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Political science and sociology

©Scuola Normale Superiore/ foto Laura Lezza

Research activity

The PhD course in Political Science and Sociology of the Scuola Normale Superiore builds upon a methodologically pluralist approach and a multidisciplinary nature, combining structured teaching with close supervision activities by a dedicated faculty. The duration of the programme and of its grants is four years.

The main research areas which have been singled out are organized around the following topics.

Democracy and social movements. In this area, sociological and political science competences converge around political sociology, which bridges the two disciplines through its main focus on the reciprocal influence of political and social transformations. Social movements, civil society, participative democracy, political violence, new media and conflicts are the main concepts addressed in the teaching and research activities. In the best European tradition, the methodological approach will be sensitive to the historical, institutional and cultural specificities, but also oriented to the development of theory.

Comparative/global public policy and international governance. This area addresses, in an innovative way, themes such as the comparative analysis of public policies; the global dimension of public policies; the multilevel governance of public policies, that is the structural and processual characteristics that influence how public policies are decided and implemented in multilevel institutional processes (from the sub-national to the national, and from the supra-national to the international ones, with due attention devoted to the European Union); the structure of regimes and dynamics of international politics (not only foreign policy and defence, but also migration, social, public health, educational, energy and economic development policies).

Comparative politics and society. This area is oriented towards the comparative analysis of a set of major politico-institutional processes, focusing on the interactions between political parties, interest groups, civil society and public opinion. Classical comparative analysis, based on cross-national comparison, is backed up by the study of processes which are territorially multilevel, such as Europeanization and globalization, in the political ‒ but also economic, social, and cultural ‒ spheres.

Teaching activity

The PhD course in Political Science and Sociology of the Scuola Normale Superiore builds upon a methodologically pluralist approach and a multidisciplinary nature, combining structured teaching with close supervision activities by a dedicated faculty. The duration of the programme and of its grants is four years.

The main research areas which have been singled out are organized around the following topics.

Democracy and social movements. In this area, sociological and political science competences converge around political sociology, which bridges the two disciplines through its main focus on the reciprocal influence of political and social transformations. Social movements, civil society, participative democracy, political violence, new media and conflicts are the main concepts addressed in the teaching and research activities. In the best European tradition, the methodological approach will be sensitive to the historical, institutional and cultural specificities, but also oriented to the development of theory.

Comparative/global public policy and international governance. This area addresses, in an innovative way, themes such as the comparative analysis of public policies; the global dimension of public policies; the multilevel governance of public policies, that is the structural and processual characteristics that influence how public policies are decided and implemented in multilevel institutional processes (from the sub-national to the national, and from the supra-national to the international ones, with due attention devoted to the European Union); the structure of regimes and dynamics of international politics (not only foreign policy and defence, but also migration, social, public health, educational, energy and economic development policies).

Comparative politics and society. This area is oriented towards the comparative analysis of a set of major politico-institutional processes, focusing on the interactions between political parties, interest groups, civil society and public opinion. Classical comparative analysis, based on cross-national comparison, is backed up by the study of processes which are territorially multilevel, such as Europeanization and globalization, in the political ‒ but also economic, social, and cultural ‒ spheres.