Gianfranco Poggi was born in Italy in 1934. He holds a Ph.D. from the University of California (Berkeley,1964). Throughout his career, he has held tenured positions at the Universities of Florence (1962-64), Edinburgh (1964-88), Virginia (1988-2005), the European University Institute (1995-2002), and the University of Trento (2002-2008). He has taught at several other Universities, among these Sydney, UC Berkeley, Victoria BC, UCLA, Harvard, Washington, and has held Fellowships at the Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences and at The Institute for Advanced Study in Berlin (Wissenschaftskolleg zu Berlin. His teaching and publishing have been mainly in two fields of scholarship: 'classical' social theory - the sociology of political institutions.