Italians do it better? The Italian approach to the international relations

  • Antonio CalcaraEmail author
  • Davide Vittori


International relations (IR) as a discipline have had a troubled history in Italy. Indeed, the previous academic literature on the topic has highlighted how the lack of critical mass and influence of Italian IR scholarship have negatively impacted its visibility at the international level (Lucarelli and Menotti in Rivista Italiana di Scienza Politica 32(1):32–82, 2002; Friedrichs in European approaches to international relations theory: a house with many mansions, Routledge, London, 2004). However, there are few systematic studies that focus on the scientific publications of Italian scholars in IR. In order to fill this gap, the article presents the results of a study assessing Italian scholars’ impact in peer-reviewed international journals. Specifically, this work aims to make a broader assessment of Italian scholars’ publications from 2011 to 2017 using a database that includes 25 high impact-factor international peer-reviewed journals and five Italian journals. It also aims to identify the gender, geographic origin, affiliation and academic role of Italian scholars, as well as the topic, area, theoretical approach and methodological underpinnings of each article, so as to generate previously unexplored findings on the solidity and impact of Italian IR research both in Italy and abroad.


Database Impact factor International relations Italy Publications 



  1. Andreatta, F., and L. Zambernardi. 2010. No longer waiting for godot? The teaching of IR in Italy. Italian Political Science No. 5: 4–10.Google Scholar
  2. Balzacq, T., and Baele, S.J. 2014. The third debate and post-positivism. In Oxford Research Encyclopedia of International Studies.Google Scholar
  3. Bátora, J., and N. Hynek. 2009. On the IR barbaricum in Slovakia. Journal of International Relations and Development 12(2): 186–193.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Breitenbauch, H. 2013. International relations in France: Writing between discipline and state. London: Routledge.Google Scholar
  5. Buzan, B., and Acharya, A. 2009. Why is there no non-Western international relations theory? An introduction. In Non-Western International Relations Theory pp. 11–35. Abingdon: Routledge.Google Scholar
  6. Calculli, M. 2014. National prerogatives in multilateral peacekeeping: Italy in Lebanese perception and Rome’s role within UNIFIL II. Cahiers de la Méditerranée 88: 201–214.Google Scholar
  7. Censis. 2017. La Classifica Censis delle Università Italiane (2017–2018), available at: Accessed 1 Oct 2018.
  8. Chillaud, M. 2014. IR in France: state and costs of a disciplinary variety. Review of International Studies 40(4): 803–824.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Clementi, M. 2013. International Relations in Italy through the eyes of the Rivista Italiana di Scienze Politiche. Italian Political Science Issue 6: 1–5.Google Scholar
  10. Cohen, B. 2010. Are IPE Journals Becoming Boring? International Studies Quarterly 54(3): 887–891.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Colgan, J. 2016. Where Is International Relations Going? International Studies Quarterly 60(3): 486–498.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Constant, A.F., and D’Agosto, E. 2010. Where do the brainy Italians go?. In The labour market impact of the EU enlargement (pp. 247–271). Physica-Verlag HD.Google Scholar
  13. Czaputowicz, J., and A. Wojciuk. 2016. IR scholarship in Poland: the state of the discipline 25 years after the transition to democracy. Journal of International Relations and Development 19(3): 448–474.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Dunne, T., L. Hansen, and C. Wight. 2013. The end of International Relations theory? European Journal of International Relations 19(3): 405–425.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Ferguson, Y. 2015. Diversity in IR Theory. International Studies Perspectives 16(1): 3–12.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Friedrichs, J. 2004. European approaches to international relations theory: a house with many mansions. London: Routledge.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Goldmann, K. 1995. Im Westen Nichts Neues. European Journal of International Relations 1(2): 245–258.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Hagmann, J., and T. Biersteker. 2014. Beyond the Published Discipline. European Journal of International Relations. 20(2): 291–315.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Hoffmann, S. 1977. An American Social Science: International Relations. Daedalus CVI 3: 41–60.Google Scholar
  20. Holsti, K.J. 1985. The Dividing Discipline: Hegemony and Diversity in International Theory. Winchester: Allen & Unwin.Google Scholar
  21. Knudsen, T.B., and K.E. Jørgensen. 2006. International relations in Europe: Traditions, perspectives and destinations. London: Routledge.Google Scholar
  22. Kristensen, P.M. 2015. Revisiting the “American Social Science. International Studies Perspectives 16(3): 246–269.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Kristensen, P.M. 2018. International Relations at the End: A Sociological Autopsy. International Studies Quarterly 62(2): 245–259.Google Scholar
  24. Lake, D. 2013. Theory is dead, long live theory. European Journal of International Relations 19(3): 567–587.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Lucarelli, S. and Menotti, R. 2000. IR Theory in Italy in the 1990s, Paper presented at the ECPR, 28th Joint Sessions of Workshops, Copenhagen, 14–19 April 2000, Workshop: International Relations in Europe: Concepts, Schools and Institutions.Google Scholar
  26. Lucarelli, S., and R. Menotti. 2002. Le relazioni internazionali nella terra del Principe. Rivista Italiana di Scienza Politica 32(1): 32–82.Google Scholar
  27. Lucarelli, S., and R. Menotti. 2006. Italy. In International relations in Europe Traditions, perspectives and destinations, ed. Knud Erik Jørgensen and Tonny Brems Knudsen, 47–71. London: Routledge.Google Scholar
  28. Maliniak, D., A. Oakes, S. Peterson, and M. Tierney. 2011. International Relations in the US Academy. International Studies Quarterly 55(2): 437–464.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Maliniak, D., S. Peterson, R. Powers, and M.J. Tierney. 2018. Is international relations a global discipline? Hegemony, Insularity, and Diversity in the Field. Security Studies 27(3): 1–37.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Morano Foadi, S. 2006. Key issues and causes of the Italian brain drain. Innovation 19(2): 209–223.Google Scholar
  31. Moschella, M. 2014. Italy and the International Political Economy. Italian Political Science. 9(1): 28–33.Google Scholar
  32. Panebianco, S. 2013. The Italian Political Science Association (Società Italiana di Scienza Politica): An evaluation of SISP activities 25 years after its foundation. available at: Accessed 6 Mar 2018.
  33. Rosenberg, J. 2016. International relations in the prison of political science. International Relations 30(2): 127–153.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. Rossi, P. 2016. Stato giuridico, reclutamento ed evoluzione della docenza universitaria (1975–2015). A Journal on Research Policy and Evaluation 4(1): 1–14.Google Scholar
  35. Schmidt, B. 2013. International relations and the first great debate. Abingdon: Routledge.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. Smith, S. 1987. Paradigm dominance in international relations: The development of international relations as a social science. Millennium: Journal of International Studies 16(2): 189–206.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. Turton, H. 2015. International Relations and American Dominance. Abingdon: Routledge.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. Waever, O. 1998. The sociology of a not so international discipline: American and European developments in international relations. International Organization 52(4): 687–727.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© European Consortium for Political Research 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.LUISSRomeItaly

Personalised recommendations