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Manuela Caiani

Professore Associato


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Manuela Caiani is Associate Professor in Political Science at the Scuola Normale Superiore of Pisa. She has received her national Italian ‘Abilitazione’ for full professorship in Political Science and Political Sociology, in 2017. Since 2019 she is Convenor of the Standing Group ‘Political Participation and Social Movement’, Italian Association for Political Science (SISP).

Her research interests focus on: populism (left wing and right wing); right wing extremism and the Internet; the radical right; social movements and political mobilisation; Europeanization/transnationalisation of social movements; qualitative methods of social research (focus groups; interviews; frame analysis, social network analysis, etc.). She has directed and collaborated in a number of international projects on topics relating to: social movements and Europeanization, radical right mobilization and extremism (online), populism, disengagement from terrorism (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: WEP, EJPR, Mobilization, Acta Politica, European Union Politics, South European Society and Politics, RISP and for the following publishers: Oxford University press, Ashgate, Palgrave.


Among the most recent publications:

  1. Manuela Caiani, Benedetta Carlotti & Enrico Padoan (2021) ‘Online Hate Speech and the Radical Right in Times of Pandemic’, Javnost - The Public, 28:2, 202-218.
  2. Caiani, M., Padoan, E., & Marino, B. (2021). ‘Candidate Selection, Personalization and Different Logics of Centralization in New Southern European Populism’. Government and Opposition, 1-24.
  3. Caiani M, Padoan E. (2021) ‘Populism and the (Italian) crisis: The voters and the context’. Politics. 41(3):334-350.
  4. Manuela Caiani & Paolo Graziano (2019) ‘Understanding varieties of populism in times of crises’, West European Politics, 42:6, 1141-1158, DOI: 10.1080/01402382.2019.1598062 (Published also as edited book  for Routledge 2021)
  5. With O. Cisar (2018), Radical Right Movement-parties in Europe, Routledge.
  6. With P. Graziano, (2018) ‘Europeanisation and social movements: The case of the Stop TTIP campaign’, European Journal of Political Research, Vol 57, Issue 4, pp: 1031-1055.
  7. With L. Parenti, (2013) European and American Extreme Right Groups and the Internet, Ashgate.
  8. With D. della Porta and C. Wagemann (2012), Mobilizing on the Extreme Right, Oxford University Press.

Projects and activities:

  1. 2021-2022 ‘Tackling illiberal narratives and Euroscepticism from below’, Europe for Citizens Program (number: 625696-CITIZ-1-2020-1-MK-CITIZ-CIV).
  2. 2019-2021 ‘Populism and Popular Music in Europe’, Volkswagen Stiftung (n. No A126160).
  3. 2018-2020  ‘The consequences of Populism in Power’, SNS internal Grant. 
  4. 2016-2019, PRIN (Italian Research Ministry Funds) Project on “Politics e Policy in Europa in tempo di crisi: Cause e Conseguenze”, Head of the Unity- SNS.
  5. June 2016 - Jun 2018 SNS Research Grant, SNS, PI for the project “Right-Wing Political Radicalization Using the Internet in Eastern and Central Europe”, Italy.
  6. 2010 - 2012 Research Grant Jubilaumsfonds, Oesterreichische National Bank, PI for the project “The Dark Side of the Web European and American Extreme Right Groups and online Politics” (n. 14035), IHS, Wien.

Research interest and Phd Supervision:

Prof. Caiani is open to supervising students in areas related to:

  • Social Movements, Europeanization and European Protest Campaigns
  • Right Wing and Left Wing Populism
  • Radical Right extremism
  • Collective mobilization, transnationalization, and social networks
  • Methods: focus groups, formalized content analysis, frame analysis, interviews, social network analysis, protest event analysis, visual analysis

Current (phd) Supervisees:

  • Jacopo Custodi
  • Beatrice Carella
  • Nicolo’ Pennucci
  • Ivan Tranfic
  • Aida Kapetanovic
  • Bathuan Erren
  • George Venizelos
  • Francesca Feo
  • Damla.Keskekci
  • Karlo Kralj


  • Alessio minonozzi
  • Federico Stefanutto
  • Francesca Pignataro