Volume 10, Issue 2, December 2015


Political Communication and Political Science
By Stefania Panebianco and Francesco Zucchini, IPS Co-Editors

Communication and politics are inherently related, yet the relationship between Political Communication and Political Science deserves more attention, and the debate whether research objects and methodologies are more or less the same or need to be differentiated is still alive. Franca Roncarolo and Francesco Amoretti have kindly volunteered to edit this IPS issue that is entirely dedicated to the relationship between Political Communication and Political Science. Five prominent Italian scholars and a British specialist participate in a fruitful debate.
In their introduction Roncarolo and Amoretti argue that Political Communication challenges the Political Science theoretically, methodologically and academically and that Italian Political Science is still struggling to meet this challenge. Ilvo Diamanti confesses that he cannot think modern politics without communication, communication cannot be considered as a dependent or intervening variable anymore. Gianfranco Pasquino somehow mitigates such ambition of communication to be an independent variable by maintaining that “it is in the political space provided by the institutions (and the Constitution) that one will be able better to understand whether and how much the media, even the new media, have contributed for specific political phenomena”. While there are a lot of studies on the relationship between media and politics, those on the relationship between media and public policy are limited. Bobbio illustrates two exceptions, two strands of literature that tackle the coupling between media and policy. The peripheral status of media studies is not an Italian specialty. Finally, Negrine claims that unfortunately in UK “researchers who explore the overlap between media and politics tend, on the whole, to occupy a space outside of political studies, at least as defined within British institutions of learning”.
Many thanks go to the editors, Franca Roncarolo and Francesco Amoretti, and all the contributors of IPS n. 2/2015 who raised crucial questions on Political Communication and its usefulness to better understand current politics. With new technologies and new forms of communication, Political Communication has become more sophisticated and Political Science more sensitive. This IPS issue seeks to raise this awareness.

A welcome from Simona Piattoni, new SISP President
Simona Piattoni (University of Trento)

Dear SISP Members, it is with great pleasure that I welcome you to this second issue of IPS in 2015. As you know, I was elected President of the Società Italiana di Scienza Politica on September 11, 2015, by the members’ assembly at the 29th annual SISP conference at the Università della Calabria in Arcavacata di Rende. In this position, it is a great honor for me to succeed scholars who have made fundamental contributions, not just to Italian Political Science but to Political Science worldwide. I am humbled to be part of such a distinguished company, an honor I am not sure I fully deserve. All I can do is to promise that I will do my best to help our association flourish and promote Political Science in Italy and abroad. […]

Political Communication and Political Science: looking for a shared research agenda
Francesco Amoretti (University of Salerno) and Franca Roncarolo (University of Turin)

In a world characterized by the growing conflation of politics and communication, where democracies are experimenting with deep changes and facing challenging innovations, the interest in the field of Political Communication is growing globally. The implications for the paradigms and the scientific research agenda, as well as for the various disciplines, have been far-reaching. […]

Politics and Communication together, a new perspective on Democracy
Ilvo Diamanti (Carlo Bo University, Urbino)

The nature of the relationship between communication and politics raises problems in working in the fields of research and scientific thought. I, myself, find it difficult to pinpoint exactly where they diverge, but it is not an issue I choose to address when analysing political events and phenomena, especially objects and subjects of a “contemporary” nature. One example is Berlusconi and his twenty-year spell as a protagonist. Another is Matteo Renzi and his relationship with the electorate and his political party. […]

Political Science and Political Communication: Straddling
Gianfranco Pasquino (University of Bologna)

The question is: are political scientists and scholars in the field of political communication, especially in Italy, making good and reciprocal use of the knowledge they produce? So far, generally speaking, the answer has to be negative. But what counts in my opinion is how one gets to this answer, because in the process several good points can be made and several suggestions for future positive encounters can emerge. […]

Between Frames and Arguments: what I learned from research on Communication and Public Policy
Luigi Bobbio (University of Turin)

I, along with other colleagues, have just concluded a three-year research project on “media and public policy” that was carried out through the constant interaction between two research teams: one specialized in policy analysis and the other in communication studies. Both teams were interested in studying how the media deals with public policy; however, each team was almost completely ignorant of the other’s field: my group did not know much about the concepts and methodologies related to communication studies; whereas, the other team only had a vague idea of a policy analyst’s toolbox. […]

Reflections on the relationship between Political Science and Political Communication in the UK Academy
Ralph Negrine (University of Sheffield)

Nearly one hundred years ago, Walter Lippmann observed that ‘political science was taught in our colleges as if newspapers did not exist. … In that science a study of the press and the sources of popular information found no place.’ (1997:202-203) Since then, much has been done to rectify this situation but these efforts – as I shall argue – have been less encouraging than one might have anticipated. […]

Book Reviews Edited by Carla Monteleone and Stefania Panebianco

Elena Baracani, L’Unione europea e la prevenzione dei conflitti. Un’analisi comparata di tre casi di studio: Cipro, Kosovo e Palestina
Reviewed by Rosa Rossi (University of Catania)

Michela Ceccorulli, Framing irregular migration in security terms: the Libya case
Reviewed by Stefania Panebianco (University of Catania)

Alessandro Colombo, Tempi decisivi: Natura e retorica delle crisi internazionali
Reviewed by Marco Clementi (University of Pavia)

Silvio Cotellessa, La pluralità addomesticata. Politiche pubbliche e conflitti politici
Reviewed by Liborio Mattina (University of Trieste)

Francesco Olmastroni, Framing War. Public Opinion and Decision-Making in Comparative Perspective
Reviewed by Danilo Di Mauro (University of Catania)

Mauro Valigi (ed.), Il Caspio. Sicurezza, conflitti e risorse energetiche
Reviewed by Gabriele Natalizia (Link Campus University, Rome)

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