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Abstract

The essay analyses the relationship between administration and territory at the birth of the Italian unitary state. Following the discussions of the time involving scholars of diverse disciplinary provenance, politicians, and administrators, the essay highlights the main problems encountered by the design of the administrative districts of the new Kingdom of Italy: the territorial contradictions and the imbalances that conditioned their initial structure and subsequent history; the legacy of the boundaries and internal territorial divisions of the former states of the peninsula; the various proposals put forward for the country’s regional organization by geographers, statisticians and politicians, even before the completion of unification; the territorial and administrative problems of the new state: natural or artificial districts, small or large provinces, the weight of municipalities, projects of regionalization; the contribution of new sciences, such as geography and statistics; the choice of administrative centralization, with its inevitable consequences on the boundaries of territorial partitions, linked to the ›exceptionality‹ of the historical moment.

their everyday practice varies. This has to do with the success of the principle of provenance in the organization of archival materials. See Wolfgang Ernst / Cornelia Vismann: Die Streusandbüchse des Reiches. Preußen in den Archiven, in: Tumult. Schriften für Verkehrswissenschaft 21 (1995), pp. 87–107. Until the fall of Prussia in 1945, Meisner was one of the leading archivists and historians of the Prussian state. Born on April 1, 1890, in Berlin, he died on November 26, 1976, in Potsdam. Helmut Lotzke: Heinrich Otto Meisner [Nachruf], in: Archiv-Mitteilungen 27

present study is conducted in the same spirit. Such documents would have been marked for disposal from overcrowded state holdings after the archival ›great cleansing‹ started in 1978; however, instead of meeting destruction, a large portion of these documents resurfaced in secondhand book and paper markets where they were bought by researchers and collectors. Leese / Engman: Victims, Perpetrators, and the Role of Law, p. 7. In mining this stream of historical material, I engage a growing body of scholarship that utilizes the unique provenance and content of grassroots

this sentiment when speaking at the launch of the Centre’s first exhibition in the foyer of the Constitutional Court. This constituted a powerful public marking of a determination that the Centre should find an institutional expression for the concept of ›memory for justice‹ and position itself in relation to South Africa’s struggle-era ›memory for justice‹ tradition. Four tenets perhaps best define that tradition, which had a long provenance and multiple tributaries but which coalesced strongly during the apartheid era’s post-1976 endgame: The work of memory is an