Settore scientifico disciplinare di riferimento ECONOMIA POLITICA (SECS-P/01)
Ateneo Università degli Studi di CATANIA 
Struttura di afferenza Dipartimento di SCIENZE POLITICHE E SOCIALI 
E-Mail maria.rizza@unict.it
E-Mail mariaolivellarizza@gmail.com

Orari di ricevimento

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12 12 1968 – CATANIA



Degree in Political Science, University of Catania (1994).
Diploma of the School of Advanced International Studies of the Johns Hopkins University, Bologna Center (1995).
Ph.D in Public Sector Economics, University of Salerno; doctoral dissertation on “Rules, Discretionality and Central Bank Independence: Some Implications for Democracy” (2002).

Positions held
Current: Permanent Researcher and Lecturer in Economics, Department of Political and Social Sciences.
Researcher at the University of Cassino (Department of Economic Sciences) until March 2005.
Supply Lecturer of Microeconomics at the Faculty of Law in Cassino, of Political Economy at the Faculty of Literature in Cassino, of International Monetary Economics at the Faculty of Economics of the Second University of Naples.
Temporary chairs in Economics at the University of Palermo, Cassino, Second University of Naples, University Federico II of Naples (1999-2004).

Since the beginning of my career, interdisciplinarity has been a feature of my research interest and I constantly maintained both a political and a social bent in my economic studies. Currently, my research activity focuses on two fields. I am interested in social entrepreneurship and in those social innovation forms affecting market, state and society in the post-industrial era. I have studied a social capital building experience in Siracusa, Sicily, Italy where a social innovation hub was opened in 2011; I aimed at theorizing possible exit strategies to escape from underdevelopment traps. I am currently studying Libera Terra, a consortium in Sicily which fights poverty and the lack of opportunities and civil rules artificially maintained by Mafiosi. I read the use of market mechanism in the fight against Mafia as a heritage of the Italian civil economy tradition. This research field allows me to dialogue with sociologists, anthropologists, business scholars and philosophers.
The second field of my research is related to those ecofrictions emerging in late industrialization process. Together with anthropologists, economic geographers, linguists I am studying the area around Siracusa, where the largest oil refinery and petrochemicals plant in Europe was settled in the Fifties. In particular, I focus the ecofrictions surrounding the Reserve of Penisola della Maddalena, on the coast south of Siracusa where, following new urban planning in 2007, a protest movement arose in opposition to the project of constructing a resort precisely on the coast. Following Harvey 2012, I read the attempt of private real estate investment as an accumulation of rights (of both landscape’s beauty enjoyment and economic lands’ exploitation) by a dispossession process, covered under a surreptitious rhetoric of ultramodernity and economic growth.

In the past, on the political side I started exploring central bank independence (CBI), and
considered the evolution of the relations between the Bank of Italy and the Italian government.
I examined the consequence of the European integration process for the independence of the Italian central bank, and suggested a political interpretation, today broadly agreed on, of the reasons that moved the Bank of Italy to embrace the European integration process (with Carlo Panico, University Federico II of Naples). I deepened the theoretical foundation of central bank independence and examined its implication for democracy, showing that the apparent contradiction between the two only emerges in the economists' setting of the problem of independence, not in the practice of central banking, nor in political science theories. Together with Sergio Destefanis (University of Salerno) I proposed an interpretation of CBI as a third causal factor of low inflation. We found significative evidence that countries in which societies do not allow political interference on the decisions of key consequence on distribution of wealth and income, show the higher level of CBI.
With reference with the social sciences, in the past, I worked on development theories. I worked with Carlo Panico on a paper on Myrdal where we examined Myrdal’s heterodox view on development processes, based on the idea of cumulative causation. I then worked on some implications of Myrdal's criticism to the theory of utility in his early writings.