Ricerche di storia politica (RSP) was launched in 1986, initially comprising a collection of historical records produced by a small work group on the basis of methodological premises which were, for their time, rather unconventional. We were strongly convinced of the importance and independence of the political aspect of historical knowledge and of the need for comparative research which would set the history of Italy within a less provincial context. This was seen as a significant step towards making historical reconstruction more scholarly and detached from ideological conflicts. Reflecting the awareness that such ideas were in the minority, RSP aimed, above all, to provide a service and a selection of material which could form the basis of a different historical coverage. For over ten years it presented a panorama of European historical work, reviewing and collecting records of books published not only in Italy but in Great Britain, France and Germany. Throughout this time, the choice has been in favour of comparative-type essays by young European researchers in an effort to set up a network of European historians, enabling a debate on new political history to take place.
Since 1998, RSP has been issued as a quarterly journal and, while its basic character has remained unaltered, its ambition has widened. The main changes have allowed the comparative range to be extended and it now covers Spain, Eastern European states and the Americas. Also, to facilitate consultation by readers whose knowledge of Italian is limited, we have attempted to make the journal more accessible. In the new series of Ricerche di Storia Politica, English Summaries of articles have been given a more prominent position, and the many pages devoted to bibliographical analysis (each issue reviews more than 60 books) have been redesigned to make the text more readable. While this is only a small step towards achieving real international dialogue, we do believe that it is an important step for a journal, like Ricerche di Storia Politica, which seeks both to promote research in the field of comparative history, and to maintain contact with the Italian historical tradition.
In addition, we no longer intend to restrict the journal to selecting – by means of a referee system – essays written on the basis of comparative analysis. In fact, we also wish to promote historiographical debate by bringing to the attention of historians themes which – due to their substantial character and size – can also be viewed using a comparative approach. The monographic issue on the Treaty of Versailles and the outcomes of the First World War is one attempt in this direction. Other themes are under consideration by the editorial staff and, if the response from the international scholarly community is positive, further monographic editions will be issued. Four topics currently being looked at by the RSP work group are:
1) Resistance movements.
2) Political change in the 1960s.
3) The Spanish Democratic Transition in the 1970s
4) Leaders and Leadership in 19th and 20th century history
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Redaktion: hsk.redaktion [at] geschichte.hu-berlin.de. ISSN: 2196-5307