The address of the new SISP president: a new élan for Italian Political Science

Rome, November 26, 2013

Dear Colleagues, in my new role as President of the Italian Political Science Association (SISP), I am very happy to have the opportunity to express my best wishes towards all those doing research and teaching Political Science in Italian universities. I am grateful to IPS for giving me this opportunity.

Political Science is a growing discipline, and is being taught in an increasing number of Italian departments and faculties. More members have joined our association (we are nearly 400 members strong), and more books and articles are being published. After such significant progress, we should all consider making an assessment of our current state in order to create a strategy for our future. Presently, at least two problematic aspects should be acknowledged. First, our discipline does not have enough influence on policy makers. A clear example is the presence of just one political scientist among the members of the ministerial committee focused on the reform of the Italian Constitution. Second, with regard to our scientific performance, I want to remind you that, on the whole, political scientists have achieved modest results both in the process of evaluation of the products of scientific research 2004-2010 (VQR), and in the final allocation of funding as part of national interest research projects (PRIN 2010-11). For these reasons, in the coming years, we need to work hard to boost our image and to develop the future of our discipline. Moreover, we should take a more active role in the decisions that affect and condition our university courses and scientific research evaluation.

Finally, I welcome new relevant engagements with the association. The renovation of our journal (Rivista Italiana di Scienza Politica), initiated by Luca Verzichelli, is an interesting challenge for the new editors and the entire association. This will require great effort and determination. The colleagues of the SISP Executive Committee and I will be enthusiastically engaged in all of these important tasks for the development of our professional and scholarly agenda.

Pietro Grilli di Cortona, Roma Tre University

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