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03/2018 – Machiavelli all’ombra del Sol Levante. A cura di Daniela Coli

ISSN: 2037-495X
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dossier: machiavelli del sol levante tra tradizione e modernità

L’ombra lunga di Niccolò. Echi e motivi machiavelliani nel Giappone contemporaneo Daniela Coli

La fortuna di Machiavelli in Giappone dal 1868 al 1945. Kitaro Nishida e il problema della «Ragion di Stato» Morihisa Ishiguro

La recezione della «Cambridge School» in Giappone Masataka Yasutake

L’umana commedia di Machiavelli: pensieri chiave per capire le maggiori opere politiche Akira Murata


scienza politica /1 la discussione sul populismo

Il populismo: un’ideologia esile dalle forti radici culturali Giovanni Barbieri

Democrazia senza comunità. Il populismo quale reazione collettivistica alla modernità Carlo Marsonet


scienza politica /2 dall’umbria rossa all’umbria arcobaleno

La crisi di partiti politici e del regionalismo. Il caso ‘esemplare’ dell’Umbria rossa Alessandro Campi, Marco Damiani


storia delle dottrine politica: nazione e idee d’italia

Gli affanni di una nazione. Il Discorso sopra lo stato presente degl’Italiani di Giacomo Leopardi e gli articoli di Francesco De Sanctis del ’77-’78 sul «Diritto» Gennaro Maria Barbuto

Nazione e cittadinanza in Roberto Michels Leonardo Varasano


politica internazional e studi strategici

Dal partigiano al jihadista: genealogia di ISIS Andrea Beccaro


Morihisa Ishiguro, The Reception of Machiavelli in Japan from 1868 to 1945. Kitaro Nishida and the Problem of the «Ragion di Stato»

This paper explores the influence of Machiavelli’s political thought on modern Japan before 1945. Therefore, I used Kitaro Nishida’s The Problem of Reason of State because Nishida had a politico-historical perspective in his philosophy based on Buddhist ontology. The context of Nishida’s writing on Reason of State was the global, political and economic crisis of the 1930s. Nishida developed a new worldview based on oriental thought to overcome Western civilization limited by the Great Depression of 1929. From this historical point of view, Nishida advocated creating a new spiritual civilization as the mission of Japanese politics. He derived his political view from Ranke’s concept of world history. Nishida recognized Machiavelli’s value through Ranke, who estimated the Machiavellian conflict between “fortuna” and “virtù” declared in The Prince as the driving force of the development of history.


Masataka Yasutake, The Reception of the “Cambridge School” in Japan

Over the last half century, the Japanese historiography of Western political thought has not been aiming simply to acquire and interpret a specific branch of historical knowledge. It was rather an attempt to seek certain political guidance or to provide a normative framework for Japanese modernization and democratization. This paper shall deal with, first of all, how the «Cambridge School» was received in the Japanese narrative of European history of political thought. We shall find a certain gap between the Cambridge historiography and the Japanese one, also any resemblance of a mindset or attitude towards the politics.


Akira Murata, Machiavelli’s La Umana Commedia: key thoughts on understanding his major political works

This paper clarifies the originality of Machiavelli’s political philosophy, explaining The Prince and Discourses on Livy in the context of his comedies Mandragola and Clizia. These two comedies are characterized by the optimistic vision of human affairs, i.e., the vision of human comedy. The vision of human comedy expressed in Machiavelli’s comedies is based on two principles: the first is the consideration of motion or change as superior to standstill, and the second involves the idea that new things prevail on old things – that is, youth triumphs over the aged. The vision incorporates the optimistic belief that, relying on these principles, a happy grand finale can be achieved in this world, solely through human free will. The political philosophy of Machiavelli took on matchless originality by injecting the prospect of human comedy into the gravest subjects of the public sphere.


Giovanni Barbieri, Populism: a Thin-centred Ideology with Strong Cultural Roots

The article deals with the mainstream approaches to populism, namely the strategic, the cultural, and the ideological ones, and aims to show their merits and shortcomings. In particular, the article stresses the relevance of the ideological approach that, according to Mudde, considers populism as a thin-centred ideology. Populism, in other words, represents an ideology with a restricted core of values or a narrow set of political concepts. Indeed, it is essentially centered on the idea of “people” as an omogeneous unity characterized by a collective identity and on the idea of popular sovereignty as the ultimate source of legitimacy.

Despite its thinness, the ideology of populism has strong cultural roots. Indeed, the two aforementioned core ideas are strictly bounded to two different cultural traditions that affected the Western world for a long time: organicism, on the one hand, and the Rousseau’s thinking, on the other. The attention is finally focused on these different traditions and on the way they have been transmitted to the populist ideology.


Carlo Marsonet, Democracy without a Real Community. Populism as a Collectivist Reaction against Modernity

Populism has by now become a rather cumbersome host in the worldwide politics. However, the redundant usage of the term can often be misleading. As a matter of fact, it sometimes hides in itself a prescriptive connotation instead of a descriptive one. Despite the ambiguity of its referent, the people, the concept in object still maintains its own significance capable of describing a real phenomenon. In fact, it reveals a moralistic, Manichean and collectivist political vision. Populism considers the people monolithically as a one-voiced entity. Because of these characteristics it results to be highly hostile to the occidental modernity based on pluralism, tolerance, rule of law and free market. In conclusion, on the one hand populism rejects individualism and liberal democracy, on the other hand it aims at an etymological democracy to sweep away all the liberal remains on the basis of a politics of faith.


Gennaro Maria Barbuto, The Pains of a Nation. The Leopardi’s “Discorso sopra lo stato presente dei costumi italiani” and the De Sanctis’s articles of 1877-78 on the “Diritto”

The paper focuses on the Leopardi’s famous discourse on the public ethics of the italians and a series of De Santis’s articles on the decay of the ideals of the Risorgimento. Both the author underline the absence of a ruling class and the an cultural élite in Italy, that formed and spreaded a civic education in the people. The writings of Leopardi and De Sanctis are very important, because they represent among the first examples of the consciousness of an intellectual and moral reform of the nation, that will be a crucial question for the italian culture in XX century, from Croce to Gentile and Gramsci.


Leonardo Varasano, Nation and Citizienship in Roberto Michels

While Robert Michels is best known for his book Political Parties: A Sociological Study of the Oligarchical Tendencies of Modern Democracy and for his theory on the iron law of oligarchy, he also studied the subject of nationality and citizenship. Inspired by his own experience, as complex and at times harrowing as this was, the German-born Italian intellectual came to postulate an idea of nationality wich is a voluntarily undertaken contract, embedded in democracy and elite as much as in a profound cosmopolitism. What emerges from Michels’ writings is, however, the incipient concept of a heartfelt nation rather than a complete and pinpointed political theory on the subject: only his death prevented the sociologist from continuing his studies. Albeit therefore necessarily incomplete, Michels’ works on nationality and citizenship are a precious source of reflections on a topic increasingly relevant in modern times.


Andrea Beccaro, From Partisan to Jihadist: An ISIS’ Genealogy

In recent years scholars have discussed at length about ISIS (or Daesh), its nature, how it operates, the related issue of radicalization and the causes and geopolitical consequences linked to ISIS operations. This paper does not insist on these themes, but it aims at offering a broader and deeper study on a specific aspect: that is, how the theorists of global jihad, on which Daesh has built his ideology and partly his strategy, define the struggle and how this interpretation can be interpret in the context of a broader reflection on the political concepts of the 21st century. In order to do so the paper is divided into three main paragraphs. The first one takes briefly into account the history and evolution of ISIS to highlight its nature. Then the paper tackles the problem related to global jihad, its ideas and theorists. Finally, using Carl Schmitt’s theory of partisan the paper compares current security threats linked to jihadist movements to old patterns of irregular fighters, i.e. partisans, looking mainly to the role of political and geographical space in their struggle.