Armament industry and economic development in Italy (1861-1939)


  • Luciano Segreto



The article deals with the development of the armament industry in Italy suggesting that its development was strictly tied to the industrialization of this country. Unti1 the First World War the Italian armament industry was technologically dependent from the big European armament firms, especially the British-ones. Italy was the ideal field to experiment different forms of foreign influence: from the direct investment to the joint ventures passing through the production under licences. After the war the Italian armament industry reached a technological maturity. Which made it more competitive in various sectors at international level, but the its structure remained weak mainly because of political and bureaucratic reasons. The article suggests that the spin-off theory probably fits with the first period, when the country was industrializing, but not in the interwars period, when Italy was already an industrial power.


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