• 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. 

CAIANI Manuela
Prof.ssa Manuela CAIANI
Associate Professor
Tel. +39 055 2673 311

Palazzo Strozzi

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


Manuela Caiani is Associate Professor at the Institute of Scienze Umane e Sociali at the Scuola Normale Superiore (SNS) of Florence. In April 2017 she got the ‘Italian Abilitazione’ for Full professor in Political Science and Political Sociology. Her research interests focus on: Europeanization and social movements, right wing extremism and populism in Europe and the USA, political mobilization and the Internet, qualitative methods of social research, political violence and terrorism. She has been involved in several international comparative research projects (FP4, FP5, FP7) and coordinated research units for individual projects and grants (PRIN Project 2016-2019; Marie Curie 2011-13, FP7-PEOPLE-2009-IEF, n° 252957; Research Grant Jubilaumsfonds, ONB, Oesterreichische National Bank, 2010-2012, project n. 14035; Post-Doctoral TRA Fellowship, START Center, 2009, University of Maryland; Funding Award, CNR-Italian Research Council, 2005). She published in, among others, the following journals: Mobilization, Acta Politica, European Union Politics, South European Society and Politics, RISP and for the following publishers: Oxford University press, Ashgate, Palgrave.

5 most recent publications:

  1. With S. Guerra, (2017) Euroscepticism, democracy and the media: Communicating Europe, Contesting Europe, Palgrave.
  2. With P. R. Graziano, (2016), Varieties of Populism: Insights from the Italian Case, in Italian Political Science Review,  46 (2),1-25.
  3. With L. Parenti (2013), European and American Extreme Right Groups and the Internet, Ashgate.
  4. With D. della Porta and C. Wagemann (2012), Mobilizing on the Extreme Right, Oxford, Oxford University Press.
  5. With D. della Porta (2009), Social Movements and Europeanisation, Oxford, Oxford University Press.

5 Relevant previous projects and activities:

  1. 2016-2019, PRIN (Italian Research Ministry Funds) Project on “Politics e Policy in Europa in tempo di crisi: Cause e Conseguenze”, Head of the Unity- SNS.
  2. June 2016 - Jun 2018 SNS Research Grant, received from the Scuola Normale Superiore, PI for the project “Right-Wing Political Radicalization Using the Internet in Eastern and Central Europe”, Italy.
  3. 2010 - 2012 Research Grant Jubilaumsfonds, Oesterreichische National Bank, PI for the project “The Dark Side of the Web European and American Extreme Right Groups and online Politics” (project n. 14035), IHS, Wien.
  4. 2006 - 2007 CONNEX Network -Connecting Excellence on European Governance. Research group on “Civil Society, Social Capital and Multilevel Governance in Europe”, directed by J. Van Deth and W. Maloney, EC (FP IV).
  5. 2002 - 2005 EU-funded project Europub.Com on the “Europeanisation of the Public Sphere”, directed by R. Koopmans (FP V).  


Caiani is open to supervising students in areas related to:

  • Left wing and Right Wing Populism
  • Radical Right political parties and Movements
  • Social Movements, Europeanization and European Protest Campaings
  • Collective mobilization and social networks
  • Methods: formalized content analysis, frame analysis, interviews, social network analysis

Current Supervisees:

  • Enrico Padoan (project on Populism in Southern Europe and Latin America)
  • Elias Steinhilper (project on transnational networking on migration)
  • Ivan Stefanovsky (project on the outcomes of social movements in South/East Europe)
  • Raffaele Barzuli (project on the Influence of social movements on migration policies)