Massimo Severo Giannini on the Modern State: An Unpublished Conference of January 1954

By Bruno Settis

In January 1954, Massimo Severo Giannini delivered a lecture on Reflections upon the modern State at the Centre for political and administrative education directed by Gino Giugni (among whose private papers, at the Pietro Nenni Foundation, the typescript was found). Starting from a historical- sociological critique of the recurrent notion of the «crisis of the State», the lecture closes with a discussion of the Constitution of the Italian Republic and the difficulties encountered in its implementation. Ultimately, the lecture can be thought of as a part of Giannini’s reflections upon the historical develop- ment of the State from a single-class and oligarchical nature to the multi-class and democratic structure. The introductory note provides background information on the brief history of Giugni’s Centre, as well as a short outline of the debate on the «crisis of the State» and of Giannini’s sources, studies, and political context.