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Nicola Matteucci, a Liberal Today

Anno XXXII, n. 142, novembre-dicembre 1997
Centro Einaudi


This paper is a critical interpretation of the works of Nicola Matteucci, a political philosopher whose work has always centred on an interest in and interpretation of history. Hence his pluralistic conception of political life and the State. The author reconstructs Matteucci’s intellectual biography: from his juvenile studies on Antonio Gramsci and the Geneva Enlightenment school to his work on constitutionalism and the liberal State, his monographs on Machiavelli and Tocqueville and his essay on Hayek. The ultimate message of his lengthy research is that history affords a margin of possibility such as to render "human projects" worthwhile. The State, he seems to claim, should be conceived in the light of a moral which is centred not on the universal but the individual, while we should see the State-builder as resembling a good architect, without attributing artificial significance to politics. On the contrary, we ought to conceive of it as a iurisdictio.