The seven essays here presented are the outcome of a workshop held at Università degli Studi di Milano within Cepoc’s (Centro per lo studio delle polizie e del controllo del territorio) activities. On that occasion four recently published books (issued in 2018 and 2019) were discussed by their authors and editors together with scholars of the field. The volumes deal with different aspects of the history of the police in the late modern period.
What emerges is a multifaceted and problematized outline of the avenues of research that in Italy are leading to a consolidation of a historiographical tradition dealing with the police, a subject, however, not yet very popular with students of the late modern period. At the same time this review offers fresh perspectives that can trigger new research paths. In this article two works are discussed: Michele Di Giorgio, Per una polizia nuova. Il movimento per la riforma della Pubblica Sicurezza (1969-1981), and the volume edited by Raffaele Camposano and Fabio Santilli, Dura lex sed lex. Storia e rappresentazione della Polizia di Stato dal 1852 alla Riforma del 1981.
Keywords: police, representation, Italian history, political institutions, State.