• Domenica Farinella
  • Pietro Saitta


The present chapter summarizes the findings of a monographic study on the long-lasting effects of a disastrous earthquake that hit the city of Messina, Sicily, in 1908. The analysis shows that the political logic, structure, and ties that characterized the city before the crisis survived the earthquake. In spite of this form of continuity, however, the economic trends that preceded the catastrophe and consisted in their proto-financialization were “augmented” and made extremely visible. Not differently, the segmentation and segregation that were at the basis of the local urbanism prior to the telluric event were reproduced and brought to the extreme. Such phenomena, which are visible even elsewhere in the aftermath of disasters, are read as the sign of the particular insertion of localities within complex systems of national and international dependence.


  1. Agamben, G. (1998). Sovereign Power and Bare Life. Stanford: Stanford University Press.Google Scholar
  2. Agnew, J. (2010). “Ghosts of Rome”: The Haunting of Fascist Efforts at Remaking Rome as Italy’s Capital City. Annali d’italianistica, 28, 179–198.Google Scholar
  3. Atkinson, R., & Bridge, G. (Eds.). (2005). Gentrification in Global Context: The New Urban Colonialism? New York: Routledge.Google Scholar
  4. Bauman, Z. (2011). Collateral Damage. Social Inequality in a Global Age. Cambridge: Polity.Google Scholar
  5. Berardi, F. (2017). Futurability. The Age of Impotence and the Horizon of Possibility. New York: Verso.Google Scholar
  6. Bertè, D. (2018, August 9). Sbaraccamento, servono 200 milioni. Gazzetta del Sud. Retrieved from
  7. Bottari, S. (2010). “L’altro terremoto”: Messina, 1783 e dintorni. In A. Baglio & S. Bottari (Eds.), Messina dalla vigilia del terremoto del 1908 all’avvio della ricostruzione (pp. 41–56). Messina: Istituto di Studi Storici Gaetano Salvemini.Google Scholar
  8. Braudel, F. (2009). History and the Social Sciences. The Long Durée. Review, 32(2), 171–203.Google Scholar
  9. Brighenti, A. M. (2010). Visibility in Social Theory and Social Research. New York and London: Palgrave Macmillan.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Bryman, A. (2004). The Disneyization of Society. London: Sage.Google Scholar
  11. Castells, M. (1977). The Urban Question. A Marxist Approach. London: Edward Arnolds.Google Scholar
  12. Davis, M. (2007). Planet of Slums. New York: Verso.Google Scholar
  13. Di Treviri, E. (Ed.). (2018). Sul fronte del sisma. Un’inchiesta militante sul post-terremoto dell’Appennino centrale (2016–2017). Roma: DeriveApprodi.Google Scholar
  14. Dickie, J. (2008). Una catastrofe patriottica. 1908: Il terremoto di Messina. Roma and Bari: Laterza.Google Scholar
  15. Dyl, J. L. (2017). Seismic City. An Environmental History of San Francisco’s 1906 Earthquake. Seattle: University of Washington Press.Google Scholar
  16. Fassin, D. (2012). Humanitarian Reason. A Moral History of the Present. Berkeley and Los Angeles: University of California Press.Google Scholar
  17. Ferrari Bravo, L., & Serafini, A. (1972). Stato e sottosviluppo. Il caso del Mezzogiorno italiano. Milano: Feltrinelli.Google Scholar
  18. Ferrell, J. (2001). Tearing Down the Streets: Adventures in Urban Anarchy. New York: St. Martin’s Press.Google Scholar
  19. Foucault, M. (1979). Discipline and Punish. The Birth of the Prison. Harmondsworth: Penguin.Google Scholar
  20. Gotham, K. F., & Greenberg, M. (2014). Crisis and Redevelopment in New York and New Orleans. New York: Oxford University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Gribaudi, G. (1990). A Eboli. Il mondo meridionale in cent’anni di trasformazioni. Venezia: Marsilio.Google Scholar
  22. Guironnet, A., & Halbert, L. (2014). The Financialization of Urban Development Projects: Concepts, Processes, and Implications. Document de travail du LATTS – Working Paper, n. 14.Google Scholar
  23. Harvey, D. (2010). The Enigma of Capital and the Crises of Capitalism. London: Profile Books.Google Scholar
  24. Hewitt, M. (1983). Biopolitics and Social Policy: Foucault’s Account of Welfare. Theory, Culture and Society, 2(1), 67–84.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Holston, J. (1989). The Modernist City. An Anthropological Critique of Brasília. Chicago: Chicago University Press.Google Scholar
  26. Hyra, D. S. (2017). Race, Class and Politics in the Cappuccino City. Chicago: The University of Chicago Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Ipsale, M. (2018, August 13). Risanamento, ecco come vendere la propria casa al Comune entro il 25 settembre. Tempostretto. Retrieved from
  28. Klarreich, K., & Polman, L. (2012). The NGO Republic of Haiti. How the International Relief Effort After the 2010 Earthquake Excluded Haitians from Their Own Recovery. The Nation, 295(21), 11–17.Google Scholar
  29. Mazzoli, E. (2008). “Nei giorni di tanta incommensurabile sciagura…”. Trieste, l’impero e il terremoto di Messina del 1908. Milano: Biblion.Google Scholar
  30. Mulcahy, K. V. (2017). Public Culture, Cultural Identity, Cultural Policy. New York: Palgrave Macmillan.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Noto, A. G. (2008). Messina 1908. I disastri e la percezione del terrore nell’evento terremoto. Soveria Mannelli: Rubbettino.Google Scholar
  32. Paccoud, A. (2015). Planning Law, Power, and Practice: Hausmann in Paris (1853–1870). Planning Perspectives, 31(3), 341–361.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Parrinello, G. (2015). Fault Lines. Earthquakes and Urbanism in Modern Italy. New York: Berghahn.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. Perlman, J. (2010). Favela. Four Decades of Living on the Edge in Rio de Janeiro. Oxford and New York: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  35. Petrillo, A. (2016). Il destino “federale” del Mezzogiorno nella sociologia. Cartografie Sociali, 1(1), 31–83.Google Scholar
  36. Pitzalis, S. (2016). Politiche del disastro. Poteri e contropoteri nel terremoto emiliano. Verona: Ombre Corte.Google Scholar
  37. Politi, J., & Brunsden, J. (2016, October 27). Rome Pleads to EU for Leeway on Earthquake Spending. Financial Times. Retrieved from
  38. Rabinow, P. (1995). French Modern. Norms and Forms of Social Environment. Chicago and London: The University of Chicago Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. Said, E. (1979). Orientalism. New York: Pantheon.Google Scholar
  40. Sawislak, K. (1995). Smoldering City. Chicagoans and the Great Fire. 1871–1874. Chicago: The University of Chicago Press.Google Scholar
  41. Scott, J. (1998). Seeing Like a State. How Certain Scheme to Improve the Human Condition Have Failed. New Haven and London: Yale University Press.Google Scholar
  42. Semi, G. (2015). Gentrification: tutte le città come Disneyland? Bologna: Il Mulino.Google Scholar
  43. Smith, N. (1996). The New Urban Frontier. Gentrification and the Revanchist City. London and New York: Routledge.Google Scholar
  44. Smith, E. (2018, July 28). Greek Firefighters Join Public Outcry at “Woeful” Response to Lethal Wildfires. The Guardian. Retrieved from
  45. Sundaram, R. (2010). Pirate Modernity. Delhi’s Media Urbanism. London and New York: Routledge.Google Scholar
  46. Titmuss, R. M. (1963). Essays on the Welfare State. London: Allen and Unwin.Google Scholar
  47. Tsing, A. L. (2015). The Mushroom at the End of World. On the Possibility of Life in Capitalist Ruins. Princeton and Oxford: Princeton University Press.Google Scholar
  48. Woods, D., & Wejnert, B. (Eds.). (2014). The Many Faces of Populism: Current Perspectives. Bingeley, UK: Emerald.Google Scholar
  49. Zukin, S. (1995). The Cultures of Cities. Cambridge, MA: Blackwell.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Domenica Farinella
    • 1
  • Pietro Saitta
    • 2
  1. 1.Dipartimento ScipogUniversity of MessinaMessinaItaly
  2. 2.Dipartimento CospecsUniversity of MessinaMessinaItaly

Personalised recommendations