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Standing Groups

SISP counts 17 Standing Groups (SG). As stated in the SG Regulation, each SG has two coordinators from different academic institutions and a minimum of 10 members from at least three different universities. 

To become a member of a Standing Group, it is necessary to sign up through MySISP, by filling out the dedicated form. Membership is open to all SISP members, as well as to non-members subject to acceptance by the coordinators of the preferred SG.

The mechanisms of party leaders and candidates’ selection, in all their forms, are largely analyzed by political scientists. Whether referring to closed and traditional procedures, exercised mainly within party bodies, or if the reference is to those inclusive forms that assign a central role to the participation of citizens.
The purpose of this Standing Group is mainly to stimulate a reflection on the inclusive forms of selection of party leaders and candidates, including the so-called primary elections, observed in a comparative perspective.
Employed in the United States of America since the mid-nineteenth century, primary elections have been imported into the European political systems in very recent times. In Italy they have been systematically adopted since 2005.
C&LS deals with the collection, analysis and dissemination of information and data – aggregated and survey – relating to primary elections held in Italy at any level: national, regional, provincial and municipal. Aggregated and, where possible, survey data are also collected and disseminated in relation to party leadership selection mechanisms.
The focus is on the definition of the profiles of the primaries’ voters, in order to highlight similarities and differences with respect to the sociographic and cultural characteristics of the more general electorate, as well as in relation to the degree of loyalty expressed by the voters in the following general elections.
Analysis includes the techniques and styles of communication implemented by parties and candidates participating in the primaries, also in a comparative perspective.
Particular attention is paid to the study of the sources of information used by voters. Even the information coverage provided by local and national media outlets is analyzed.
Finally, specific interest is also dedicated to the theme of rules, in order to understand their implications in relation to participation processes and barriers to entry into competition.

Political communication is constantly evolving and is intertwined with the dynamics and crisis of representative democracy.
The Standing Group on Political Communication deals with political communication in its multiple aspects, focusing both on the more traditional areas of investigation and on those more focused on the new phenomena of fragmentation, decentralization and dis/re-intermediation of political communication that characterize the current phase.
In particular, the SG aims to promote scientific research and discussion among scholars on a plurality of areas including: public and institutional communication; electoral communication; the media and political participation; the globalization of political communication; the effects of the media on citizens and public opinion; the link between political systems and the media; the relationship between politics and journalism; the role of social networks; methods and techniques of data collection and processing; the rhetoric and narratives of politics; the personalization of politics; the popularization of politics; digital media and new forms of political action; disinformation and fake news; political incivility and hate speech; digital media governance; the challenges of the ‘platform society’; digital constitutionalism.

The tradition of gender studies has been based, on the one hand, on feminist political thought and, on the other, on the analysis of women’s participation in movements and institutions. The first studies of gender and politics as a stand-alone discipline made their way in the 1980s thanks to a number of researches – an example being Vicky Randall’s “Women and Politics. An International Perspective – whose main focus was on women relationship with politics, from processes of women’s recruitment in political parties, to issues of women’s interest and policy-making. It is in the 1990s that a gender perspective in political science was recognized, thanks to the pioneering contributions of scholars such as Pippa Norris and Joni Lovenduski (“Gender and Party Politics” in 1993, “Political Recruitment: Gender, Race and Class in the British Parliament” in 1995), but also Wilma Rule, Karen Beckwith and Drude Dahlerup. This generation of scholars contribute to highlight the importance of focusing on gender inequalities in the field of political science and, most importantly, in doing so by using its methodological tool-kit.
Today, the strand of political science that focuses on gender issues – “Gender and Politics” – has been fully integrated to its various disciplinary fields and has acquired own traits, which separate it from the perspectives assumed by adjacent disciplines, such as sociology, political philosophy and economics, although always in dialogue with them. These trends are portrayed in the development of international scientific associations: not only have scientific associations on gender and politics proliferated, but they are growing in terms of active participants and popularity, starting with the ECPR Standing Group on Gender and Politics, and the Women and Politics Research Section of the American Political Science Association, amongst others.
In this context, the promotion of gender studies in the field of Italian political science becomes a necessity, on the one hand, to fill a research gap in Italian political science scholarship and, on the other, to promote exchanges and relations between Italian scholars active in this field of research and to provide a point of reference for young scholars who choose to enter the field.
In addition to theoretical and methodological reflection, the Standing Group’s topics of interest include, among others:
– gender and political representation;
– gender, parties and elections;
– gender and public policies;
– gender and social movements;
– gender and political communication;
– gender and local government;
– gender and international relations;
– gender and European studies;
The Standing Group espouse an interdisciplinary approach to the topics of interest; thus, it promotes interactions and collaborations with scholars belonging to disciplines close to political science (political and legal philosophy, political sociology, economics, law).

The Stading Group on Parliament, Government and Representation brings together scholars dedicated to the study of legislatures and executives, and more in general to the topic of political representation. Italian political science has shed light on how the executive-legislative sub-system works in Italy, fruitfully connecting to comparative literature. Pursuing this research programme, the Standing Group on Parliament, Government and Representation supports scholars interested in the Italian case through initiatives aiming to:
o intensify the cooperation among its members
o divulgate the works and publications of its members
o develop and maintain links with political science scholars outside Italy
o foster an inter-disciplinary dialogue with scholars outside political science on topics covered by this Standing Group
o organize specialized courses and workshops for early-career researchers.

The MetRiSP Standing Group is home to the method exchanges within the members of the Italian Society of Political Science and across the disciplines sharing the interest in the study of political phenomena. It provides a permanent plural forum for discussing political research techniques and methods.
MetRiSP è il Gruppo Permanente che ospita il dibattito sui metodi tra i membri della Società Italiana di Scienza Politica e attraverso le discipline che condividono l’interesse per lo studio dei fenomeni politici. Offre un foro plurale e permanente per discutere metodi e tecniche della ricerca politologica.

The Standing Group (SG) SISP on interest groups aims to relaunch a field of study that, despite having played a crucial role in setting the foundations of political science, was successively mostly overlooked. The gradually declining scientific appeal of the two major approaches to group analysis (pluralism and neo-corporatism) has relaunched the empirical study on interest groups which now draws nourishment from the refinement of research methods and from a fruitful cross-fertilization with studies on public policies.

In Italy, a renewed attention to the study of groups appeared in the early 90s, although at first still limited due to the small number of scholars systematically engaged in the subject. It was since the early 2000s that, in the wake of privatizations, it started to regain ground among political scientists. This was because of the re-regulation of services, professions, and municipal companies, the decline of large industry and the new importance assumed by medium-sized companies, while workers, agriculture and trade associations have been affected by huge organizational transformations. In addition, the growing importance of civil society gave new impetus to civic organizations, committed to promoting human rights, protecting the environment, and helping the weakest portions of society.

Such recent economic, political and cultural changes have helped to reshape the identity of traditional interest groups while favoring the birth of new ones. Both have provided new impetus to their intervention in political society and in decision-making processes. Indeed, groups today appear openly engaged in political discourse, in skipping party mediations, in addressing decision-makers directly. In short, as their commitment has increased, their visibility has grown subsequently – as the proliferation of websites run and managed by them proves. All of these factors have increased the number of journalistic inquiries, along with studies thereof by jurists, economists, organizational and communication sociologists.

Italian political science, in turn, has so far contributed little to the renewed interest in groups, mostly due to its original imprinting, exerted fifty years ago by the discipline’s re-founders, which still ties it to the more traditional election-party-parliamentary-governmental cycle, thus neglecting the processes of formation of political demand that take roots in civil society, and all those more informal sources of influence on the decision-making process.

It is time, therefore, for Italian political science to keep up with these new research strands, whose objects should be acknowledged as objectively relevant.

The idea of a Standing Group (SG) on “Social Movements and Political Participation” stems from a positive experience during a thematic section at SISP’s conference in Bologna (2006), composed by three panels, eighteen paper givers, and about thirty scholars participating at the debates. After the approval from the SISPS’s Executive Committee, the experience has been replied during the SISP’s annual conference in Catania (2007), where the SG organized a section titled “Social Movements and Participative Democracy”, composed by three panels, twenty-one paper givers, and a round table where the journal “Partecipazione e Conflitto” has been presented. The participation was quite high, with a constant participation of about twenty or thirty scholars, with peaks of fifth participants. On that occasion, the SG had its first internal meeting, during which was formalized the new group, composed by the five proponent scholars (R. Biorcio, D. della Porta, F. de Nardis, F. Forno, G. Piazza), three new members (M. Andretta, L. Mosca, T. Vitale), and four non-members (L. Alteri, A. Cirulli, L. Raffini e S. Tosi). During the SISP’s annual conference in Pavia (2008), the SG organized the thematic section “Participation and Social Movements”, composed by five panel, and twenty-three paper givers. During the SISP’s annual conference in Rome (2009), the SG organized its thematic section “Participation and Social Movements”, composed by four panels and twenty-two paper givers. On this occasion, the SG decided to enlarge its network, accepting papers also from scholars not belonging to the SG, and collaborating with other SISP’s sections, such as “Democracies and Democratizations” and “Political Communication”. The SG’s annual meeting then decided to open its mailing list also to scholars not belonging to the SG. During the following SISP’s annual conference held in Venice (2010), the SG organized its own section, composed by six panels, and thirty-seven paper givers. The SG decided to enlarge its international network, and the SG research interests, including new issues (radicalism, political violence, and terrorism; European squatted social centres; theoretical perspective on the analysis of social movements and political participation; urban and regional conflictual dynamics; migrants and political participation; movements and popular politics in transition processes). The following SISP conference in Palermo (2011) took place at the same time of the ESA’s annual conference. Despite such concomitance, the SG organized its thematic section, composed by four panels (one of which organized with the section “Political Communication”), and about thirty paper givers. The general debate was quite intense and complex, and new issues were addressed (social media and the “Arab Spring”; new social movements and new forms of democracy; urban conflicts and immigrants’ paths of citizenship; religion and political participation). The annual SG’s internal meeting was an occasion to let young researchers meet for the first time, and talk about the SG and the “Partecipazione e Conflitto” journal. On the occasion of the following SISP’s annual conference in Rome (2012), the SG’s section (coordinated by Roberto Biorcio and Lorenzo Mosca), was composed by eighteenth panels and about sixty paper givers. Among the issues addressed: labour conflicts; populism and political participation; religion and social movements, with a special attention to Arab Spring. During the following SISP conference held in Florence (2013), the SG’s section (coordinated by Massimiliano Andretta and Roberto Biorcio) was composed by thirteen panels and forty paper givers. Many attentions were given to anti-austerity movements, political participation during economic crisis, gender and political participation. During the SISP’s annual conference in Perugia (2014), the SG organized its own section, coordinated by Massimiliano Andretta and Roberto Biorcio, composed by ten panels and thirty-two paper givers. One of the main issues discussed was the Five Star Movements and the forms of participation proposed, the relationship among gender and political participation, and, for the first time, an entire panel was focused on extreme right-wing mobilizations in western democracies. During the following SISP’s annual conference (2015), the SG proposed a section formed by seven panels and fifteen paper givers. Most of the attention was on anti-austerity movements. During the SISP’s annual conference held in Milan (2016), the SG’s section (coordinated by Fabio de Nardis and Gianni Piazza), was formed by eleven panels and forty-one paper givers. Many participant scholars were from diverse European universities, a confirm of the internationalization of the SG’s network. On this occasion, the two panels on regime changes and democratization processes were dedicated to the memory of Giulio Regeni, an Italian PhD student at the Cambridge University that was working on independent trade unions in Egypt, that was kidnapped and killed in Egypt in 2016. During the following SISP’s annual conference in Urbino (2017), the SG’s section was composed by nine panels and thirty-two papers. On that occasion, the two panels titled “Research as a job, and the public role of the research” became a moment of reflection on the role of the research in the academia, and the role of researchers within the university. During the SISP’s annual conference in Turin (2018), the SG’s section (coordinated by Lorenzo Mosca and Gianni Piazza) was composed by nine sections and about forty papers. During the following SISP’s annual conference in Lecce (2019), the SG organized a section (coordinated by Massimiliano Andretta and Gianni Piazza) with thirteen panels and fifty-one paper givers. During that SG’s annual internal meeting, Manuela Caiani and Alberta Giorgi became the new coordinators of the SG. In 2020, due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the SISP’s annual conference were cancelled. However, the SG decided to maintain its annual conference. Thus, during September 2020, took place “GoingDigital!”, a digital conference organized by the SG, with four panels and twenty-two papers by scholars from many European countries and universities. The main themes were the relation among gender and populism, religion and radical right-wing movements, anti-gender movements, community organizing during the Covid-19 pandemic. In 2021 took place the SISP’s annual conference, in a digital version. On that occasion, the SG’s section was formed by twelve panels and forty papers, and a round table organized with the SISP SG on Gender and Politics. During the SG’s internal meeting, Manuela Caiani was confirmed as coordinator of the standing group, with Giuliana Sorci.

The study of elections, political behaviour and parties has a consolidated tradition in Italian political science. In continuity with it, the PARTITI OPINIONE PUBBLICA ELEZIONI (POPE) Standing Group was founded in 2012 from the merging of two pre-existing SGs of SISP: Public Opinion and Political Behaviour and Transformation of Italian Parties in Comparative Perspective.

The continuous transformations of the Italian political system ‒ both in terms of the nature and organisation of the political parties and of the voting motivations ‒ have suggested the necessity of combine the study of political offer with the analysis of the political demand, with particular emphasis on the swings in public opinion.

The purpose, in this sense, is to investigate the dynamics of political representation as a whole.
Political parties, electoral behavior and public opinion constitute the three macro areas of research privileged by the standing group, but they are approached with great openness with respect to analytical dimensions and research perspectives.

POPE provides debating opportunities for all scholars engaged in these topics, allowing for different analytical methodologies and encouraging the use of comparative analytical perspectives, combining theoretical reflections with empirical research.

The study of the relationships between political parties, voting choices and public opinion ‒ in the multiplicity of the possible definitions and the variety of tools used to identify it ‒ enables to highlight the conditions and factors that make democracy a system responsible and responsive to its citizens.

In particular, POPE aims to:

encourage and strengthen cooperation among its members
contributing to the dissemination of research results
providing opportunities for interaction with the wider international political science community
promoting discussions of an interdisciplinary nature

In the past decades, the concepts of secularism, laicism, secularization and laicité have raised to prominence in public and political debates on various issues such as: civil rights, individual freedoms, minorities and religious pluralism, migration and integration. A vast scholarship has emphasised this renewed presence and visibility of religion in the public space and its effects on the political realm.
Established in 2009, the Standing Group SISP ‘Politics and Religion’ gathers scholars interested in analysing the influence of the religious factor on the public debate, on political systems and international relations in the contemporary world. The research activities include the following axes:
● the role of the ‘sacred’ in democratic and non-democratic regimes
● the study of how religious values and religious actors affect democracies and democratisation process as it pertains both theoretical frameworks and empirical multilevel analysis (local, national and supranational)
● the study of the impact of religion on public debates and policy making
● the role and the specific features characterising religiously oriented movements and parties
● how religion affects international relations and the role played by religious actors in contexts of conflict and political violence
● the role of religious and interreligious dialogue in peacekeeping and peacebuilding as well as in integration process

The Standing Group Politics and History: what it is
The Standing Group Politics and History is a stable research group within the Italian Society of Political Science (SISP), connecting scholars with similar thematic interests. The members of this Standing Group share the idea that one cannot understand the main contemporary political processes without referring to the “long duration” of historical processes. Historical political science is based on the recognition of the importance of long-term changes as a key to interpreting the contemporary world.
The Standing Group pays particular attention to the different trajectories of political and economic development at the national and local levels, but also welcomes the comparative perspective needed to place national contexts in a spatial and temporal dimension of change, in which international phenomena interact with national and local developments.
The Standing Group in Politics and History: why?
The habit of comparing Political Science and Historiography in Italy is still not very widespread. Historical political science itself appears to be a still underdeveloped disciplinary area. Interdisciplinary dialogue has always been an added value in identifying the pivot points of many phenomena and events that can be placed in the Social Sciences. The relationship between Political Science and History leads to results of primary interest.
Proof of this are the authors, not by chance considered “classics”, who are part of this field of confrontation: Max Weber, Barrington Moore Jr., Otto Hintze, Norbert Elias, Stein Rokkan, Juan Linz, without forgetting “our” Alessandro Pizzorno and Gianfranco Poggi. The Standing Group intends to nourish this tradition of research, which today is apparently more difficult to pursue than in the past due to an increasing specialisation that frequently pushes towards an intra-disciplinary comparison at the expense of a rich tradition of inter-disciplinary research. The Standing Group’s aim is therefore to give new impetus to the dialogue between political science and history in a methodologically eclectic but rigorous scientific debate that is open to society.
The Standing Group in Politics and History: what does it do?
The Standing Group promotes the development and dissemination of historical political science by facilitating dialogue between political scientists and historians. In this sense, the organizing committee intends to encourage the organization of panels and round tables both at the Sisp annual conference and independently and in the institutional seats of its members, also with a view to developing interdisciplinary research projects.
The Standing Group aims to support the comparison between Political Science and History in an academic perspective, with particular attention to the circulation of research and reflections in the public sphere. Members and promoters of the Standing Group recognise the need for Political Science and History to be open to discussion with citizens and institutions, in order to draw inspiration and suggestions for future activities and research from civil society and the public sphere, but also to make the results of their reflections and analyses available to the community.
The Standing Group in Politics and History: who are we?
The members of the Standing Group belong to Italian and international academic institutions and are active in the research and dissemination of historical and political research. Some of them have already had repeated opportunities for interdisciplinary collaboration and meetings. In this regard, it is worth mentioning the publication of the volume “Introduzione alla Politoligia Storica” edited by Marco Almagisti, Carlo Baccetti, Paolo Graziano (Carocci, 2018). The Standing Group encourages opportunities for its members to meet starting from occasions such as the Annual Conferences of the Italian Society of Political Science (SISP) and the Italian Society for the Study of Contemporary History (SISSCO) and promotes the organisation of meetings between its members in academic contexts and the dissemination of knowledge in the public sphere.

The Standing Group “Political regimes” gathers together researchers who, starting from different perspectives (e.g. comparative politics, political theory, area studies) and based on a plurality of methodologies (both quantitative and qualitative), study democratic and non-democratic regimes, global and regional trends of democratization and autocratization, the processes of regime change, including their determinants and possible consequences.

The Italian Standing Group on International Relations (SGRI) fosters research on the global political system, regional politics, and states’ foreign policy, supporting the teaching of international relations, on global public institutions and policies, and on the interactions between domestic and international politics.

SGRI aims to facilitate cooperation in the writing of research projects by networking and stimulating synergies among scholars working on international politics, to advance knowledge on the subject and to promote awareness of the contribution that this perspective can provide.

SGRI promotes the organization of a section within the SISP annual conference, which is complemented by an annual conference and a periodic newsletter for its members. Moreover, SGRI supports and sponsors additional activities (seminars, workshops, etc.) spread throughout the territory on international policy issues.

SGRI was insitituted in 2004 by Luigi Bonanate, Umberto Gori, Fulvio Attinà, Luciano Bardi and Filippo Andreatta. It has been chaired by Umberto Gori and Filippo Andreatta (2004-2008), by Umberto Gori and Alessandro Colombo (2008-2013), by Fulvio Attinà and Vittorio Emanuele Parsi (2013-2018), by Vittorio Emanuele Parsi and Carla Monteleone (2018-2020). From 2020, Carla Monteleone and Emidio Diodato will coordinate its activities.

The creation of a Standing Group dedicated to Russia and the post-Soviet area within the Italian Society of Political Science (SISP) is justified by three academic and scientific aspects.
First, it aims to fill a gap in the Italian political-cultural debate on the role and the evolution/involution of the states in the post-Soviet area and their impact on international dynamics in the aftermath of the dissolution of the Soviet Union. The public debate often remains focused exclusively on secondary or historical sources, ignoring the relevance of institutional variables as well the effects of political, cultural, social and economic legacies. Think, for instance, of the complexities unveiled by the wide range of political science analyses that deal with the processes of democratization, nation building, institution building or the convoluted processes of the birth of party pluralism and the relevance of new cleavages. In the same vein, scholars of comparative politics have investigated the types of political regime across the area (i.e. hybrid regimes, democracy and various forms of authoritarianism), the way citizens have been socialized, the role mass media has played in shaping public opinion, or the features of leadership and the impact of a dominant party on national party politics. Last but not least, there is a wide literature dealing with the complex ethnic, linguistic and religious landscape, with major fluctuations in terms of the policies developed and implemented, an inexhaustible arena for studies on nationalisms and the relationship between identity and public sphere.
Second, there are the specificities of a unipolar system characterized by the prevalence of regional and sub-regional security dynamics over global ones. Both researche into systemic change and interaction as well as analyses of the nature of the actors involved (including the new sources of legitimation and the most recent events) justify the need of in-depth research into on Russia and the post-Soviet space. The revisionist positions Russia has towards international order, aspects that have led to talk of scenarios similar to those of the Great Game or the Cold War, represent a fertile arena of inquiry into the instability of the unipolar system and the challenges it has been facing. A second justification can be added: the Russian strategic approach directly affects the objectives, the space for action and the identity of the two regional organizations that, more than any others, characterize the Western world: NATO and the European Union. Furthermore, there is the role the Eurasian Economic Union and the Collective Security Treaty Organisation are assuming as alternative regional models of integration to the Western ones and their functioning as channels for the promotion and dissemination of homogeneous values, practices and institutions. Finally, the post-Soviet space constitutes a significant case for finetuning the debate on transition processes. It represents an example of authoritarian backsliding at the regional level. At the same time, however, it provides an ever-increasing number of hints pointing towards a global phenomenon, underlining the need for additional studies on the causes and magnitude of the phenomenon.
Third, there is a need to find a forum for the comparison, exchange, formulation, planning and financing of studies and research that allows greater coordination between scholars who work on the area, in particular scholars from international relations and comparative politics. It is now evident that the dispersion of the analyses carried out so far in Italy in this area, the presence of poorly coordinated sectoral studies and the lack of a consolidated political science research on Russia and the neighbouring area mean that our community is not currently competitive on an international scale, and the existing scientific results remain isolated.

‘Political Science and Public Policies’ (Scienza politica e politiche pubbliche) is the standing group (SG) of the Italian Political Science Association comprising the scholars who look at the political sphere as a problem-solving activity, and who are interested in the nexus that binds institutions and society. For this reason, although rooted within the community of Italian political scientists, the SG is open to all those who, from different disciplinary perspectives and countries, share an interest in these issues. Since 2007, the SG promotes research, knowledge exchange and the dissemination of good practices in relation to teaching methods and approaches, with regards to the design, analysis and evaluation of public policies and the functioning and operation of public administrations both domestically, within Italy, and in the wider European and international contexts.
Teaching public policy and public administration represents one of the main areas of work of the SG. The SG encourages the dissemination of teaching methods and experiences regarding both undergraduate and graduate courses. To this aim, the SG also carries out a periodic monitoring of the teaching activities in place in Italian universities on public policy, policy evaluation, public administration, and cognate fields.
Since 2010 the SG has contributed to the realization of the Summer School in Public Policies. Eight editions have been held to date. Since 2018, the Summer School has entered the IPPA (International Public Policy Association) International Summer School circuit: Padua hosted the 2018 and 2019 editions and will host the 2022 one, while the 2020 and 2021 editions were canceled due to the pandemic. The SG contributed
each year with two scholarships for non-EU students to increase the attractiveness and dissemination of this initiative.
With regards to knowledge exchange (the so-called ‘terza missione’ in Italian), the SG promotes the
organization of conferences, seminars and discussions with the policymaking community and with the wider public. A forthcoming initiative is being planned on the Italian National Recovery and Resilience Facility.
The foremost area of activity of the SG relates to fostering research excellence among its members. A key aim of the SG is to grow the reputation of the community of Italian scholars who work on public policy and administration, their ability to publish in top journals, and their competitiveness vis-à-vis national and international calls for research funding. To this aim, the SG: (i) organizes panels and round tables at the annual conference of the Italian Political Science Association; (ii) cooperates with homologue associations abroad (e.g. with the UK Political Studies Association, via the Italian Politics Specialist Group); (iii) facilitates informal networking among SG members to foster cooperation, cross-contamination and the development of early career researchers.

The need to set up a Standing Group (SG) on sub-national politics, center-periphery relations and local and regional policies comes from at least three considerations.
First, the will to create a place of discussion and of interdisciplinary dialogue among scholars on central research topics at the Italian and the European level such as regional and local governance, decentralization and territorial rescaling, reorganization of local services, and administrative and democratic reforms.
Second, the recognition of the role that regional and local governments gained in the multilevel governance system of the European Union and the consequent need to deepen the theoretical and political debate, as well as to promote empirical research on federalism, local identities, local mobilization, political geography and local policies in the light of multilevel dynamics.
Finally, problems linked to climate change and ecological transition, population ageing, as well as the spread of the Covid-19 pandemic and the consequent growth of economic and social inequalities in urban contexts highlighted that regional and local governments play a fundamental role in managing emerging grand challenges, and that scholars need to investigate and to help improving collaboration and coordination between institutional levels and local actors.
The SG on Regional Studies and Local Policies (SRPL) therefore has the following objectives:
1) To promote theoretical and empirical research at the Italian level and in comparative perspective, and the dialogue among scholars, on the following topics:
– Institutions and forms of regionalism and federalism;
– Policies of devolution and territorial reorganization, including inter-municipal cooperation;
– Local and regional elections and parties, regionalist movements, peripheral nationalisms and ethno-regionalist parties;
– Local political class and sub-national public administration;
– Participation of local and regional governments in EU policies;
– Formulation and implementation of regional and urban policies in multilevel perspective;
– Local innovation processes and actors;
– Reorganization of local public services;
– Participatory processes and democratic reforms;
– University and territory relations for innovation .

2) To build a community of scholars of sub-national politics and policy through information sharing, the development of joint research projects, the exchange of working papers and research materials, and the organization of seminars, panels, workshops and scientific debates.

3) To facilitate the collaboration between the members of the SG and other organizations with similar research interests at both national (e.g. AISRe) and international level (including, RSA, ECPR, IPPA, IPSA, PSA- Italian Politics Specialist Group).

The Standing Group intends to highlight the critical role of political theory in political science.
The Standing Group promotes and supports research and discussion on issues relating to political theory both among political scientists and among scholars who, although coming from different disciplinary fields (such as political philosophy, history of political doctrines, philosophy of law ) can make significant contributions.
The Standing Group aims to encourage discussion in the various fields of political theory, with particular attention to:
– key concepts of political theory (“politics”, “power”, “representation”, “legitimacy”, “democracy”, etc.);
– “macro-political” theoretical models;
– construction of theoretical concepts;
– relationships between empirically oriented political theory and the traditions of political thought and political philosophy;
– the relevance for political research of the “classics” of (ancient, modern and contemporary) political thought.
The Standing Group pursues these objectives through seminars and conferences, publishing initiatives, joint research projects and other activities.

Our Standing Group gathers SISP members studying the European Union, how it is organized, how it decides, what policies it adopts, how it evolves and interacts with other political actors and levels. The Standing Group coordinates the section of the SISP Conference on “Politics and policies of the European Union”. The Standing Group is open to contributions analysing European political processes with different methodological approaches, studying the European Union not as a sui generis object, but as a supranational political system, using methods similar to those used for the study of national and sub-national political systems. The study of the institutions of the Union and of their evolution is at the core of the Group’s interests, but particular attention is also paid to EU policies, to the process that leads to their adoption and to their impact on the political systems of the member states. Finally, the group is also open to the contributions that investigate the Union’s democratic deficit, and how the preferences of European electorates are represented in EU institutions and turned into political decisions.