Alida Clemente

Quando il reato non è «peccato». Il contrabbando nel Regno di Napoli tra conflitti diplomatici, pluralismo istituzionale e quotidianità degli scambi (XVIII secolo)

  • Abstract

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Keywords:

In the Kingdom of Naples smuggling seems to be the general rule of mercantile practices rather than a deviance of a few rule-breaking. As much on the maritime border as on the internal border, consisting of the set of institutions and operators in charge of tax collecting, sovereignty is weak and unable to translate its normative production in a set of effective rules. The current representation is that of a customs system which burdens the actors of trade. But a closer look at current practices of landing and placing of goods through primary documents, seems to contradict this picture, revealing a system based on a constant negotiation in order to conciliate interests, producing a factual corpus of habitual rules. The common representation, which seems to be the result of an idealized and «moral» conception of the market versus perverted or oppressive institutions, ends up with producing a kind of apology of such fraudulent practices as a necessary self-defence of Commerce by the intrusiveness of the institutions, so that the offense loses the connotation of «sin».

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