Italian political science and Italian politics : the (Curious) elephant in the room

Bull, MJ ORCID: 2015, 'Italian political science and Italian politics : the (Curious) elephant in the room' , Contemporary Italian Politics, 7 (2) , pp. 185-201.

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Using as a starting point the 40th anniversary of Italian political science in 2013 and the volume published to mark this occasion (Pasquino, G., M. Regalia and M. Valbruzzi. Eds. Quarant’anni di scienza politica in Italia. Bologna: il Mulino, 2013), this article evaluates the state of the discipline today. The discipline’s late birth, small size and competition from other disciplines help to explain its incomplete institutionalisation. Yet, what is too often overlooked is a detailed analysis of the sub-fields of Italian political science, how they have changed over time and what this might signal. Using an analogous volume published 24 years earlier (Morlino, L. Ed. Scienza Politica. Turin: Edizioni della Fondazione Giovanni Agnelli. 1989), an analysis of the sub-fields reveals a discipline undergoing significant change through the emergence of new sub-fields accounting for at least a quarter of Italian political science research today. This development is important because of the historical and continuing preponderance of research on Italian politics amongst Italian political scientists. It is the (curious) elephant in the room: visible and clearly shaping Italian political science but rarely mentioned; curious, because, for all this, Italian political science remains dissatisfied with its lack of ‘relevance’ to the Italian world beyond academe. The discipline’s future will likely be shaped by whether and how this preponderance is overcome.

Item Type: Article
Themes: Subjects outside of the University Themes
Schools: Schools > School of Arts & Media
Journal or Publication Title: Contemporary Italian Politics
Publisher: Taylor & Francis
Refereed: No
ISSN: 2324-8823
Related URLs:
Funders: Non funded research
Depositing User: Professor Martin J. Bull
Date Deposited: 08 Apr 2015 10:12
Last Modified: 27 Aug 2021 20:14

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