(image source: Prof. Mecca)
The history of representative government is the narration of a communication strategy and how this concept is the product of the self-assertion of Italian liberal élites. In the nineteenth century the development of constitutional government was closely connected to the birth of a public sphere that began to know and openly discuss themes and issues of general interest in some states especially from the 1840s. Not yet undermined by other means of communication, the press responded, in liberal states, to the general need for information, by becoming a propaganda tool for values, identity and belonging, and a channel for the formation of opinions. The theme of “communication” is therefore essential for the purposes of this survey: public opinion interacted with a new flow of political and constitutional information and the newspapers probably had more influence than “parties” and political associations. The historical concept of representative government is a “space” open to the dynamic dimension of the circulation of ideas, knowledge, norms and practices. Assuming as the object of observation the category of representative government, accompanied by its complex and ambiguous conceptual network, meant entering the workshop of Italian constitutional practice, retracing the ideas that led to its formation and grasping the consolidation of the first constitutional doctrine.
On the author:
Giuseppe Mecca has a PhD in Legal history and is a qualified lawyer. Since 2014 he has been a member of the “Reconsidering Constitutional Formation” project (ReConFort - www.reconfort.eu) funded by the European Research Council and Wissenschaftlicher Mitarbeiter at the University of Passau for the chair of History of Law and Civil Law of Prof. Dr. Ulrike Müßig. He also collaborates with the chair of History of Law at Luiss University "Guido Carli" in Rome
(source: Prof. Mecca)
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