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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); far right politics; social movements and Europe; transnationalisation of collective action and networks; qualitative methods of social research (focus groups; interviews; frame analysis). She has directed and collaborated in a number of international projects on topics relating to: social movements; 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: Social Movement Studies, 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 and Manès Weisskircher (2021), Anti-Nationalist Europeans and Pro-European Nativists on the Streets: Visions of Europe from the Left to the Far Right, Social Movement Studies,
2. 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.
3. 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)
4. With O. Cisar (2018), Radical Right Movement-parties in Europe, Routledge.
5. 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.
6. With L. Parenti, (2013) European and American Extreme Right Groups and the Internet, Ashgate.
7. With D. della Porta and C. Wagemann (2012), Mobilizing on the Extreme Right, Oxford University Press.

Projects and activities:

1.2022-2024 ‘Social sustainability and gender inequalities: culture, politics and economy’, Programma congiunto  PRO3 (DM n. 289/2021).
2. 2021-2022 ‘Tackling illiberal narratives and Euroscepticism from below’, Europe for Citizens Program (number: 625696-CITIZ-1-2020-1-MK-CITIZ-CIV), principal investigator SNS.
3. 2019-2021 ‘Populism and Popular Music in Europe’, Volkswagen Stiftung (n. No A126160), principal investigator SNS.
4. 2018-2020 ,‘The consequences of Populism in Power’, SNS Research Grant.
5. 2016-2019, PRIN (Italian Research Ministry Funds) Project on “Politics e Policy in Europa in tempo di crisi: Cause e Conseguenze”, principal investigator SNS.
6. 2016 - 2018 SNS Research Grant, SNS, “Right-Wing Political Radicalization Using the Internet in Eastern and Central Europe”, Project coordinator.
7. 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 students in areas related to:

• Social Movements, Europeanization and European mobilizations
• Right Wing and Left Wing Populism and political identity
• Far Right Politics
• Transnationalization of collective action, and social networks
• Methods: focus groups, visual and frame analysis, qualitative interviews, social network analysis, protest event analysis (and surveys)

Current (phd) Supervisees:

•    Jacopo Custodi (on the radical left and nationalism)
•    Beatrice Carella (on left wing populism in power)
•    Nicolò Pennucci (on counter populist social movements)
•    Ivan Tranfic (on anti-gender social movements)
•    Aida Kapetanovic (on collective identity in divided societies)
•    Bathuan Erren (on diffusion of mobilization)
•    George Venizelos (on populism in power and discourses of political identification)
•    Francesca Feo (on populism and political representation)
•    Damla.Keskekci (on the transnationalization of radical right social movements)
•    Karlo Kralj (on left wing movement-parties in the balkans)


•    Alessio minonozzi (on religion and populism)
•    Federico Stefanutto (on gender and radical right politics)
•    Francesca Pignataro (on femonationalism)