The Rise of the Ethical State in Italy. Neapolitan Hegelians and Risorgimento Political Thought (1848-1871)

Fernanda Gallo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


The article examines the idea of the Ethical State in Italy within the context of the Risorgimento and of Neapolitan Hegelianism. The article first analyses the Neapolitan Hegelians’ idea of nationality and its relationship to the concept of “national character”. Then it focuses on the differences between Hegel’s and Spaventa’s concepts of the State. Finally, it places Silvio and Bertrando Spaventa’s liberalism within Risorgimento debates after 1848, pointing to differences with moderate liberals such as Cesare Balbo or Vincenzo Gioberti. By delineating the context of ideas such as nationality, national character, ethics, and the state, the article sheds new light on the relationship between liberalism and nationalism in nineteenth-century European political thought.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)244-265
Number of pages22
JournalJournal of Modern Italian Studies
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 15 Mar 2019


  • Bertrando Spaventa
  • Ethical State
  • Francesco De Sanctis
  • Giovanni Gentile
  • Hegel
  • nationalism
  • patriotism

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cultural Studies
  • History
  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Political Science and International Relations

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