PhD Programme in Transnational Governance

Professors and Researchers of Italian Universities and Institutions

Professors and Researchers of foreign Universities and Institutions

*In collaboration with Scuola Superiore Sant'Anna*

Research activity

The PhD course in Transnational Governance is organized by the Scuola Normale Superiore in collaboration with the Sant’Anna School of Advanced Studies of Pisa. The course, which ends with a joint Ph.D. degree certificate provided by the two Schools, combines structured teaching with close supervision activities by a dedicated faculty. The duration of the programme and its grants is four years.

The course provides tools to understand conflict and transformation of the relationship between societies and institutions with a theoretical and analytical focus on the role of governance in addressing complex phenomena (including problems linked to globalization and Europeanisation). Contemporary politics is increasingly characterized by processes that go beyond the traditional distinction between national and international spheres. National and supranational actors and institutions interact through trans-national dynamics and forms of governance. These phenomena lead to key methodological, analytical and theoretical challenges to the more traditional approaches to political and social studies. The Ph.D. programme deals with such challenges in a transnational perspective.

Through the lenses of political and social sciences and a multi-disciplinary approach open to the contributions of law and economic studies, the course focuses on institutions, actors and their dynamic interaction at European and global level with a specific attention to the supra-, trans-, and (sub-)national level of governance. The teaching programme is based on two levels. The first level provides a common theoretical and methodological background inspired by political and social sciences (in particular, political science, international relations, EU studies and political philosophy). The second level provides a more specialized training for the analysis of transnational governance, with three specific thematic areas open to cross-fertilisation: International relations, global economy and security; European and comparative politics and governance; Political movements and Trans-national civil society.

The three thematic areas will be addressed through the lenses of political science, sociology, political philosophy, law, and economics.

The Ph.D. programme aims at training scholars and highly-skilled experts who can work in academic institutions, think tanks and research centers, as well as in policy consultancy for international governmental and non-governmental organizations.

Teaching activity

In consultation with their course coordinator, each year PhD candidates will present a study plan to the Department Council where they specify what research and training they plan to do in the incoming academic year. In the first year at the School, students are required to attend and pass 7 compulsory and 1 elective course, for a total amount of 8 courses, each one of 20 hours. From the second to the fourth year, PhD candidates are required to attend and pass 3 elective courses per year.

At the beginning of the first year, the students will be assigned a provisional mentor. At the end of the first year and in agreement with the PhD Board, the students will propose the name of the supervisor of their thesis and its topic for approval by the Department Council.

During the four years of the course, the students are expected to participate in seminars offered by the School and to take part in research internships in institutions both in and outside Italy.

At the end of each academic year, with the exception of the final year, the students will undergo an interview in front of a Committee appointed by the Department Council and including teachers of their course, in order to assess the studies and the research activities carried out during the previous year. Passing the interview means that the students can keep their post and fellowship, and thus be admitted to the following year.

At the interview, the students will present a report on their scholarly activity, their research and its results, on any seminars, congresses, or other scientific activities they have participated in, and it will mention any publications they have produced. For admission to the final year, this report will include a section relating to the progress made in their research project.

Scholarships with a specific research topic and site