• 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


Giulia Vicentini earned the Ph.D. in “Comparative and European Politics” at the University of Siena (Centre for the Study of Political Change – CIRCaP) in January 2013. In 2011 she was visiting scholar at the Heinrich Heine University of Düsseldorf under the supervision of Professor Thomas Poguntke. She worked as teaching assistant at the universities of Florence and Siena and collaborated to several national and international research projects. From October 2014 till July 2016 she had a post-doc position at the University of Trento, working as project manager within the Research Support Office. Since August 2016 she is a post-doc fellow at the Scuola Normale Superiore, working on the project “La dinamica del sistema universitario italiano: le risposte istituzionali alla valutazione della ricerca e ai nuovi meccanismi di allocazione del finanziamento pubblico”, on behalf of the Italian Centre for Research on Universities & HE Systems (UNIRES). Before approaching the study of higher education policies, her research interests (and related publications) dealt mainly with candidate and leadership selection, primary elections, internal organization of European political parties, political elites.

5 Most recent publications:

  1. Vicentini G. (2016), “L’europeizzazione dell’elite politica italiana ai tempi della crisi”, Polis, 3, 283-309
  2. Vicentini G. (2015), “From ‘Foreign Body’ to PD Leadership and Beyond. Explaining Matteo Renzi’s Path to Power through the Evolution of his Primaries’ Voters”, Contemporary Italian Politics, 7(2), 127-143
  3. Vicentini G. (2014), “Does Inclusiveness Affect Divisiveness? A Comparative Analysis of Leadership Races in Five Western European Countries”, Italian Political Science Review, 44(1), 55-80
  4. Vicentini G. (2014), Le primaires citoyennes del Parti Socialiste (2011) e le primarie di Italia Bene Comune (2012): molte somiglianze, esiti diversi”, Quaderni dell’Osservatorio elettorale, 71, June
  5. Vicentini G. (2013), “Selecting the Leader in Italy and Spain”, Revista Espaňola de Ciencia Política, 33, November, 11-30

5 Relevant previous projects:

  • 2016-2018: Cost Action PROSEPS (Professionalization and Social Impact of European Political Science) – Scuola Normale Superiore
  • 2016-2018: PRIN project “Comparing Governance Regime Changes in Higher Education: systemic performances, national policy dynamics, and institutional responses. A multidisciplinary and mixed methods analysis” - Scuola Normale Superiore
  • 2016: H2020 Collaborative Research Project EuEngage (University of Siena):  organization and data collection of the elite survey and Online deliberation
  • 2014-2016: Il finanziamento dei progetti di ricerca: analisi comparativa delle caratteristiche degli strumenti locali, nazionali ed internazionali a finanziamento delle attività di ricerca e supporto allo sviluppo e definizione della proposta operativa, attraverso l’utilizzo degli specifici strumenti informatici sui portali dedicati, University of Trento - Divisione supporto alla ricerca e al trasferimento tecnologico
  • 2014: Comparative research project "European National Elite and the Crisis” (ENEC), Unitelma Sapienza and University of Siena - organization and data collection of the elite survey


Higher education; leadership selection, primary elections, political parties, political elite.