Annarita Criscitiello

Gli attrezzi della scienza politica. Una rassegna critica di 11 dizionari

  • Abstract

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Political Science, because of its many subdisciplines and multiple approaches, strongly needs a specific vocabulary. This article compares eleven dictionaries - in three languages and four different political cultures - to offer a critical overview of the making of a political dictionary. In the first part of the article the author reviews the editorial and methodological features (the number of editors and/or contributors, the average length of the entries, the method of explanation of the entries, the system of "cross-references") of the dictionaries chosen. The second part tries to give an account of the (eleven) different typologies of political concepts provided by the editors. The third part of the article is a short review of the entry "political science". A dictionary is more interesting when each single entry goes beyond a simple report of definitions, taking the aim - as Sartori says - of "reconstructing a concept" but also "forming a concept". New and original classifications and stronger and stimulating linking patterns among concepts are indispensable to a professional political vocabulary as well as to the theory-making. In the last 15 years some steps have been taken - also by these eleven dictionaries - but much work remains to be done.

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