Giulio Azzolini

Gaetano Salvemini and the elite theory

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The scientific literature has usually excluded Gaetano Salvemini from the canon of the Italian elitism. When this ban did not take place, he has been considered as a precursor of the democratic elitism. The article aims to trace the path and the contours of the Salveminian elitism, with a particular focus on his language. After presenting the relationship with Gaetano Mosca, the article examines therefore three phases of Salvemini's political thought: the first, related to his transition from the Socialist Party to the founding of the weekly newspaper "L'Unità"; the second, dedicated to his history of the Risorgimento; the third, the US phase, connected to a realist theory of democracy. The elitism of Salvemini, therefore, will appear deep, complex and wide-ranging.


  • Gaetano Salvemini
  • Gaetano Mosca
  • Ruling Class
  • Elite Theory
  • Democracy


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