The article uses Latour’s actor-network perspective to explore the role of accounting and the intendants (administrative officials) in integrating the Kingdom of Naples into Napoleon’s empire during the first decade of the nineteenth century. By comparing the ‘action at a distance’ network planned by the French empire and its actual ‘translation’ played by both human actors and accounting technologies, we reveal certain unintended consequences. Although the French plan assigned the main translating role to the budgets, the intendants resulted as the main players. Their role as intermediates of the budgets transmission between local and central levels of government had the greatest influence on the ‘translation’ process. This role stemmed from the need to overcome the resistance of the local governments against the French plan. The main contribution of this work is to highlight that network survival may require human actors to replace technologies in ‘translation’ processes.

Who is the spokesperson for whom? Intendants, budgets and action at a distance in the Kingdom of Naples during the French decade (1806–1815)

Migliori, Stefania
;
Di Cimbrini, Tiziana;Consorti, Augusta
2019

Abstract

The article uses Latour’s actor-network perspective to explore the role of accounting and the intendants (administrative officials) in integrating the Kingdom of Naples into Napoleon’s empire during the first decade of the nineteenth century. By comparing the ‘action at a distance’ network planned by the French empire and its actual ‘translation’ played by both human actors and accounting technologies, we reveal certain unintended consequences. Although the French plan assigned the main translating role to the budgets, the intendants resulted as the main players. Their role as intermediates of the budgets transmission between local and central levels of government had the greatest influence on the ‘translation’ process. This role stemmed from the need to overcome the resistance of the local governments against the French plan. The main contribution of this work is to highlight that network survival may require human actors to replace technologies in ‘translation’ processes.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11575/103151
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