Course Unit Page

Academic Year 2017/2018

Learning outcomes

At the end of the course the student will have the required knowledge of historical research methodology in order to relate the history of the Italian welfare state with general features of Italy's institutional, political and educational systems. At the exam, the student will be able to put forward his/her assessments and conclusions regarding historical studies and analyses. In addition, the student will be able to use the means and methods acquired in the historical field to widen his/her knowledge and apply effective critical thinking.

Course contents

The course will start by examining modern alimony practices, moving on to various forms of insurance and self-insurance schemes (particularly for workers) originating immediately after the Industrial Revolution, concentrating on individual choice responsibility or rather on State intervention, or the promotion of private forms of insurance (as in the case of the United States) or support institutions funded by collective resources. From the first laws in defence of disabled people we move onto the limitation of female and child labour, until in the XX century (not coincidentally after the two World Wars), the welfare state is set up and sees its widest distribution, before coming to a crisis (and consequent revision of welfare criteria so far adopted) typical of our age. Examining the history of the Welfare State means understanding the history of pauper assistance, of insurance policies for the old and disabled, forms of health insurance, but also the family, workers and their rights, as well as the history of education systems and public intervention to warrant – from the second half of the XIX century – the widest schooling possible as a condition for full citizenship.

Dration: from September, 25, to november, 22.


A) Gerhard A. Ritter, Storia dello stato sociale, Roma-Bari, Laterza, 2003 (the first seven chapters)


Fulvio Conti, Gianni Silei, Breve storia dello stato sociale, Roma, Carocci, 2013

B) During the exam session, students will discuss two of the following texts by choice:

- Gianni Silei, Lo Stato Sociale in Italia. Storia e documenti, 2 voll., Manduria, Lacaita Editore, 2003 (a chapter by choice from vol. I and one from vol. II with special attention to the relative documents)

- Povertà e innovazioni istituzionali in Italia. Dal Medioevo ad oggi, ed. by Vera Zamagni, Bologna, il Mulino, 2000 (6 essays by choice from Part IV “L'età dello Stato sociale”)

- Giovanna Procacci, Warfare-Welfare. Intervento dello Stato e diritti dei cittadini (1914-1918), Roma, Carocci, 2013

- Fabio Bertini, Il fascismo dalle assicurazioni per i lavoratori allo Stato sociale, in Lo Stato fascista, ed. by Marco Palla, Milano. La Nuova Italia, 2001, pp. 177-313

- Götz Aly, Lo stato sociale di Hitler, Torino, Einaudi, 2007

- Gianluca Fiocco, L'Italia prima del miracolo economico. L'Inchiesta parlamentare sulla miseria, 1951-1954, Manduria, Lacaita Editore, 2004.

- Ignazio Masulli, Welfare State e patto sociale in Europa. Gran Bretagna, Germania, Francia, Italia 1945-1985, Bologna, Clueb, 2003 (2 chapters by choice)

- Andrea Rapini, Lo stato sociale, Bologna, Archetipo libri, 2010 (the aparatus of texts and documents requires particular attention by the students)

- Luciano Gallino, Il lavoro non è una merce, Roma-Bari, Laterza, 2007

- Welfare e minori. L'Italia nel contesto europeo del Novecento, a cura di Michela Minesso, Milano, Franco Angeli 2011 (the editor's preface and 8 essays by choice)

-Dalle società di mutuo soccorso alle conquiste del welfare state, edited by Anna Salfi and Fiorenza Tarozzi, Roma, Ediesse, 2014

Teaching methods

Lectures with discussion and presentations of sorces, slides and videos. During the course seminars may be promoted on topics and texts related to the course contents.

Assessment methods

What will be particularly assessed is the student's ability to orient him/herself within texts in order to identify the information that will enable him/her to illustrate aspects strictly related to the discipline. The achievement by the student of an organic vision of the topics discussed during the course, together with their critical use, and the possession of a mastery of expression and specific language, will be assessed and awarded a grade of ‘excellence'. A mechanical and/or mnemonic knowledge of the topics, a limited skill of synthesis and analysis and/or the correct but not always appropriate use of language will lead to ‘a discrete' assessment. Gaps in learning and/or inappropriate language – although within the context of minimal knowledge in the exam subject – will lead to a grade no higher than ‘sufficient'. In cases of the presence of significant gaps in knowledge, inappropriate language, lack of orientation within the texts, the exam will not be passed. A negative assessment for one of the two texts included inthe program will not allow the student to pass the exam successfully.

Teaching tools

Videoprojector, OHP, PC. The lectures will take advantage of a PowerPoint presentation that is uploaded and made available to students in the " Teaching materials " of the course

Office hours

See the website of Alberto Preti