Massimo Severo Giannini and the Industrial Democracy after World War II

By Aldo Sandulli


This article analyses a period of the professional and intellectual life of Massimo Severo Giannini that has received little attention from the literature, namely the year between the second half of 1946 and the first of 1947, during which Giannini served as head of the legislative office of the Minister of Industry (Roberto Morandi) within the De Gasperi II Cabinet. The article focuses on the innovative bill drafted by Giannini regulating the Boards for the management of companies, which unfortunately did not pass parliamentary
scrutiny. The analysis shows that: a) in drafting the legislative text, Giannini made extensive use of the institutional theory of his mentor Santi Romano (in particular, with regard to how civil society could positively contribute to industrial planning); b) the approval of the bill would have led Italy to adopt a highly progressive position on the involvement of employees in company management, especially if compared to other Western European countries; instead, its rejection led Italy to lag far behind other countries on these issues; c) Italian labour unions once again drew general attention to these issues only recently, probably as a result of the steady decline of their role, and after having culpably contributed to the substantial failure of Article 46 of the Italian Constitution; d) Giannini was a veritable reformer and his contribution could have had effects well beyond administrative law to impact other fields too, such as industrial law and labor law – however, this attitude was almost always frustrated by the «quicksand» of Italian politics.