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The Princess of Asturias Foundation

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Giovanni Sartori

Prince of Asturias Award for Social Sciences 2005

Giovanni Sartori (Florence, Italy, 1924 - Rome, Italy, 2017) graduated in Social Sciences at Florence University in 1946. He lectured in Modern Philosophy and Logic at the U.S. universities of Stanford, Yale and Harvard, as well as at Florence´s European University Institute. He was Emeritus Professor at the University of Florence, the present-day hub of Italian political science and one of the benchmark organisations for world political science, as well as holding Columbia University´s Albert Schweitzer Chair in the Humanities (New York). He founded the Revista Italiana de Ciencia Política, which he at present jointly edits with Mauricio Ferrera, in 1971.

He has been translated into over thirty languages, with Comparative Constitutional Engineering: an Inquiry into Structures, Incentives and Outcomes (1994), What is Democracy? (1997), and Homo Videns: the telly-led society (1998) -a reflection on the dangers of television for both the individual and society in general- figuring prominently amongst his works. He published Pluralism, Multiculturalism and Foreigners: an Essay on Multiethnic Society in 2001. Political development and political engineering (1968), Parties and Party Systems (1976) -which won him the American Political Science Association´s Outstanding Book Award- The influence of electoral systems: Faulty laws or faulty method? (1986) and The theory of democracy revisited (1987) figure amongst his early works; some, indeed, are now considered classics.

He was a member since 1988 of the Academia dei Lincei and is vice-president of Societá Libera, for the study and promotion of liberal ideas within society. He was also doctor honoris causa at the universities of Genoa (Italy), Georgetown (Washington), Guadalajara (Mexico), Buenos Aires, (Argentina), the Complutense (Madrid) and Bucharest (Romania). He contributed regularly as leader writer to the Corriere della Sera. In fact, La televisión, un monopolio y dos sombreros (Televisión, a monopoly and two hats), one of his articles published in this newspaper, earned him the 2004 Manuel Ibáñez Escofet Journalism Award, from the Fundació Catalunya Oberta (Open Catalonia Foundation). He received Italy´s Medaglia d´Oro per meriti culturali ed educativi and its Medaglia d´oro della Pública Istruzione per i benemeriti della scuola, cultura e arte, and is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences as well as a Commander of the Ordem do Cruceiro do Sul de Brasil.

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