A paper co-authored by Dr Michele Bigoni has been awarded the ‘Alberto Bisaschi’ Prize for the best Accounting History paper written by an Italian author in the year 2019.
The paper entitled “Accounting for power and resistance: The University of Ferrara under the Fascist regime in Italy”, has been awarded by the Italian Society of Accounting History the ‘Alberto Bisaschi’ Prize as the best Accounting History paper written by an Italian author in the year 2019.
“I am delighted to have received this prize, the most prestigious award in Italy for those engaging with accounting history research. This testifies to the quality and reach of my work, but also confirms the significant, enduring contributions made by the Kent Business School’s accounting group in the field of critical accounting, in which the group enjoys an exceptional reputation.”
The paper has been published in a highly regarded critical accounting journal, Critical Perspectives on Accounting, an ABS 3* journal. The study conceives of accounting as a technology of power and not simply as a value-free technique in the pursuit of rational decision making. In the power struggle between the University of Ferrara and the Italian Fascist government, accounting played different roles in the service of conflicting objectives, ranging from concealing the interesting nature of political action, demonstrating the achievement of financial stability and self-sufficiency, providing legitimacy or ensuring the use of resources consistent with the aims of those who exercised power.
Although based on a historical case study, the paper has implications for contemporary society for it shows how the allegedly neutral and objective character of accounting can be exploited by those in power to limit academic freedom in the pursuit of a politically interested agenda.
View the full paper: Papi, L., Bigoni, M., Deidda Gagliardo, E. and Funnell, W. (2019), “Accounting for power and resistance: The University of Ferrara under the Fascist regime in Italy”, Critical Perspectives on Accounting, 62, pp. 59–76.
Find out more about the Accounting Group at Kent Business School – considered an international leader on research of public sector accounting, critical accounting as well as accounting history.