Antonio Genovesi (1713-69) was one of the principal figures in
the Neapolitan Enlightenment and reform movement in the second half of the eighteenth century. He held the chair of economics in the University of Naples (it was then called "commerce and mechanics" and was the first of its kind in Europe) from 1754 till his death.
Genovesi recognised the backwardness of the Reign of Naples vis-à-vis other European States and was critical of its economic, social, and political reality. By this term he meant that Naples' problems could not be understood or solved in strictly economic terms but involved social, political, and cultural spheres as well. Furthermore, "civil economy" combined ethical dimensions including justice, government duties to and its relantionship with the people, and human needs and motivations. Indeed "civil economy" constituted the pinnacle of Genovesi's studies and thought: "a point of convergence of many themes". Eluggero Pii, in Antonio Genovesi dalla politica economica alla "politica civile", argues that a more proper expression for all that Genovesi meant to say by "civil economy" would be "civil policy" and concludes that it served as a basis for his innovative efforts.


  1. Alexander Grab, Books Revies in The Journal of Modern History Vol. 58, No. 4 (Dec., 1986)


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