Book series “Materiali IT”

The new Materiali IT book series by Quodlibet aims to highlight the growing importance of contemporary “Italian Theory” or “Italian Thought” in the global philosophical scene. It will play an important role in stimulating and developing new ideas in this area of thought.  The series publishes books written by classical and contemporary Italian theorists as well as books that aim to explore key themes in this field. Materiali IT is particularly interested in publishing texts that examine theoretical problems through the lens of contemporary political issues.

La collana Materiali IT di Quodlibet nasce dall’esigenza di rendere conto dell’importanza assunta nel panorama filosofico internazionale dal pensiero italiano contemporaneo (“Italian Theory” o “Italian Thought”), nell’intento di stimolarne anche la crescita e lo sviluppo. Oltre a lavori sui classici della tradizione italiana, in essa sono ospitati saggi dei maggiori autori italiani contemporanei e testi su alcune delle tematiche più discusse nei loro scritti. Peculiare della collana è inoltre intrecciare le questioni teoriche con i maggiori problemi di carattere politico emersi negli ultimi anni.

Series editors/ la collana è diretta da: Dario Gentili and Elettra Stimilli

Editorial board / Comitato Scientifico: Paolo Bartoloni, Greg Bird, Vittoria Borsò, Sieglinde Borvitz, Timothy Campbell, Edgardo Castro, Felice Cimatti, Donatella Di Cesare, Gianfranco Ferraro, Simona Forti, Federica Giardini, Céline Jouin, Vanessa Lemm, Enrica Lisciani-Petrini, Davide Luglio, Federico Luisetti, Pietro Maltese, Danilo Mariscalco, Claudio Minca, Mena Mitrano, Marcello Musté, Elena Pulcini, Caterina Resta, Constanza Serratore, Suzanne Stewart-Sternberg, Giusi Strummiello, Davide Tarizzo, Miguel Vatter.


     <<Dante who was supposed to be the beginning of a whole new literature, was instead the end>>. De Sanctis’ claim summarises the inconsistency of the Italian literary tradition, characterized by an inclination on political substitution and a true institutional obsession. It’s no coincidence that History of Italian literature by De Sanctis can be considered the manifesto of Italy as an “imagined community”. In this book, Italian literature and culture, in the long span from the Middle Age of the Communes to the debate on the New Italian Epic, are the place in which the “extroversion” of the Italian Thought developes, that is the tendency of the Italian thought of expressing itself in non-philosofical manners and methods, precisely because of the peculiar relationship it holds with institutions and politics. The contributions here collected show how this generates a symbolic-linguistic system constantly in tension, that doesn’t build an identity, but rather it steadily dismantles it and deprives it of any sense of territoriality, building new spaces of cultural and political hospitality.



























In the last few years the connection between Italian workerism and architecture has been the focus of specific attention of international critics.
It’s a chapter of the Italian thought that has probably been long neglected, and that has at its core the work of Manfredo Tafuri and the School of Venice, but towards the end of the 70s, opens up to different paths of research and ends up with several unanswered – still extremely relevant – questions on the role, the function and the unexplored potential of the art of building within its relationship with the big spaces of modern urbanisation.

Devoid of any residual nostalgia and caustic against the most popular cultural trends, the workerist criticism of architecture has defined the ideological limits of the discipline and the material boundaries of a crucial field of contemporary production, through a brilliant convergence of technique and philosophy, political activism and working practices.



Table of Contents

Introduction. Architecture and workerism: the unanswered question of Manfredo Tafuri

1. For a criticism on the architectural ideology

  •     Architecture and ideology
  •     The adventures of the architectural reason
  •     Two pivotal problems

2. Intellectual work and capitalistic development

  • The end of the Kulturkampf
  • Innovation/Avant-garde or proletarianisation
  • Intellectual work without utopia

3. Design and technological utopia

  • The impotence of the Radicals
  • This is not avant-garde/innovation
  • Marcuse+Fourier+Dada

4. The project’s inconsistencies

  • Through «Contropiano»
  • Utopias of rearguard
  • Architecture and workerism
  • The work of the project

5. Contro-Piano

  • Wrecks and glories of urbanism
  • Origins and crisis of modern urbanism
  • Weimar and Red Vienna
  • USSR and USA

6. The City-Factory. Notes on critical urbanism

  • A suggestion on approach/method
  • The machine and the society
  • A broken tradition
  • Green Odyssey
  • The urban excess

Conclusion (temporary): one research, three directions

  • The murdered architecture
  • Flagrant délit
  • The threshold and the problem



The link between theology and politics has made a full force comeback, not just with the establishment of forms of Islamic radicalism, but also with a revamped centrality of the role of Christianity, and the traditional lifestyles inspired by it, in the “secularised” western countries. Although, as the texts collected in this volume try to demonstrate, politics and religion have a much more layered connection, mostly merged into the elaboration of the concept of “theological politics”, namely the theological origin of the fundamental categories of modern western politics. As it should be noted, this approach, clearly traced back to Carl Scmitt, and also Jacob Taubes, has enjoyed a privileged and precocious reception from Italian intellectuals/scholars, way earlier than other cultural environments.

It is therefore within the realm of Scmitt’s theories and his critics that the contributions hereby offered attempt to figure out the link between religion and politics, through a three-step path corresponding to the book’s three sections: Theological politics and the Italian thought, The German debate and Critics on theological politics. The collective wish of the authors is to successfully interact with the plurality of theological discourses that are politically active as of now, belonging to monotheisms as much as to revolutions (it’s enough to think of the “political spirituality” that Foucault mentioned in regards to the uprising in Iran in 1978), and with the cross-linkages they present with the economical  dimension – deeply influenced by the big recession started in 2008 –, the legal/judicial dimension, and the more properly political one.


Table of Contents 

Political Theology and Italian Thought

  1. Carlo Galli, Political Theology: structure and critics
  2. Céline Jouin, Civil religion or metapolotics? Notes on Political Theology in German and in Italy
  3. Emanuele Alloa, Suum cuique. Capitalism, Cybernetics, Theology
  4. Arthur Bradley, Ius Puniendi. The question of the punishment in Foucault, Agamben and Esposito

The German debate

  1. Stefania Achella, Hegel. Within and out theology
  2. Massimo Palma, Profecy and usurpation. A theologico-political case in Max Weber
  3. Libera Pisano, The space becomes time. Scepticism, anarchy and messianism in Gustav Landauer
  4. Michel Senellart, About the angels of the nations. The theologico-political problem according to Peterson
  5. Gabriele Guerra, German political Catholicism and critics of the political theology between Alois Dempf and Erik Peterson
  6. Martin Treml, Symbols of democracy. About the comparison between Taubes and Carl Schmitt
  7. Herbert Kopp-Oberstebrink, Community and apocalipse. A theologico-political concept by Jacob Taubes in its context

Critics on theological politics

  1. Donatella Di Cesare, Anarchist theocracy in Israel
  2. Andrea Mura, Political theology and Islamism. Betweem universalism and apocalyptic fall in Sayyid Qutb’s thought
  3. Laura Cremonesi, Goverment’s genealogy. The question of pastoral power in Foucault
  4. Philippe Chevallier, The notion of ‘political spirituality’ in the work of Michel Foucault
  5. Rita Fulco, Simone Weil: politics and its beyond
  6. Jean-Claude Monod, “Thinkin Political Theology from death penalty”. Sovereign, Enlightenment and deconstruction
  7. Mariano Croce, Theo-legality: law as political operator



Crisis dominates the historical moment we are living through. The economy is in crisis, politics in its past and present forms is in crisis and our own individual lives are in crisis, made vulnerable by the fluctuations of the labor market and by the undoing of social and political ties inherited from modernity. Yet, contrary to what a certain tradition would lead us to think, this crisis is not passing: it seems permanent, with no way out and no alternatives. Reconstructing a political genealogy of the term ranging from the Greek world to today’s neoliberalism, this book intends to demonstrate that krisis, understood as a “choice” between revolution and conservation, is a peculiarity of the modern era. However, since its origin, the concept of «crisis» has also proven to be one of the most effective instruments of social discipline and administration. The analytical path of the author, which runs from Plato to Hayek, from the juridical and medical science of antiquity to the current technocracy, passing through the “weapons of criticism” of Marx and Gramsci, finally succeeds, with Benjamin and Foucault, in identifying precariousness as the “form of life” that characterizes crisis, understood as an art of government. But it does not elude the most pragmatic of questions: “How can we recreate the possibility of political alternatives?”


Table of Contents



  1. Crisis as Dispositif
  2. The Forensic Judgment
  3. The Medical Judgment

Modern Age

  1. Before the Revolution
  2. New Life: Marx’s Use of Crisis
  3. Crisis as Interregnum: Gramsci
  4. Philosophy of Crisis
  5. The Neoliberal Crisis

Forms of Life

  1. Precariat
  2. The Paris of the Second Empire: The Hero and the Cosmos
  3. For a New Cosmos: Decision without Judgment











This volume of Effetto Italian Thought examines the centrality of the discursive practices in the contemporary debate in continental philosophy. From explorations of workerism (operaismo) and biopolitics, interrogations of life and human nature, to questions of language and gender, each essay unpacks core issues at the heart of Italian Thought, which is a way of doing philosophy that has gained much attention recently. Italian Thought has created a theoretical dispositive that generates “effects,” a field of tension between concepts of the horizon of politics.


This volume begins with a lively exchange between Roberto Esposito and Antonio Negri on the role of affirmative thought in politics, followed by an interview with Mario Tronti. The first part is closed by an essay of Remo Bodei on the “impure” style of the Italian Thought.


Parts two and three showcase some “effects” of Italian Thought through a variety of papers ranging from interventions to discussion papers. Suzanne Stewart-Steinberg analyzes Pasolini’s essay Abiura dalla vita. Felice Cimatti concentrates on the intersection of life and language in the Italian Thought. Claudio Minca studies the effect of the Italian Thought on the international debates in geography. Federico Luisetti focuses on the implications of the so called “Anthropocene,” the geological era in which humans have radically transformed the biosphere.


Laura Bazzicalupo’s essay, the dialogue between Adalgiso Amendola, Dario Gentili, Paolo Napoli, Elettra Similli, and intervention by Massimo Villani’s intervention address topics related to the economy, the law, institutions and norms, from innovative perspectives made possible by Italian Thought. Greg Bird employs the concept of immunity to offer an alternative perspective for examining global politics. Sabino Parapella reminds us that it is important to not overlook the “negative” within affirmative thought. Finally, Federica Giardini explores the relevance of “Italian difference” from the tradition of Italian feminism. The volume concludes with a postface written by Enrica Lisciani-Petrini that draws together the historical and conceptual horizons that bring the essays into conversation with each other.






Premessa – Enrica Lisciani-Petrini e Giusi Strummiello

Parte Prima. Voci dell’Italian Thought

In dialogo con Toni Negri, Roberto Esposito

In risposta a Roberto Esposito, Toni Negri

Intervista a Mario Tronti, Mattia Di Pierro

Una filosofia della ragione impura: il pensiero italiano, Remo Bodei

Parte Seconda. Effetto Italian Thought

L’Abiura di Pasolini. In margine all’Italian Thought, Suzanne Stewart-Steinberg

Vita e linguaggio nel pensiero italiano, Felice Cimatti

Biopolitica, Geografia e Italian theory, Claudio Minca

Credito e teologia economica, Laura Bazzicalupo


Dopo il Leviatano: Gaia, Cthulhu e i mostri dell’Antropocene, Federico Luisetti

La differenza sessuale come pensiero politico, Federica Giardini


Filosofia e diritto tra French Theory e Italian ThoughtAdalgiso Amendola, Dario Gentili, Paolo Napoli, Elettra Stimilli

Biopolitica o immunità, Greg Bird

La critica dell’economia politica nel pensiero affermativo, Massimo Villani

Strategie del negativo a confronto, Sabino Paparella

Postfazione – Un pensiero dell’attualità, Enrica Lisciani-Petrini









The central problem of this collected edition is the exigency to focus on the affinities rather than the differences between deconstruction and biopolitics. Through critical examinations of well known late twentieth century French philosophers, the essays in this collection reexamine how the American invention of “French Theory” has been used to level differences and neutralize potentialities.


Contemporary Italian Thought, on the contrary, draws attention to the significance of discord beyond its unity, links, and shared categories. It is this dimension that proves to be its strength and explains why it has become prominent in international debates.







Introduzione, Elettra Stimilli


Decostruzione o biopolitica, Roberto Esposito


Strategie di decostruzione della nuda vita, Simona Forti


Bio-thanato-politica: una questione di vita e di morte, Caterina Resta


Ermeneutiche del soggetto cartesiano, Elettra Stimilli


Il novum tra decostruzione e biopolitica, Laura Bazzicalupo


Fenomenologie della vita. Il confronto Derrida-Foucault nella Francia del dopoguerra fra Husserl, Heidegger e Nietzsche, Manlio Iofrida


Il dispositivo della crisi: decostruzione e biopolitica, Dario Gentili


Tenendosi per mano: Derrida, Lyotard e la presa biopolitica, Timothy Campbell


Lo scandalo del neutro: Pasolini oltre Barthes, Davide Luglio


























Machiavelli’s thought seems to be an autonomous and eternal political technique, but in his thinking can be found also a strict relationship between politics and history. Machiavellian historical practice is centered on the encounter between the “modi di procedere”, the action of political subjects and the “qualità dei tempi”, the historical conjuncture: a match expressed by the philosophical concept of “riscontro”, which suggests the discontinuous and, often, antagonistic nature of this connection.


To encounter the times results, on a case, in governing the present or in an attempt of transformation, in an effort of conservation or in a try of subversion. Machiavelli’s theory accounts in this way the course historical development, with its breaks and its resistances to the change: an articulation of continuity and discontinuity, process and contingency, which leads to an original correlation between order and conflict, law and politics. The author of The Prince, in this reading, is not so much a republican citizen or the counselor of a tyrant, not a revolutionary theorist or an advocate of the reason of state, but above all an innovative epistemologist of history.


Analyzing the entire oeuvre of Machiavelli, with a particular focus on Florentine Histories, and in a careful confrontation with the latest international literature, this book proposes a whole interpretation of machiavellian historical doctrine, underlining affinities and differences with respect to more recent theories of history.







nota bibliografica


Introduzione: plebe


Capitolo primo: Riscontro

  1. Pratica politica e qualità dei tempi
  2. Imitazione
  3. Diritto
  4. Storia
  5. La sussunzione del conflitto alla storia


  1. Figure del riscontro
  2. Evento
  3. Determinismo
  4. Adeguamento
  5. Forzatura


Capitolo secondo: La storia e il suo governo

  1. Determinismo e tragedia
  2. Determinismo naturale/determinismo artificiale
  3. Fortuna e tragedia


  1. Produzione e conservazione
  2. Limite
  3. L’esclusione della storia
  4. Funzione e prudenza
  5. Modi straordinari
  6. Riprodurre l’origine


Capitolo terzo: La storia e la sua trasformazione

  1. Sforzare la qualità dei tempi
  2. Pratica (della storia)
  3. Discontinuità e ruina
  4. Origine contro arcaismo
  5. Antagonismo e differenza


  1. Movimento apparente
  2. Servitù e licenza
  3. Storia come simulacro


Conclusione: riscontro e archeologia