In the book edited by the former President of the Società Italiana di Scienza Politica, Gianfranco Pasquino, with Marta Regalia and Marco Valbruzzi, Quarant’anni di scienza politica in Italia [Il Mulino, Bologna: 2013], Political Science in Italy has been compared to «a lady in her forties, rather immature, similar to a 40-year old child».

However, some subfields are more active than others in establishing research institutes, belonging to international research networks, and being well embedded in society. Studies on party politics, elections, electoral systems, electoral behaviour, represent a few of these subfields.

The n. 1/2015 issue is dedicated to these research subfields and intends to pay a tribute to Aldo Di Virgilio, a beloved colleague who devoted his research activities mainly to electoral competition, electoral systems, political parties, electoral participation, pre-electoral coalitions, and candidates’ selection. His premature passing away induced us to depict the state of the art of these fields of studies with some of the friends and colleagues who had the chance to work alongside Aldo.