The contribution that Prof. Pietro Grilli di Cortona made to political science, and in particular to comparative analysis, is unquestionably visible and substantial. The originality of his works emerges first and foremost from their methodological approach and the attention focused on the comparatively overlooked area of communist and post-communist Europe.
His studies can be divided into three major spheres, namely the analysis of non-democratic regimes, the evolution and results of democratization processes, and the relationship between state and nation. Despite the diversity of the questions addressed, it is possible to identify the guiding thread of a rigorously and exclusively qualitative comparative approach in his strategy. A marked preference is shown in most of his publications for diachronic long-term analysis both in the explanation of processes of institutional change and in the conceptual analysis of the relationship inherent in the construction of the state and the nation.