Theory is when you know everything but nothing works.
Practice is when everything works but no one knows why.
In our lab, theory and practice are combined.
Nothing works and no one knows why.


This interdisciplinary research project focuses on topics related to social and political theory. Theoretical aspects are of course also considered by other research projects in the Department since, regardless of the topic, it is inevitable when dealing with  such issues. However, we believe that a focus on theory can be useful (as a research project specifically dedicated to empirical research would be) for three main reasons: to highlight the importance of a (good) theoretical model, as opposed to a “technical” approach to social and political issues; to highlight the connection between theoretical and critical approaches (a theory does not necessarily involve the idea of social criticism, but without it , critical approaches essentially become impossible); to provide  as broad as possible a survey of current theoretical approaches to the social and political sciences.

The project will especially dwell on some theoretical issues which are felt to be currently of special relevance, including  the transformations of the collective thinking (common sense, social representations, ideologies, social imaginary, utopias, political cultures); the relationship between ethics and politics; the concept of social solidarity.

The study group will develop research and offer interdisciplinary seminars on these topics.

Ambrogio Santambrogio

Group members:
Enrico Caniglia, Riccardo Cruzzolin, Roberto Gatti, Giuseppina Pacilli, Ambrogio Santambrogio, Roberto Segatori, Enzo Sorrentino, Giulio D’Epifanio.