By Gregorio Bettiza

In a recent article published in La Stampa, Marta Dassù uses the current Egyptian crisis as a springboard to raise a series of fundamental questions about the state of social science as a field of enquiry. Her analysis takes on a lot. She laments the failures of political scientists to predict this latest crisis in the Middle East; the dangerous game of using historical analogies when formulating foreign policy; issues of “cognitive dissonance” which regularly affect time-constrained decision makers; and whether the more classical state-centric theoretical paradigms which dominate the discipline of international relations (IR) can effectively explain the complex, interdependent and multilayered globalized world we live in today…