Giovanni Sartori (1924–2017) was a founder and icon of contemporary political science. A number of his books and articles have become part of the theoretical and conceptual basis of the field, and of social science in general. This volume brings together selected essays that examine Sartori as a scholar, university professor and intellectual. It is unique in covering all three aspects of Sartori’s academic work: comparative politics, social science methodology and political theory. General overviews of Sartori’s contribution to political science are complemented by chapters that focus on specific areas of his interest; and Sartori’s theoretical and methodological contributions are examined alongside his extensive public appearances, which remain little known outside Italy.
Preface, Giovanni Capoccia
Introduction, Michal Kubát and Martin Mejstřík
1. Giovanni Sartori: A Giant of Political Science, Gianfranco Pasquino
2. An Italian in New York, an Alien to Political Science? An Intellectual Portrait of Giovanni Sartori, Michal Kubát
3. Applicability in Political Science: Sartori’s Insight, Martin Mejstřík
4. Giovanni Sartori and the Democracy of the Italian Second Republic, Oreste Massari
5. Giovanni Sartori and Party Theory, Klaus von Beyme
6. Sartori’s Typology of Party Systems and its Challenging Legacy: The Model of Polarized Pluralism and the Invisible Politics, Maxmilián Strmiska
7. Is the Consensus Model of Democracy Better for All Countries? On Sartori’s Critique of Lijphart, Miroslav Novák
8. Giovanni Sartori as a Critic of Marxism, Marek Bankowicz / Bibliography
Michal Kubát is Professor of Political Science at the Faculty of Social Sciences, Charles University. His areas of expertise include democratic and non-democratic regimes, political opposition, and political systems of Central Europe, especially the Czech Republic and Poland. He has recently co-authored Semi-presidentialism, Parliamentarism and Presidents. Presidential Politics in Central Europe (Routledge, 2019).
Martin Mejstřík is Lecturer at the Faculty of Social Sciences, Charles University. He has completed Area Studies at Charles University and Political Science at the University of Bologna. His research focus includes populism in Europe, South European (in particular Italian) politics, and political theories of Giovanni Sartori.
Penetrating and timely, this work is remarkable for showing us the difference a “giant” in the field can make in guiding the discipline and shaping the public political discourse in times of change. With liberal democracy under pressure and the relevance of our discipline at stake, such guidance would be most welcome these days.
What made Giovanni Sartori a ‘giant’ of political science, but also an extraordinary essayist and columnist? To answer this question the book edited by Kubát and Mejstřík succeeds in offering a thorough portrait of Sartori’s personality, scholarly work and public engagement. Overall, a valuable addition to the existing analyses of Sartori’s writings and a stimulating contribution to the discussion of the importance and scope of an applicable political science.