The CONGRIPS 2022 LIFE ACHIEVEMENT AWARD JURY considers Simona Piattoni (University of Trento) to be an outstanding example of the purpose of the prize in recognising an outstanding contribution to raising the profile of Italy and Italian political science beyond Italy.
Simona’s internationalism is not just an add-on to her profile but an integral and natural part of her way of working. This is not just because she completed her PhD at MIT, nor is it just because of her grasp of English in which she is so comfortable (and with almost no trace of American left in it). It is also because of her outstanding research and publications on clientelism, multi- governance, informal governance and the European Union (besides other areas) where she has become an authoritative expert, frequently using her deep knowledge of her own country to illuminate and explain broader processes and trajectories, and thus drawing an international readership. It is also because of her wide institutional experiences, teaching at the Universities of Tromsø, Norway (1994-2000) and Innsbruck, Austria (2010-2011) as well as adjunct professor of Governance at the University of Agder, Norway (2014-2018). And it is also because of her ‘institutionalist’ role in some of the most important bodies of governance of political science. She has served as member of the Executive Committee of the ECPR in 2009-2015; she served as Chair of the ECPR in 2012-2015, becoming the first woman to serve in that position; and she was, of course, President of SISP (2015-2018).
Simona has played a major role in helping us understand clientelism and informal governance both in Italy and across Europe. She has been a major figure in weaving the Italian experience into the tapestry of comparative European politics and political economy. In doing so, she has led the English-language conversation back to Italy. And she has not only helped raise the visibility and understanding of Italian politics (and policymaking) abroad, but also helped raise the profile of Italian political science as a discipline both abroad and at home, with a remarkable record of service to the profession. Finally, Simona exudes courtesy, diplomacy, fairness, clarity and firmness, and through these attributes has exercised, and continues to exercise, considerable influence on the ongoing internationalisation of Italian politics and political science.
The Jury is therefore unanimous in awarding the 2022 CONGRIPS Life Achievement Award to Simona Piattoni.