Abstract disponibile solo in lingua inglese
Here we republish three brief texts by liberal scholars on the question of local self-government in Italy. The problem first came to the fore in the years following national unity, and has continued to represent itself throughout the twentieth century (especially in the postwar years with the approval of the Constitution, which envisaged the setting up of regions and, much later, with their actual institution). Today it is as topical as ever. The essay by Minghetti was written in 1881, Einaudi's speech was made in 1947 to the constituent assembly, and Maranini's essay dates from 1965. Albeit with varying degrees of emphasis – due partly to the fact that each speaks in a different historical period – all three are clearly in favour of strong, well organised local autonomies, protected by the Constitution. The reasons for this refer not only to the efficiency and controllability of public administration but also to the defence of individual liberties and the stability of democracy itself. Although the path that has actually been followed by the Italian system is an altogether different one, the reflections of Minghetti, Einaudi and Maranini are still precious today to anyone wishing to make a serious review of the risks and advantages both of the problem and the solutions that have occasionally been put forward, as well as the conditions necessary if self-government is not to imply the risk of disintegration of national unity itself.