Giovanni Ruocco

Race, history, Nation. Mosca and Colajanni in the Italian debate of the late nineteenth century

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This essay examines the discourse on race by focusing on its historical relevance in the construction of Italian national identity. Within this frame, it retraces the controversy raised by Gaetano Mosca and Napoleone Colajanni in late nineteenth century against Italian criminal anthropologists’ racial theories. At the same time, it aims to analyse the critical tools used by Mosca and Colajanni in order to scale down the role that many scholars of those times used to attribute to races in human history.


  • race
  • Nation-building
  • Southern question
  • elitism
  • democracy


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