Fields of Study
Research in this area is aimed at the study of and research on the issue of communication from an interdisciplinary (philosophical, socio-semiotic, sociological, ethical and deontological) and international standpoint. Research tends to focus on topical matters and issues not yet sufficiently explored, responding to the scientific and teaching interests of the academic staff and at the same time to those of the young researchers who work in the section.
Political philosophy area
The Centre for the Study of Human Rights (CERSDU), headed by Prof. Sebastiano Maffettone, focuses on political theory studies, produced and disseminated through two Faculty of Political Science courses, study programmes, research projects, publications and conferences. The area of political theory in a broad sense includes political theory, political philosophy, public ethics, applied ethics, business ethics and social responsibility, bioethics and theory of international relations.
Social sciences methodology area
This area revolves around the Social Sciences Methodology Centre (CMSS) which, right from its very beginning in 1989, has undertaken a research programme aimed at developing the epistemological, sociological, economic and political aspects of methodological individualism in the tradition of the Austrian economic school (Carl Menger, Eugen von Boehm-Bawerk, Ludmig von Mises, Friedrick von Hayek), neo-Austrian Americans (Israel Kirzner, Murray Rothbard, Mario Rizzo, Gerard O'Driscoll) and other notable advocates of the school of methodological individualism (such as Alexis de Tocqueville, Herbert Spencer, Max Weber, Georg Simmel, Karl R. Popper and Raymond Boudon).
Teaching in sociology and economic sociology focuses on 1) the birth of capitalism, 2) the processes of modernisation with special reference to the triumph of individualistic culture, 3) relations between the West and Islam, and 4) secularisation. The books by Luciano Pellicani (La genesi del capitalismo e le origini della Modernità and Le radici pagane dell'Europa), Andrea Millefiorini (Individualismo e società di massa) and Alessandro Orsini (Le origini del capitalismo) are dedicated to these issues.
History research in the Department of Political Science has over the last few years focused on contemporary political history, devoting particular attention to in-depth analysis of contemporary Italian history, international relations and Italian foreign policy: commencing from WWI the historical events of the period from fascism to the Italian Republic are examined. Within this time span research covers a variety of topics including political parties, culture, international policy and diplomacy. Particular attention is likewise devoted to the reconstruction and analysis - with a multidisciplinary and comparative approach - of the processes of transition that have characterised modern European history from WWI to the present age, especially the development, consolidation and interconnection of three enormously important historical phenomena: democratisation, a new wave of countries and the process of European integration. Within this framework research is undertaken, in particular, on the history of political parties and European political culture, the history of European integration and transatlantic relations, the comparative history of political systems and the history and sociology of processes of transition in the countries of the former Soviet block.
These lines of research not only constitute the specific subject matter of the individual work of each person in the area but also the contexts within which common projects have been undertaken down through the years. Projects that are currently in progress are a "Dictionary of European Integration", "The 1980s and the end of the long post-war period" on leadership and political culture in the 1980s, a "Dictionary of Italian Liberalism", "European political culture and modernisation processes in the 1950s and 1960s" and, finally, "The faces of Mars" financed by the National Research Council addressing the role of war in the history of Italy with reference to diplomacy and the political forces.