Lorenzo Ornaghi

The vitality of Gianfranco Miglio's "premises" for a methodology of administrative history

  • Abstract

Informations and abstract

Keywords: Administration; Politics; Institution, State; Gianfranco Miglio.

While retracing the arguments whereby Gianfranco Miglio, in his original and innovative 1964 essay, lays down the methodological foundations of administrative history as an independent scientific field in historical knowledge, the author illustrates the journey by which Miglio came to place "administration" at the centre of his scholarly interests, after initial research in politics, international law and history of political thought. The "historicisation" and scientific analysis of administration precede - and, for many reasons, explain - what were to become Miglio's two most relevant areas of analysis. On the one hand, the "historicisation" of the State as a "modern" form of organisation of power; on the other, the investigation of political phenomena as a foundation for the construction of a "pure theory" of politics. Particular attention is focused on the "work programme" that, in his essay, Miglio considers indispensable for the birth and development of the discipline. In this programme, we find in deed the persistently relevant elements of the methodological premises indicated by Miglio. Also, there emerges an issue which Miglio was to find ever fascinating, namely the relations and mingling between "politics" and "administration", to which the issue of the "reformability" of institutions is constantly connected.

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