XI (2016), 1

La filosofia politica italiana dal Risorgimento a oggi

a cura della Redazione


The essay presents the Society of Friends, founded at a young age from Antonio Rosmini-Serbati, where the first delineation of the idea of ‘society’ emerges. Through the reading of the statute it analyses its peculiar characteristics and the differences between the Society of Friends and Secret Societies.

The delineation of liberalism in the thought of Rosmini goes hand in hand with reflections on Italian nationality, and is manifested in 1848. The vision of civil society applies the rights of political freedom to federal machinery. The failure of this operation in Rosmini leads to some changes to the vision of the Church-State relationship. It becomes difficult after 1850 understand his criticism of the constitutional State. Can you still talk in these rosminian positions of catholic-liberal conception?

The aim of this article is to define Giuseppe Ferrari’s political thinking as the result of a complex critical analysis, which considers the theoretical systems not as exclusive abstract inferences but rather as analytical paradigms that validate the political praxis, well knows as empirical practice and, therefore, never unrelated to the effectual reality, to the social and economic context.

The paper aims at investigating Mazzini’s interpretation of the French Revolution as described in Dell’iniziativa rivoluzionaria in Europa (1834–35). This view, in fact, illustrates specific and distinct aspects of Mazzini’s political thought, such as the dialectic between individuality and association and the importance of the sphere of duties in the processes that leads to the new ‘social age’. This last point will be further examined in parallel with Dei doveri dell’uomo (1841–60).

The notion of hegemony has a long history that begins in Greek Antiquity. It the resurfaced in the European historiography and political theory of the 19th century, especially in reference to the events of the German Confederation and the role that Prussia played in that context. By analogy, it was also used to characterize the role of Piemonte in the process of unification of the Italian states. Differently specified according to different contexts, between the end of the 19th and the beginning of the 20th century, this concept became part of the socialdemocratic and communist theorization and political practice, especially in Russia. In such a context it was employed to the describe class relationships in modern societies. Finally, it was widely used in Italy in various areas (including the “linguistic question”) by such authors as Cesare Balbo, Vincenzo Gioberti and especially Antonio Gramsci. Thanks to him the notion of hegemony is diffusely used nowadays.

    Idealismo e politica

di Marcello Mustè

In his A History of Italy (1871-1915), published in 1928 during the Fascist period, Benedetto Croce traced the profile of the Italian politics and culture in the turn of the century, interweaving the analysis of the positivism’s crisis (with the so-called «rebirth of idealism») and that, now dramatic, of liberal institutions. For many reasons, A History of Italy is not only a great history book, but also the proof of a real drama in the liberal conscience after the rise of fascism. The following paper takes into account the relationship between idealism and politics from 1902 to 1925, with particular regard to the philosophy of Croce and Gentile.

The paper presents a brief review of the different stages in the Italian operaismo (workerism) with the aim to demonstrate that Empire (2000), written by Hardt and Negri, has been able to lead many of the ideas elaborated within the Italian workerist experience in the contemporaneity of global studies. Finally, after a review of the critiques addressed to Empire in order to challenge the workerist ideas, the book is connected with the so-called “Italian Theory”.

The following article will analyse the main concepts of Agamben’s political philosophy and especially the key notions of his project Homo sacer (1995-2015). Firstly, it will show the way in which Agamben’s philosophy cannot be absolutely seen as political manifesto. Indeed, Agamben’s reflection is a radical investigation concerning a wide range of traditional political categories. But exactly for this reason, Agamben’s philosophy represents a theoretical solution to some problematic aspects of Western political philosophy. Furthermore, the following article will describe the structure of Agamben’s argumentations and the peculiarities of his method. Consequently, we will focus on some features of Agamben’s approach regarding politics, language, anthropology and so forth. Finally, we will try to advance a set of arguments to highlight the most significant conundrums of Agamben’s political philosophy.

In Homo Sacer, Stato di eccezione and Quel che resta di Auschwitz, the Italian philosopher Giorgio Agamben says that concentration camp as an institution is the real paradigm of Modernity. The aim of the present paper is to criticize Agamben’s Philosophy not in itself, but in its relation with concentration camps, by showing some contradictions inside his theoretical and political thought.

In the last decades, Roberto Esposito has become a widely and worldwide read and commented thinker, taking part of debates on the (Im)political, the Community, Immunity, and Biopolitics. Along that path, his work seeks to deconstruct the teologico-political tradition and the correlative juridical and philosophical dispositive of the person, in order to enable a way of thought towards the Impersonal, in a philosophical tradition of immanence. This implied several displacements in his thought in terms of approach and main theoretical references: without abandoning his deconstructive vein, Esposito was inspired by the works of Foucault and Deleuze and later stressed the relevance of present-day Italian political thought, linking it to a long tradition. In what follows, we will try to characterize some of the contributions made by Esposito in the intent of thinking politics and understanding our present. To do so, we will focus on the deconstruction of any form of political theology and the turn towards an ontological and genealogical elaboration on the Impersonal, in the context of a critical rereading of the philosophical tradition.

    Italian Theory. Una riflessione critica 

di Augusto Illuminati

Does something like an Italian Theory exist at all? The common thread that goes from Machiavelli through Vico until Gramsci is at the core of the contemporary debate. But are generic categories of “conflict” and “life” able to hold together such different authors in such a long period of time? Rather than on generalizations, in this paper I will focus on smaller groups of authors in order to shed lights on their own approach to the issue of “conflict”; particularly, I will analyze the operaistic and post-operaistic approach in the second half of the last Century, which established retrospectively a kind of “tradition” (e.g. Machiavelli).

    Ricordo di Aniello Montano 

di Massimiliano Biscuso

The 13th December night Aniello Montano, who since March 2013 has been member of our  Scientific Board, passed away. He was born on the third of December 1941 in Acerra, he studied at the University of Naples “Federico II” under supervision of Giuseppe Martano. At the beginning Montano taught philosophy and history at the high school (1968-1980),  he became researcher at the Neapolitan University (1981-1987), then he was professor of History of philosophy at the University of Genoa (1987-1991) and at the University of Salerno until his retirement in 2012.


The goal of the first part of the interview is to understand the Author’s view of Marx and to compare it with other prominent Italian interpretations of Marxist philosophy, starting from World War II. Particular attention is devoted to the relationship between class struggle theory and the Marxist project of a critique of political economy. We elicited an opinion from the Author about the connection among his plural view of class struggles and other, apparently similar, Marxian interpretations, like the ones of Louis Althusser and Mao Zedong. The central part of interview focuses on the relation among the Author’s plural theory of class struggles, messianism and the role of political party. The last part of the interview deals with complex socio-political topics, such as the relation between the Author’s plural view of class struggle and Biopolitics, a currently hugely debated topic, and the link between the doctrine of Humanitarian Intervention and contemporary wars. The last question is about the role of communists in a broader left wing front.

In this interview, the italian philosopher Antonio Negri reports about his book Empire, written with Michael Hardt, edited in the 2000 and considered one of the most important contributions in the contemporary political theory. Negri narrates the context in which the book was born and discusses some of the principal critiques addressed to his thought.

In this interview Sandro Mezzadra discusses his own relationship with the tradition of italian operaism, but also with the Marx’s thought and the postcolonial studies. Retracing some of his leading concepts and issues – like the problem of borders, the multiplication of labour, the production of subjectivity and the question of primitive accumulation – the interview tries to give a wide framework of Mezzadra’s reflection and analysis of contemporary capitalism.

The connection between political activism and political theory characterises Virno’s intellectual endeavour and it culminates in a materialistic anthropology, assessing the constitutive ambivalence of the human faculties and of the logical figures of the possibility embodied in our behaviour. The human animal, thanks to its capability to deny, shakes off the instincts and eludes the infinite regress producing different actions and statements depending on the circumstances. The use of language and of the “general intellect”, that are the fundamental traits of the modern capitalist forms of work, are also marked by the ambivalent trends of the exploitation on the one hand and of the self-valorization and resistance, on the other.