Though a difficult task, this book manages to summarise the meaning of State - a rather complicated, multiform notion - in an original manner, describing its development from a historical and institutional standpoint. In the light of more recent studies, the evolution of this concept is described from a perspective which takes into account the historical development of the ideas of State on one hand and of the institutions themselves on the other. A crucial political organisation in the Western world from the 16th century onwards, the State encloses all the models concerning the power of government elaborated in the course of European history and has radically transformed them. As a result the notion of State is the dilemma "par exellance" of the 20th century.
Pier Paolo Portinaro teaches Political Philosophy at the Faculty of Arts and Philosophy of Turin University.