Informations and abstract
This essay, which formed the inaugural address to the Academic Year 2002- 2003 at the University of Bologna, sets out to analyze the crisis affecting the State system as born in the modern era as well as the so-called jus publicum europaeum. The crisis broadly consists in the State loosing its monopoly on the use of violence, whether internationally (where new entities, such as terrorist organizations, have usurped such powers) or on the domestic front (with the failings of the penal system). The Author takes two key points in the development of the modern State, viz. Constitutional evolution and the separation of powers, and concludes that the survivial of liberal-democratic society as it has come down through the centuries is owed largely to a dialogue being kept open between the legal and religious worlds, combined with the importance of the University in its historical role.