• 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. 


Palazzo Strozzi

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


Elena is Assistant Professor at the Institute of Humanities and Social Sciences of the Scuola Normale Superiore. She holds a degree in Communication Sciences (University of Padova, Italy, 2004) and a PhD in Sociology (University of Trento, 2009). She developed her expertise in the study and the use of social network analysis in various field of research (from supra national governance political processes to human-computer interaction) and in conjunction with other analytical techniques, such as lexicon-content analysis. Her most recent research interests pertain to the relationships between collective action/political participation and social media use, as well as big data. Within this area, she is working interdisciplinary to combine technical and social knowledges into the study of socio-technical systems and is employing network analysis techniques and tools. She recently published in international journals and in relevant Italian journals. Her PhD dissertation on Internet governance and multistakeholderism has been released in January 2012 as a book for Lexington Publications.

5 Most recent publications:

  1. Pavan, E. (2017). “Internet intermediaries and online gender-based violence”. In M. Segrave and L. Vitis (edited by) Gender, Technology and Violence. London: Routledge, 62-78
  2. Pavan, Elena and Manuela Caiani (forthcoming 2017). “’Not in my Europe!’ Extreme right online networks and their contestation of EU legitimacy”. In M. Caiani and S. Guerra (edited by) Euroscepticism, Democracy and the Media. Communicating Europe, Contesting Europe. Basingstoke (UK): Palgrave MacMillan, 169-194
  3. Pavan, Elena. 2016. La Network Analysis con NodeXL. Milano: Franco Angeli.
  4. Pavan, E. (2016). “The integrative power of online collective action networks beyond protest. Exploring social media use in the process of institutionalization”. Social Movement Studies – Online first, DOI: 10.1080/14742837.2016.1268956
  5. Padovani, C. and E. Pavan. (2016). “Global Governance and ICTs. Exploring online governance networks around Gender and Media”, Global Networks, 16(3): 350-371

Relevant previous projects:

  1. MAKERS – Movements as Knowledge Producers and Learning Spaces in the Digtial Age, funded by the Scuola Normale Superiore (June 2016, ongoing)
  2. MADRE – MApping public DiscouRse on Equal opportunities, Equal Opportunity Office of the Autonomous Province of Trento (2014 - 2015)
  3. REACtION, REti di Azione Collettiva tra Interazioni ONline ed Offline (Collective Action Networks between Online and Offline Interactions), the Provincia Autonoma di Trento (2012-2014)


Internet and politics, multistakeholder politics, social network analysis, digital research methods, gender and media.