Volume 12, Issue 2, September 2017

Pietro Grilli di Cortona, President of the Società Italiana di Scienza Politica (SISP), passed away during the night between 15 and 16 July 2015 at the age of just 61. Maurizio Cotta summed up his scholarly and human qualities very effectively at the SISP conference held in September 2015 at the University of Calabria. Pietro Grilli was reserved but friendly, sociable and wholeheartedly engaged with his inimitable style and elegance in a host of social, academic and institutional relations. Practically everyone who came into contact with him appreciated his style, elegance, affability and reliability.

When Italian Political Science asked us to edit an issue in his memory, our feelings of honour and emotion were combined with a certain degree of embarrassment at having to choose among many people at least as capable as we are of offering memories that highlight Pietro’s scholarly, human and social characteristics. In the end, we opted for what we believe to be the criterion on which we were ourselves chosen as editors, namely close involvement in his academic activities over the last few years. The subjects addressed − processes of transition from totalitarian regime to democratization, historical legacy, comparative analysis, relations between state and nation, bureaucracy, political parties and the democratic crisis − encapsulate the central points of his studies. Following these paths, we asked Maurizio Cotta, Antonio Agosta, Leonardo Morlino, Luca Lanzalaco, Giampiero Cama, Rosalba Chiarini, Luca Germano, Antonino Castaldo and our Argentinian colleagues María Matilde Ollier, Osvaldo Iazzetta and Hugo Quiroga to contribute a personal and scholarly memory of Pietro.

They all agreed with enthusiasm and conviction, and it is with equally great enthusiasm and gratitude that we thank them while apologising at the same time to all the other friends and colleagues who would have been willing and able to contribute to this initiative.

Orazio Lanza and Barbara Pisciotta, Guest Editors

In Memoriam: Pietro Grilli di Cortona

In memoriam – Pietro Grilli di Cortona: A dedicated scholar and a humane person
Maurizio Cotta (University of Siena)

In July 16, 2015, Professor Pietro Grilli di Cortona, then President of the Italian Political Science Association (SISP) prematurely died at the age of only 61 years, after a long battle with a serious disease that he faced bravely. He is survived by his wife Barbara and three children. […]

Pietro Grilli di Cortona, Faculty colleague
Antonio Agosta (Roma Tre University)

It has been two years since 16 July 2015, the day when Pietro Grilli di Cortona left us after a short and inescapable illness. Two months later, on 25 September, Pietro would have turned 61. He left his family (wife Barbara, his three beloved children Bernardo, Giovanni and Sofia), his co-workers and pupils, his students, his friends and his colleagues too soon. […]

Comparative analysis in the scholarly contribution of Pietro Grilli di Cortona. A personal recollection of my mentor
Barbara Pisciotta (Roma Tre University)

These words, written by a French author in 1953, a year before Prof. Pietro Grilli was born, encapsulate the sense of my contribution: “To see a human being reveal really exceptional qualities one must be able to observe his activities over many years. If these activities are completely unselfish; if the idea motivating them is unique in its magnanimity; if it is quite certain they have never looked for any reward; and if in addition they have left visible traces on the world – then one may say, without fear or error, that one is in the presence of an unforgettable character”. […]

Why transitions to democracy fail? A tribute to Pietro Grilli di Cortona

Leonardo Morlino (LUISS Guido Carli University, Rome)

In this short piece I would like to pay a tribute to the scholar I first met as young, serious, passionate student at Cesare Alfieri in Florence several years ago and to address a topic I guess we could have discussed together at length and would have received his interest. That is: reflecting on the research results and the very phenomenon of transitions to democracy that took place in a number of countries along last decades is it possible to single out the key obstacles to a successful transition to democracy? In the next pages I try to reply to such a question by referring also to another work where I addressed this issue. […]

Democracies in Transition. Political Change in Democratic Regimes
Luca Lanzalaco (University of Macerata)

Students of political change focus mainly on the transitions from non democratic regimes to democratic ones, and vice versa. Much less attention is devoted to the transitions within the same type of regime, in particular the political change of democratic regimes. When, why and how do democratic regimes change? Pietro Grilli di Cortona dealt with this topic in an article written in the turmoil of the Italian transition from the First to the so-called Second Republic and in a book published ten years later when the Italian endless transition was still open. […]

When Political Science and History meet. ‘Legacies of the Past and Democracy’ in Pietro Grilli di Cortona’s Research
Orazio Lanza (University of Catania)

The birth of a Standing Group on ‘History and Political Science’ was only approved and formalized on 5 June, 2015 during the last SISP Executive Board meeting, chaired by Pietro Grilli di Cortona. Its founding Manifesto reminds us that, in Italy, unlike other countries, meeting and confrontation between Political Science and Historiography is still not a very widespread custom. In fact, ‘Historical Political Science’ (‘Politologia storica’ in the Manifesto) is still considered a neglected area of research. In reality, the phenomena is not new; the complicated relationship between Political Science and History has interested many other countries and the distrust between disciplines is reciprocal. As far as modern Political Science and History is concerned, the success of the complex ‘movement’ called Behavioralism (‘Behavioral Approach’) established in the 1930s and centered in the USA, definitely had a fundamental role in this process. […]

State building and nationalism: the lesson of Pietro Grilli di Cortona
Giampiero Cama (University of Genoa)

The related development of states and nationalism in Europe was one of Pietro Grilli’s several fields of research. Also in this area of interest he showed his peculiar style, especially a peculiar ability to combine theoretical and empirical analysis and a skilful use of the historical comparative method. Pietro addresses this issue mainly in a very interesting and seminal book, Stati, nazioni e nazionalismi in Europa, where we can find a remarkable and exhaustive longitudinal analysis of the birth and evolution of states and nations in our continent. In this work he shows, as usual for him, his skill to organize different and complex variables in clear and effective conceptual and theoretical frameworks. In my tribute to a dear friend and to a prestigious scholar I will try to illustrate some relevant implications of this specific contribution. […]

The study of change and institutional persistence in ‘Rivoluzioni e Burocrazie’ by Pietro Grilli di Cortona
Rosalba Chiarini (Roma Tre University)

Professor Pietro Grilli di Cortona passed away on 16 July 2015, but for all those who had the good fortune to work alongside him, as I did, his rigorous and independent thinking, his generous, measured academic style, and the warm, gracious way in which he unfailingly engaged with others represent an immense legacy. We first met in 2002, the year in which Grilli asked me to take on some temporary teaching in Public Administration at the Roma Tre University. I accepted his invitation with great pleasure, and it marked the beginning of a relationship of reciprocal understanding, which matured above all from 2007, following my transfer from the University of Calabria to the Faculty of Political Science at Roma Tre. At the time, Grilli was director of the Department of International Studies, and his scientific and academic prowess, combined with his teaching skills and human qualities, were apparent to me from the very start. […]

Parties and party systems in Pietro Grilli Di Cortona’s research
Antonino Castaldo (University of Lisbon) and Luca Germano (Roma Tre University)

Parties and party systems, intended as key democratic institutions, represented a central subject in Pietro Grilli di Cortona’s research. His focus on these topics has been rich, innovative and continuous during all his career. His approach to the study of political parties and party systems has always been comparative, with a great relevance given to their historical evolution and the connections with the cleavages structures present in European societies. […]

Pietro Grilli di Cortona and Argentina
María Matilde Ollier (University of San Martín), Osvaldo Iazzetta and Hugo Quiroga (University of Rosario)

Pietro Grilli di Cortona shared with us a desire for understanding the challenges faced by contemporary democracy across national borders. In the last years of his life, Pietro participated in a joint academic venture involving Roma Tre University – which he was part of — and a group of Argentinian researchers belonging to Las nuevas formas políticas (a research team at University of Buenos Aires’ Instituto Gino Germani) and University of San Martin’s School of Politics and Government. […]

Book Reviews Edited by Carla Monteleone and Stefania Panebianco

Elisabetta De Giorgi, L’opposizione parlamentare in Italia
Reviewed by Andrea Pedrazzani (University of Bologna)

Sergio Fabbrini and Raffaele Marchetti (eds), Still a Western World? Continuity and Change in Global Order
Reviewed by Marco Clementi (University of Pavia)

Iole Fontana, EU Neighborhood Policy in the Maghreb
Reviewed by Justyna Zając (University of Warsaw)

Maria Tullia Galanti, Sindaci e manager nel capitalismo municipale
Reviewed by Silvia Bolgherini (University of Naples Federico II)

Maria Grazia Galantino and Maria Raquel Freire (eds), Managing Crises, Making Peace
Reviewed by Stefania Panebianco (University of Catania)

Leonardo Morlino and Francesco Raniolo, The Impact of the Economic Crisis on South European Democracies
Reviewed by Manuela Moschella (Scuola Normale Superiore)

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