Costanza Margiotta

Hans Kelsen between Norberto Bobbio and Galvano della Volpe: A debate

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This paper examines the significance of Hans Kelsen’s political philosophy within the context of a pivotal debate between Norberto Bobbio and Galvano della Volpe that unfolded between 1954 and 1955, permeating into the early years of the 1960s. Focusing on the nascent years of republican Italy, the study reconstructs the discourse between Bobbio and della Volpe, emphasizing the conceptual trajectories through which Kelsen’s democratic doctrines gained importance. The debate holds substantial historical, cultural, and political relevance, particularly in delineating the theoretical landscape that would shape communist legal culture in subsequent decades. Kelsen emerges as a central figure, serving as an indispensable reference point for a thorough analysis of key problematic issues in political theory during the inception of Italy’s republican era.


  • Galvano della Volpe
  • Norberto Bobbio
  • Hans Kelsen
  • democracy
  • marxism


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