‘kill’ through expulsion was activated in most cases, the existence of transitional ‘let live’ provisions indicated the complexities of activating a biopolitical project on the basis of biological racism. When parts of Italy came under German control in 1943, ‘indirect murder’ through expulsion was supplanted by the actual murder of a number of Jewish accountants.

Operationalizing expulsion. Jewish accountants in Fascist Italy, 1938–1943

Valerio Antonelli;Raffaele D'Alessio;
2023-01-01

Abstract

In contrast to the conventional focus on social exclusion in studies of the accountancy profession, this paper examines the race-based expulsion of a group of established practitioners. It does so by analysing the removal of Jews from the profession in Fascist Italy. Drawing on Foucault’s concepts of biopolitics and race, and an array of primary and secondary sources, the paper explores the apparatuses of biopower deployed to cleanse the professional population of Jews. These included anti-Semitic legislation to define the offending population, a census to identify and locate it, and bureaucratic mechanisms to secure its removal. It is shown that following their fascistization, accountancy organisations in Italy functioned as agencies for the purification of the profession. Although the object to ‘kill’ through expulsion was activated in most cases, the existence of transitional ‘let live’ provisions indicated the complexities of activating a biopolitical project on the basis of biological racism. When parts of Italy came under German control in 1943, ‘indirect murder’ through expulsion was supplanted by the actual murder of a number of Jewish accountants.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11386/4783682
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