Keywords: International Labour Organization, Welfare State, History of Intellectuals, History of Historiography
The essay outlines the development of Franco De Felice’s research on the history of the International Labour Organization (ILO) during the interwar period. By analyzing De Felice’s personal papers, the essay’s key to interpretation will underscore the connection between his political thought and the methodological proposal characterising his whole intellectual endeavour. In this regard, two paths unfold: the first contextualizes his biography in the crisis of Italian communism; the latter compares the research project undertaken in the 1980s with the present debate on the welfare state. At the same time, the essay suggests a comparison between De Felice’s pioneering work and the most recent scholarship on the ILO.