Crisis and transition are frequently-used analytical categories in various sciences (hard, human and social ones), although with different heuristic potentials. We begin our itinerary with social sciences, looking for useful contaminations with other knowledge domains. The socio-economic events unfolding in Western countries in the last decade stand out for their higher discontinuity with existing paradigms and mainstream theories. Moreover, in a globalised and increasingly interdependent world, causality and strictly-meant experimental rigour become intrinsically more difficult to be pursued, while newer analytical approaches better dealing with complexity are needed. We review the main themes and challenges posed to economics and sociology, while focusing on the structural crisis and transition faced by the Italian economy and society, which have gradually become a weak partner in the EU. Face to the big societal challenges of the near future, an urgent quest for newer perspectives and socio-economic policies open to interdisciplinarity arises.
Keywords: Crisis, transition, models, interpretation, interdisciplinarity