The Consiglio italiano per le Scienze Sociali (Italian Social Sciences Council, CSS) is the successor to the Comitato per le Scienze Politiche e Sociali (Political and Social Sciences Committee, Co.S.Po.S), which from the mid-1960s to the early 1970s played a fundamental role in the growth of social sciences in Italy, thanks to a three-year grant worth 400,000 dollars from the Ford Foundation and the support of the Adriano Olivetti Foundation. The Committee was formed by seven illustrious scholars, including, on the Italian side, Manlio Rossi Doria and Norberto Bobbio, and on the American side Joseph LaPalombara and Franco Modigliani.
Founded in 1973 as a non-profit association, the CSS was granted legal status in 2002. The deed of establishment was signed back in 1973 by Luigi Firpo, Luciano Gallino, Giuseppe Parenti, Alberto Spreafico and Paolo Sylos Labini. Since 1973 over 120 experts in their fields have been called upon to participate in the Association’s activities as Members, for periods of varying lengths.
CSS’s actions are inspired by the desire to:
- contribute to the development of social sciences in Italy, and in particular to further interdisciplinary work;
- encourage researches that study the biggest problems faced by modern-day society;
- build awareness among public and private decision making centres so that they take into due account the knowledge produced by social sciences to make their decisions well-informed, rational and more effective.
CSS has worked chiefly through Study committees, whose aims are to identify and assess problems deemed to be crucial for the country’s future, taking as a starting point the awareness that this task requires the utmost intellectual freedom, not constrained by daily political pressures. In more recent years the work of Study Committees has been performed through series of residential meetings, and has usually been aimed at producing White Papers. Study Committees can also meet up again even after the publication of the final report in order to identify and study possible developments of the topics they have examined.
President: Luciano Hinna
Vice-President: Carla Rossi
Secretary General: Claudia Lopedote