Political Science: A Global Perspective is the title of the new textbook written by LUISS Professor of Political Science and Vice Rector of Research Leonardo Morlino, Bertrand Badie, International Relations scholar at Sciences Po, and Dirk Berg-Schlosser, expert of Methodology and Political Sociology at the University of Marburg.
The publication is the result of collaboration between the three authors and SAGE Publishing, working together to create a Political Science textbook on an international scale, going beyond European borders.
“A few years ago, SAGE had the idea to create the first international encyclopedia of Political Science, calling me, Bertrand Badie and Dirk Berg-Schlosser to direct the project,” explains Professor Morlino. “It took us four years, choosing 650 entries and 600 authors from among the most important contributions on each entry. The success of the International Encyclopedia of Political Science (winning the Dartmouth Medal in 2012 for Best Reference Publishing across all fields of study at the international scale) inspired the new textbook on a more advanced level. “Going from an encyclopedia to a book we had to build a more simple and organic project, driven by the same international mindset, bringing together different and distant traditions."
Planning the textbook, the authors took all fundamental contemporary themes into consideration, analyzing the main questions, historic phases and the current state of debate. “There are different approaches to examining and understanding politics. One of our prime objectives was to embrace pluralism and different understandings of democracy and government systems in the world.” The book furthermore contains the most recent and relevant research results regarding: “democratization, government, public policy, the relationship between society and institutions, analysis of participation, communication and international politics, as well as recent developments around the world. Every chapter takes on a different subject, taking methodological aspects, relationships with other fields, and the social bases of politics into consideration.”
The analysis begins with a vast body of research and approaches to Political Science present in the world, to reach a summary that takes into account the complexities of different points of view and best results. “The history of social sciences show us that there are no great revolutions, but a continuous accumulation of knowledge that causes us to modify and adapt relative empirical theory. Events that today cause us to reevaluate the discipline are democratization, the evaluation and analysis of public policy, the role of the media, as well as globalization and economic development. Yet we must not forget technological innovation that changes the way we perform research and write about politics, creating constantly more space for quantitative analysis and influence from other fields, especially economics and cognitive psychology.”
In particular, the digital world has given research a large quantity of data and information that have the ability to radically transform the field. “Today, access to a large amount of data and information is changing the way to do politics, from the electoral campaign to governmental decisions. It also changes voting behaviors.” Professor Morlino concludes, “Every science evolves through inference and then tries to explain it all through a set of limited data. If we knew it all, in a way, we would not need to explain anything anymore.”