October 2021, Year XIII, n. 10
Political Analyst or Political Scientist?
Telos: You are often called a ‘political analyst’, and unlike academics, many people don’t really know what this is. What does a political analyst do?
Piero Ignazi: The term ‘political analyst’ entered journalism jargon 10 or 15 years ago and creates a little confusion. Anyone who writes about politics, whether they are a philosopher or anything else, is called a political analyst, overlooking the fact that a branch of studies actually exists called ‘Political Science’. However, although there were many illustrious political scientists in Italy in the early history of the discipline at the beginning of the 20th century, like Gaetano Mosca and Wilfredo Pareto, and Robert Michels, the first person to empirically analyse political parties, political science had to work hard to be recognised after World War II as an independent discipline. There are many reasons for this: ranging from most of Italian culture’s hostility to the empirical sciences, starting with the idealism of Benedetto Croce, to the exploitation that fascism made of it when it inaugurated the 'Fascist Faculty of Political Science' in Perugia ...more
“The class struggle is over”. We have read and heard this phrase in TV monologues and in the columns of many political analysts. But Piero Ignazi is a political scientist and adds an oft-neglected note: “and the workers lost it.” This is something that needs to be pointed out because it reverses the meaning of its premise: the class struggle is over, but not simply because, in the transition from an industrial society to a post-industrial society, the conditions for the reproduction of the conflict between the classes have lapsed, but because Western deindustrialisation has led to the defeat of one of the two participants in it ...more