• About SNS

    The Scuola Normale Superiore is a public institute for higher education that in its two centuries of life has earned itself a special place, both in Italy and abroad, a place characterised by merit, talent and scientific rigour. Two types of course are available: the undergraduate course and the PhD course.The teaching activity is distributed among four academic structures: the Faculty of Humanities, the Faculty of Sciences, placed in Pisa; the Department of political and social sciences and the Ciampi Institute, located in Florence.  

  • Admission

    The evaluation for entrance to the first year of the undergraduate course does not include the high school leaving certificate, and the bachelor's degree is not taken into consideration in the entrance examination for the fourth year course. For each PhD course, candidates’ level of competence, talent, motivations and aptitudes to scientific research will be assessed on the basis of their qualifications and research project and an interview.

  • Academics

    The Scuola Normale Superiore offers two types of course: the undergraduate course, leading to first and second level university degrees, and the PhD course, the international equivalent of the Italian Dottorato di ricerca.The teaching and research activity is distributed among three academic structures: the Faculty of Humanities, the Faculty of  Sciences, and the Department of Political and Social Sciences.The first two academic structures, housed at the Pisa site, organize courses for both the  undergraduate course and the PhD course. The Department of Political and Social Sciences, situated in Palazzo Strozzi in Florence, deals only with the PhD course.

  • Research

    A highly qualifying feature of the Normale way is the strong link between teaching and research that is a characteristic of both the undergraduate and the graduate programmes of the Scuola. The research structures of the two Faculties welcome students with a relevant study interest, enabling them to collaborate in a mature way with the activities of the researchers.

  • International

    The Scuola Normale is an institute of a decidedly international nature. Examinations for admission to the undergraduate degree course and for the PhD course are open to all citizens worldwide. A certain number of places on the PhD course are reserved for students from other countries. During the pre laurea and  post lauream teaching courses, study and research programmes are made available at overseas universities and research centres with which the Scuola forms an intense network of collaboration.  The doctorate course in particular is taught in a veritable graduate school in line with the highest international standards. 

Della Porta Donatella Alessandra
Prof.ssa Donatella Alessandra Della Porta
Full Professor
Tel. +39 055 2673331 Off. Mobile +39 3451012494

Dean of the Faculty


Palazzo Strozzi

Dipartimento di Scienze politico-sociali
Piazza degli Strozzi, 1
50123, FIRENZE


Donatella Della Porta is professor of political science, dean of the Institute for Humanities and the Social Sciences and Director of the PD program in Political Science and Sociology at the Scuola Normale Superiore in Florence, where she also leads the Center on Social Movement Studies (Cosmos). Among the main topics of her research: social movements, political violence, terrorism, corruption, the police and protest policing. She has directed a major ERC project Mobilizing for Democracy, on civil society participation in democratization processes in Europe, the Middle East, Asia and Latin America. In 2011, she was the recipient of the Mattei Dogan Prize for distinguished achievements in the field of political sociology. She is Honorary Doctor of the universities of Lausanne, Bucharest and Goteborg. She is the author of 85 books, 130 journal articles and 127 contributions in edited volumes. Citations Google Scholar (April  2017): 23360; h-index 70

5 Most recent publications

  1. Movement Parties in Times of  Austerity (Polity 2017),
  2. Where did the Revolution go? (Cambridge University Press, 2016);
  3. Social Movements in Times of Austerity (Polity 2015),
  4. Methodological practices in social movement research (Oxford University Press, 2014)
  5. Mobilizing for Democracy (Oxford University Press, 2014)

Relevant previous projects:

  • 2011-2016. European Research Council, Advanced Grant, Euros 1 800 000.
  • 2011-2016. National coordinator and steering committee of the EC 7th FP project Anticorrp, Euros 8 000 000 ca.
  • 2006-2010. National partner, Start Project, University of Pennsylvania, US Dollars 150 000
  • 2003-2006. Director of the Research Project on “Democracy in Europe and the mobilization of the society, financed by the EU, Euros 1 000 000
  • 2003—2005, member of the research project on “Democrazia discorsiva”, funded by Ministero per l’Università e la ricerca scientific, Euros 60 000
  • 2002—2005, national partner of the cross-national project on “The Contentious Politics of Unemployment in Europe: Political Claim-Making, Policy Deliberation and Exclusion from the Labour Market”, funded by the European Union. Euros 70 000
  • Since September 2001, national partner of the cross-national project on “The Transformation of Political Mobilisation and Communication in European Public Spheres”, funded by the European Union Euros 100 000
  • December 2001-December 2003, national coordinator of a research project entitled “Partecipazione politica e rappresentanza: I comitati spontanei dei cittadini e le politiche pubbliche dei governi locali”, funded by Ministero per l’Università e la ricerca scientifica.  Euros 50 000
  • 1998-2001, national partner of the cross-national project on “The Transformation of Environmental Activism”, funded by the European Union. Lire 50 000 000


Methodological competences include in-depth interviews, focus groups, participant observation, life histories, protest event analysis, surveys,.

Donatella della Porta is open to supervising students in areas related to:

  • Social movements
  • Political participation
  • Democratic theory
  • Political corruption
  • Political parties
  • Political violence
  • Civil wars

Current supervisees at SNS:

  • Ester Sigillò
  • Huda Alsahi
  • Alexandra Ana
  • Filip Balunovic
  • Raffaele Bazurli