This book provides a meticulous examination of the ideology, structure, and functions of papal police as they operated in the city and province of Bologna in the period before Italian unity. In doing so, it also offers an important new perspective on the Risorgimento in the region. The author argues that after the Restoration the papal government maintained much of Napoleon's police apparatus in order to enhance its absolute power as an administrative monarchy; but the new police soon found themselves incapable of dealing effectively with the prevailing problems of the day, including political conspiracy, rampant unemployment, widespread poverty, and endemic crime in city and countryside alike. In 1828 and 1847 the papal government was forced to allow Bologna's elites to arm themselves in posse-style 'citizen patrols'. On each occasion the patrols became a rallying point of reform and, eventually, revolution.
"Hughes's work constitutes an important contribution to understanding the process of formation and consolidation of the modern police force..." Journal of Modern History "...he expands our knowledge of the politics of policing in the nineteenth century and lends empirical support to John Davis' argument about the extent to which the relationship between politics and policing was a casual factor in the making of a united Italy...a welcome contribution beyond the series in which it appears..." Italian Politics and Society At no point does the wealth of archival material he mined, or his close examination of the style and fluctuating intensity of Bolognese crime and disorder, obscure the core theses he presents...the work is finely written and the chapter-ending conclusions are models of clarity. This monograph demonstrates the need for similar regional studies." The Catholic Historical Review "This well-researched, carefully crafted book makes an important contribution to the historical literature on modern Italy. It will also be read with profit by scholars of comparative nineteenth-century social history and criminology." American Historical Review "...the arguments are provocative and cogent ones which will force historians of the Risorgimento to look beyond the political activities of the liberals and radicals, and consider how the failure of governments in the peninsula to address the concerns of public safety was a significant factor in directing elites toward a unitary solution for Italy. Hughes has produced a model study written with verve and persuasiveness which merits a prominent space among the studies emerging on social disorder and criminality in nineteenth-century Europe." Marion S. Miller, Journal of Modern Italian Studies