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Federalism

A Political Theory for Our Time

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Edited By Lucio Levi, Giampiero Bordino and Antonio Mosconi

This volume is a collection of essays published between 1999 and 2015 in the review The Federalist Debate. The book highlights the issue of federalism intended as a theoretical paradigm to interpret the major problems of our age, and in particular the issues of peace and war in a world characterized by an uncontrolled globalization.

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Re-inventing the Welfare State

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Barbara SPINELLI

Sometimes we forget that the thought of unifying Europe in a Federation – born as a concrete project, as opposed to utopia, in the Second World War – does not aim at a simple ceasefire among countries that for centuries have fought each other, disseminating death. It is a project that has its roots in our collective crimes: totalitarianisms and wars. It searches for the reason why people reduce themselves to such a misery that they lose all hope, yearn for an astounding earthly Redeemer and imagine salvation crushing the neighbours: the weakest, most often. It is said that the reasons which pushed Europeans to unify in the 1950s have now vanished because the aim has been accomplished: war among them is nowadays unthinkable. This should explain the reason why there are no more statesmen of the likes of Jean Monnet, Altiero Spinelli, Alcide De Gasperi, Konrad Adenauer: men branded by the Thirty Years’ War which inaugurated the first half of the twentieth century.

Those who talk this way neglect a fundamental aspiration of the founding fathers, and its extreme relevance to the present: the aspiration to look with an inquiring eye on the question of misery. They also neglect what the united Europe has tried to do, in order to create not only political but also social and economic institutions. In 1946 we left behind us the twentieth century’s crimes with a pact of mutual assistance among citizens. It is called Welfare because...

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