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Giovanni Sartori (born May 13, 1924) is an Italian political scientist specializing in the study of comparative politics.


Born in Florencemarker, in 1946 he was awarded a Laurea from the University of Florence, Italymarker. He began his career as a lecturer in the History of Continental Philosophy. In the same University, he served as Dean of the newly formed Department of Political Science from 1969 to 1972. Sartori served as Albert Schweitzer Professor in the Humanities at Columbia University from 1979 to 1994, and was later appointed Professor Emeritus. He contributes regularly as op-ed comentator of the leading Italian Newspaper "Corriere della Sera". He is a recipient of a Prince of Asturias Award.

Sartori has made lasting contributions to the fields of democratic theory, party systems and constitutional engineering. In particular, Sartori devised the most widely used classification system for party systems. He suggested that party systems should be classified by the number of relevant parties and the degree of fragmentation (as caused by differing ideology). He is also an advocate of applying the knowledge acquired through the study of political science to the design of political institutions, in order to improve their performance. His article "Concept Misformation in Comparative Politics" is prominent in the field leading Gary Goertz to write, "[t]here are few articles in political science that deserve the predicate "classic," but Sartori's ... merits the label."

Selected publications

  • Democrazia e definizioni. Bologna: Il Mulino, 1957.
  • Parties and Party Systems. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1976. ISBN 0-521-29106-2.
  • The Theory of Democracy Revisited. Chatham, N.J: Chatham House, 1987. ISBN 0-934540-49-7.
  • Comparative Constitutional Engineering. Basingstoke: Macmillan, 1994. ISBN 0-333-62967-1.
  • "Concept Misformation in Comparative Politics" The American Political Science Review: Vol. LXIV, no. 4


  1. Goertz, Gary. Concept Formation. Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2006. p. 69

See also

External links

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