Keywords: Historiography; Liberal Italy; Long Nineteenth Century; New Political History.
The article examines the last twenty years of political historiography on liberal Italy. While studies on the Risorgimento have been renewed in both topics and methods in the last two decades, scholars have not devoted comparable attention to the second half of the Italian XIX century. Research on the post-Risorgimento era is fragmentary and carried out with rather traditional methodological tools and approaches. At the same time, the scholarly perception of this period is often unclear. Historians mention frequently but seldom truly use the notion of the «Long Nineteenth Century», and by and large they confront the liberal period as either an anti-heroic addendum to the Risorgimento, or a prelude to fascism. The article suggests new themes and research paths which could relaunch the historiography on liberal Italy by opening it up to a new kind of political history connected to recent trends in international scholarship, with the aim to re-evaluate the relevance of the XIX century for an understanding of the origins of several contemporary phenomena.