IN ROBERT DAHL'S ACCOUNT OF THE SUBJECT ‘OPPOSITION’ IS SEEN AS a political actor, opposing the government in parliament, having goals and strategies, being cohesive or not, well identifiable or not, aggressive or less aggressive in its action, and so on. As it is a ‘theory of action’, applying it would necessarily require (as Jean Blondel also shows in his essay) determining the ‘goals’ of the opposition. One would then be able to predict what a certain opposition would probably be doing, and explain why one type of opposition must be classified as different from another. I maintain, however, that the concept of ‘the goals of a political actor’ is a very elusive, and at the very least, an oversimplified concept. Indeed, it is impossible to match it with the facts and operationalize it. The analysis of the Italian case during the First Republic shows this clearly.