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The Isig Project:"Transition as a historiographical issue"

The research project addresses the issue of historical transition, i.e. looks at how "cultural" paradigms, which allow individuals and political communities to understand and master historical dynamics, dissolve and rebuild. "Culture" is precisely understood as the term-concept to represent different phenomena, ranging from intellectual elaborations to communication experiences, to spontaneous or disciplined constructions of elements of "education", to the development of management and control tools of the public space and institutional structures they are overseen by.

The time period considered is long-term, because it starts roughly from the phase of the "wars of Italy" (1494) and extends up to the perceptions of radical transformations that took place during the early ‘70s of the twentieth century.

The research has focused on three main stages. The first concerns the period from the wars of Italy (1464) to the conclusion of the Council of Trento (1563), when the paradigm of "renaissance" required reshaping under the influence of the final falling apart of the "res publica christiana" due both to the development of spheres of self-regulating political power dodging opinions external to them, and as a consequence of the collapse of the denominational unity of Western Christianity.
The second phase enquires into the transition that occurred between the crisis of the post-Tridentine political system that the Enlightenment promoted but could not control (1763) and the partial restoration of a rationalized new order that established itself with the failure of the revolutionary wave of 1848.

The third phase on which the institute focuses covers the period between 1945 and 1973. Again, we see a stabilization that could appear hard to define as a transition. Yet the stabilization that develops during these thirty years is of a "dissolutive" kind: the order that can be imagined as perpetual after the end of the last "World" war, not only has the fragile foundation of an internal competition within the paradigms of "democracy" divided between the "liberal" and the "socialist" views, but furthermore it cannot endure the social and economic changes induced by the advent of the affluent society.
It is in the investigation of this long-term context that the team composed of researchers ─ whose curriculums you can find on the People page ─ will attempt the construction of an interpretative ideal type of "historic transition". This work will not, however, be based on a mere interpretative reflection, but will be based on a series of detailed analyses of case studies, one for each of the researchers involved. All projects are visible on the page presenting the single researcher.
At the end of the project, the institute will present a two-fold typology of products: a series of monographs and a volume of collected essays, which pools the reflections on the possibility of building an ideal type of „transition“ that can serve as a learning tool for the work of historians.

Date: 
Saturday, January 1, 2011 to Tuesday, December 31, 2013