European Policies Research Centre School of Government & Public Policy University of Strathclyde. Picture by John Young © www.youngmedia.co.uk 2016 ALL RIGHTS RESERVEDDear CONGRIPS member,

Welcome to the new CONGRIPS website!

The launch of this new website marks the start of a new phase for CONGRIPS. First, this new site will replace the group’s Newsletter, Italian Politics & Society. After 38 years of publication, the Congrips Executive decided to discontinue it. However, all past issues will continue to remain available from the website. The new website will provide a more interactive and fresh forum for communication and debate with CONGRIPS membership and the wider public.

Without having the ambition to compete with the existing sites and blogs of organisations that are much larger than CONGRIPS, the intention is to provide a dynamic platform for dissemination and discussion of topical themes about Italian politics in a comparative light, on top of the dissemination of the more ‘standard’ CONGRIPS news (such as the annual call for papers). The new site will continue to include the PayPal link: we are currently working on this and it will be activated soon (in the ‘Membership’ section).

A second innovation relates to strengthening the links and cooperation with the PSA’s Italian Politics Specialist Group<http://italianpolitics.blogspot.co.uk/p/home.html> (IPSG) and with SISP. Having appointed Dr. Daniele Albertazzi (IPSG Chair) as PSA liason officer and having the SISP President, Professor Simona Piattoni, in the Congrips Executive will  provide an opportunity to exploit synergies and foster collaboration.

A third change relates to the enhancement of the comparative approach in all Congrips’ activities. Increasingly over the past few years, we have realised that study Italy solely from within its boundaries provides limited analytical insights, as the changes that the Italian political system is undergoing are intrinsically linked with and affected by wider EU and global trends and, in many ways, mirror the evolutions occurring in other Western democracies. In the past few years, we have imprinted a marked comparative character to the CONGRIPS panels and efforts in this direction will be continued by our current program chair, Prof. Martin Bull.

A fourth element that will characterise this new phase of CONGRIPS relates to a desire to mobilise a higher number of PhD and Post-Doctoral students and early career researchers. After all, this will be the new generation of scholars and it is CONGRIPS’ desire to nurture the interest in the comparative study of Italian politics amongst the new recruits to the profession. This will ensure the necessary turnover and long-term prosperity of our group!

Lastly, this new phase opens up with the ambition of an ever growing and active membership and to revitalise the study of Italian politics outside Italy, especially in the United States. We therefore look forward to receiving posts from members on their research results and ideas, to receiving paper proposals for the Congrips panel at the annual APSA Meetings, to welcoming as many colleagues as possible at the Annual APSA meetings, and to fruitful discussions at the annual CONGRIPS panel and through this website. CONGRIPS has traditionally been a very inclusive group and we would love to receive new ideas, proposals and suggestions on how to move the group (and this website) forward.

In thanking wholeheartedly Antonella Seddone and Stefano Rombi for bringing this new website to fruition, I speak on behalf of the whole Executive in saying that I hope that you will find this new website useful, that you will engage with it, and to see you at the forthcoming APSA Annual Conference in Philadelphia! With all best wishes,

Laura Polverari

(CONGRIPS President)