It has been not easy for political science to become institutionalized in the country of Machiavelli, Mosca and Pareto, three scholars who are internationally recognized as among the founding fathers of modern political science. Indeed, the consolidation of this discipline has been a very difficult enterprise, and we are greatly indebted to those colleagues (Giovanni Sartori at first, followed by Giorgio Freddi, Alberto Spreafico, Paolo Farneti and others) who since the 1960s have been fighting to get recognition for the empirical study of politics in Italy. This task has been a very hard one because of the complex array of interwoven obstacles hindering the advancement of Italian political science, namely: the cultural prevalence of anti-empiricism and normativism in the study of politics; the delayed penetration of democratic theories due to the Fascist regime; the ideological nature of the elite who guided the transition to democracy after the World War II; Italian universities’ historically-rooted pluralistic conception of politics; and the evolution of the notion of State. These factors have combined diachronically to proffer structural resistance to the emergence and development of modern, empirical political science. In this paper we examine the state of Italian political science, focusing in particular on the transformation that has taken place during the past twenty years. Our concern to this question has led us to identify, and critically analyse, the current challenges facing Italian political scientists during this rather delicate phase of re-organisation of the Italian academic system, within the context of a more demanding, increasingly competitive environment largely created by globalisation, international mobility and European Integration. In the second section we’ll focus on the quantitative dimension of political science in Italy; in the third section the relevance of political science in the overall universities’ curricula will be presented and assessed; in the forth section the research topics and outputs of the discipline are presented and discussed. The conclusions are devoted to a general assessment of the institutionalization of Italian political science.

Political Science in Italy. The achievements and challenges of a small, but significantly proactive, discipline

CAPANO, GILIBERTO;
2008

Abstract

It has been not easy for political science to become institutionalized in the country of Machiavelli, Mosca and Pareto, three scholars who are internationally recognized as among the founding fathers of modern political science. Indeed, the consolidation of this discipline has been a very difficult enterprise, and we are greatly indebted to those colleagues (Giovanni Sartori at first, followed by Giorgio Freddi, Alberto Spreafico, Paolo Farneti and others) who since the 1960s have been fighting to get recognition for the empirical study of politics in Italy. This task has been a very hard one because of the complex array of interwoven obstacles hindering the advancement of Italian political science, namely: the cultural prevalence of anti-empiricism and normativism in the study of politics; the delayed penetration of democratic theories due to the Fascist regime; the ideological nature of the elite who guided the transition to democracy after the World War II; Italian universities’ historically-rooted pluralistic conception of politics; and the evolution of the notion of State. These factors have combined diachronically to proffer structural resistance to the emergence and development of modern, empirical political science. In this paper we examine the state of Italian political science, focusing in particular on the transformation that has taken place during the past twenty years. Our concern to this question has led us to identify, and critically analyse, the current challenges facing Italian political scientists during this rather delicate phase of re-organisation of the Italian academic system, within the context of a more demanding, increasingly competitive environment largely created by globalisation, international mobility and European Integration. In the second section we’ll focus on the quantitative dimension of political science in Italy; in the third section the relevance of political science in the overall universities’ curricula will be presented and assessed; in the forth section the research topics and outputs of the discipline are presented and discussed. The conclusions are devoted to a general assessment of the institutionalization of Italian political science.
Issues and Trends in Political Science
1
37
G.Capano; L. Verzichelli
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11585/64186
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