University of Surrey

Test tubes in the lab Research in the ATI Dance Research

Norberto Bobbio's politics of culture: A formula for liberalism and an antidote to fascism.

Hardy, Carolyn. (2002) Norberto Bobbio's politics of culture: A formula for liberalism and an antidote to fascism. Doctoral thesis, University of Surrey (United Kingdom)..

Available under License Creative Commons Attribution Non-commercial Share Alike.

Download (9MB) | Preview


Bobbie's prose emphasizes the polemical duality of the palazzo and the piazza - the uneasy relationship between those who govern and those who are governed, and their perennial yet necessary rivalry in a mature democracy. Although no overreaching moral theory can resolve all of the ethical tensions that exist today, Bobbio chooses to prioritize the prevention of the abuse of power at the individual and group level in developing his own form of democratic liberalism. Bobbio's message is that Fascism and anti-Fascism must not merely pass into history. In this thesis, I set out to prove the validity of Bobbio's tenet that political and social democracy cannot be satisfied through the exclusive pursuit of economic democracy. Democracy, he claims, can only be realized through the implementation of democratic institutions that guarantee international participation. I aim to define the politics of culture that Bobbio prescribes to preserve the role of culture, and to show that anti-Fascism is necessary to liberalism. Anti-Fascism permits individuals to articulate their needs and ideals in society, unlike Fascism which stifles these through its monoculture. I also explain the applicability of anti-Fascism as a contemporary political method, and I reinforce the idea that democratic values are strengthened through the addition of an anti-Fascist component. I illustrate how the history of anti-Fascism and the intellectuals who are committed to preserving its memory and political utility need no longer form part of a side-lined "grey zone". On the contrary, they indicate a path to contemporary democratic theory. I argue that the ideals of the Partito d'Azione, although formulated in the late 1930s and early 1940s, have significant relevance to the questions of the current epoch. The Partito d'Azione gave rise to a popular vocation for liberty that has today become the target of the neo-liberal Right. The political programme of that Right is based on the dismantling of the anti-Fascist corpus of ideas - including the validity of debate and of non-conformist views - as developed by the members of the anti- Fascist intellectual community of Turin. The neo-liberal Right seeks to transform Italy into a market with US-style flexibility and to discredit the entire baggage of Italy's post-war Left. With Communism out of the picture in terms of political relevance, all that remains of the Left in Italy is Bobbio's social liberalism. Bobbio's political agenda was never limited to the prerogatives of labour but sprang to the defence of the under-dog, that is, those whose citizenship puts them at risk, or whose basic rights at the international level are threatened. My thesis provides a historical context through which Bobbio's work can be approached, through an examination of his role as a protagonist of the anti- Fascist movement. (Abstract shortened by ProQuest.).

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Divisions : Theses
Authors :
Hardy, Carolyn.
Date : 2002
Contributors :
Depositing User : EPrints Services
Date Deposited : 09 Nov 2017 12:16
Last Modified : 20 Jun 2018 11:11

Actions (login required)

View Item View Item


Downloads per month over past year

Information about this web site

© The University of Surrey, Guildford, Surrey, GU2 7XH, United Kingdom.
+44 (0)1483 300800