Giovanni Sartori and Norberto Bobbio, two of the most distinguished exponents of the European political culture of the Twentieth century, were the main architects of the rebirth of Italian political science in the Fifties and Sixties of the last century. Political science was born in Italy in the climate of Positivism of the late Nineteenth century, but it was soon suffocated at the turn of the new century by new currents of thought (legal formalism and idealist philosophy). After World War II, political science in Italy was still neglected, despite Idealism was then losing ground. This is why Sartori, in partic-ular, influenced by US political science, worked since the early 1950s to revive the dis-cipline and ensure it full academic legitimacy. Based on the unpublished correspond-ence between Sartori and Bobbio, this paper sheds new light on the role played by both scholars in the re-foundation of contemporary political science in Italy. It is ar-gued that while Sartori and Bobbio shared the assumption that political science was firstly an empirical discipline, they actually had different views about its ultimate pur-poses.
Keywords: Giovanni Sartori, Norberto Bobbio, correspondence, political science, politics, Italy after World War II