The Italian Way to Globalisation: Moving to the Dark Side—Between Irregular Migration and the Underground Economy
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The “competitive” advantage of Italy in the global political economy seems to be increasingly represented by, first, importing cheap labour from the Global South through irregular migration attracted to the underground economy and, second, by increasing the size of the underground economy. Overall, the dark side of globalisation has deeply influenced the Italian trajectory towards (under) development. In this chapter both phenomena will be addressed with an eye on the impact that the Euro-zone crisis had on them. The first section will try to quantify the dimensions of the Italian underground economy and assess to what extent the recent events of the Euro-zone have worsened the situation. In the following section, the focus will be on the relationship between the shadow and underground economy, on the one hand, and inflows of irregular migrants, on the other. This section will point out the extent to which irregular migration may actually be a consequence of both the salience of the underground economy and the adoption of ever-stricter migration policies. Finally, conclusions will be drawn on the challenges and risks that both phenomena present to the restructuring of the Italian economy within globalisation.
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