Over the last fifty years, the study of late modern and contemporary history has enormously expanded in Italy and elsewhere. The field attracted many scholars from younger generations, strengthened its presence in university curricula, and assumed a central role in funding programs for historical research. The growing status of the field appears to be characterized by two contradictory aspects: on the one hand, an extension of the spatial perspective of analysis, with a new interest in the global dimension; on the other hand, a contraction of the period under study, as new research has often narrowed its focus to the twentieth century. The editorial board of «Storica» drew up a document that tackles this paradox and the complex relationship between modern history and the social sciences, and asked a group of six Italian modern historians to debate it in a workshop. This section contains their reflections.
Keywords: Late modern and contemporary history, Historical research method, Italian historical studies