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Manuela Caiani

Associate Professor


055 2673 311

Manuela Caiani is Associate Professor in Political Science at the Scuola Normale Superiore  (Florence, Italy) and affiliated scholar at the Cosmos Center for Social Movement Studies (SNS). She received the national Italian Abilitazione for full professorship in Political Science; and in Political Sociology, in 2017. Her research focuses on Social Movements and Europeanization; Far Right Politics; Extremism online; Right Wing and Left Wing Populism; Movement-parties; Qualitative methods of social research. She is Convenor of the Standing Group ‘Political Participation and Social Movements’ of the Italian Association for Political Science (SISP) and Coordinator of the Master in Political Science and Sociology of the Scuola Normale Superiore. She is Co-director of the International Observatory on Social Cohesion and Inclusion-OCIS, She has directed and collaborated in various international projects (Horizon projects; Volskwagen Stiftung; Europe for Citizens Program; FP4, FP5, FP7; PRIN; Marie Curie; Research Grant Jubilaumsfonds, ONB; Doctoral TRA Fellowship, START Center, 2009, University of Maryland). She published in, among others, the following journals: Social Movement Studies, EJPR, Mobilization, Acta Politica, West European Politics, Government and Opposition; European Union Politics, South European Society and Politics, RISP and for the following publishers: Oxford University press, Ashgate, Palgrave, Routledge.

Among the most recent publications:

  • Caiani, M, Susasnzky, P. & Saridakis, N. (2024), "Radical Right and Anti-Vax Protests Between Movements and Parties: a Comparative Study", Acta Politica.
  • Caiani, M. et al. (2024), “European Narratives and Euroscepticism in the Western Balkans and the EU”, Routledge.
  • Manuela Caiani & Balša Lubarda (2023) “Conditional environmentalism of right-wing populism in power: ideology and/or opportunities?”, Environmental Politics, DOI:
  • Caiani, M. (2023). “Framing and social movements”. Discourse Studies, 25(2), 195–209.
  • Caiani, M. & Padoan, E. (2023), “Populism and (Pop) Music”, Palgrave.
  • Caiani, M. & Weisskircher, M. (2022), “Anti-Nationalist Europeans and Pro-European Nativists on the Streets: Visions of Europe from the Left to the Far Right”, Social Movement Studies, 21:1-2, 216-233
  • Caiani, M. (2022) “Movements and Parties: An introduction”, PACO Participation and Conflict, Vol.15, no 3,
  • Caiani, M. et al. (2021) “Online Hate Speech and the Radical Right in Times of Pandemic”, Javnost - The Public, 28:2, 202-218.
  • Manuela Caiani and L. Parenti, (2013) European and American Extreme Right Groups and the Internet, Ashgate.
  • Manuela Caiani, D. della Porta and C. Wagemann (2012), Mobilizing on the Extreme Right, Oxford University Press.

Funded Projects:

  • 2023-2026 CIDAPE  ‘Climate, Inequality, and Democratic Action: The Force of Political Emotions’,   HORIZON-CL2-2023-DEMOCRACY-01-04, Principal investigator.
  • 2022-2025 AUTHLIB ‘Neo –Authoritarianisms in Europe and the liberal democratic response’,   Horizon 2021 (HORIZON-CL2-2021-DEMOCRACY-01-01), Principal investigator.
  • 2022-2025 GOLDSTEIN – Debunking Political Uses of Denialisms and Conspiracy Theories in EU, Jean Monnet Programme/Module, partner
  • 2022-2024 ‘Democratic Challenges, Social sustainability and Gender inequalities’, Programma congiunto PRO3 (DM n. 289/2021), Principal investigator/project coordinator.
  • 2021-2022 ‘Tackling illiberal narratives and Euroscepticism from below’, Europe for Citizens Program (number: 625696-CITIZ-1-2020-1-MK-CITIZ-CIV), Principal investigator.
  • 2019-2021 ‘Populism and Popular Music in Europe’, Volkswagen Stiftung (n. No A126160), PI.
  • 2018-2020 ‘The consequences of Populism in Power’, SNS Research Grant, Project Coordinator
  • 2016-2019, PRIN (Italian Research Ministry Funds) Project on “Politics e Policy in Europa in tempo di crisi: Cause e Conseguenze”, PI.
  • 2016 - 2018 SNS Research Grant, SNS, “Right-Wing Political Radicalization Using the Internet in Eastern and Central Europe”, PI.
  • 8. 2010 - 2012 Research Grant Jubilaumsfonds, Oesterreichische National Bank,  “The Dark Side of the Web European and American Extreme Right Groups and online Politics” (n. 14035), Project Coordinator, IHS, Wien.

Research interest and Phd Supervision:

Prof. Caiani  is open to supervising empirically-oriented research in areas related to:

  • Social Movements and Europeanization/Transnationalization of protest mobilizations, identities, networks
  • Far Right Politics
  • Extremism online
  • Movement-parties
  • Populism
  • Social Movements in the East/Balkans
  • Qualitative Methods of social research (focus groups, visual and frame analysis, qualitative interviews, social network analysis, protest event analysis, etc.).

Current (phd) Supervisees:

  • Alexsandr Shishov (European Identities of the radical right)
  • Nathasha Aidoo (Urban Feminism)
  • Beatrice Carella (Left wing populism in power)
  • Nicolò Pennucci (Anti populist social movements)
  • Damiano Kerma (with Unipi) (Music and grassroots populist mobilization)
  • Ivan Tranfic (Anti-gender social movements)
  • Aida Kapetanovic (Collective identity in divided societies)
  • Bathuan Eren (Diffusion of mobilization)
  • Damla.Keskekci (The transnationalization of radical right social movements)
  • Saridakis Nikolaos (with Panteion Univ.) (Radical right protest and Corona)
  • Bucci Gianmarco (Movement-parties)
  • Deniz Aktan (Sport and political participation)
  •  Maximilian Weckermann (with WZB) (Imagined future of the far right)
  • Masika Vaninetti (East African Community and Social networks)
  • Lorenzo Fruganti (counter terrorism policies, coalitions and networks)
  • Eduardo GONCALVES (left behind and collective re-mobilizations) 
  • Ghadir Abumiddain (gender and nation in divided societies)