• 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 three academic structures: the Faculty of Humanities, the Faculty of Mathematical and Natural Sciences, placed in Pisa, and the Institute of Humanities and Social Sciences, located in Palazzo Strozzi 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 Mathematical and Natural Sciences, and the Institute of Humanities 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 Institute of Humanities 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

Istituto di Scienze Umane e Sociali
Piazza degli Strozzi, 1
50123, FIRENZE


Mario Quaranta obtained a PhD in Political Science (cum laude) in 2013 from the Istituto Italiano di Scienze Umane (now part of the Scuola Normale Superiore), Firenze (Italy), and he is currently a post-doctoral fellow at the same institution. Previously, he was post-doctoral fellow in the Department of Political Science at LUISS University, Roma (Italy), where he still teaches “Political science” (BA) and “Quantitative methods for political research” (PhD). He was vising fellow at the Center for the Study of Democracy, University of California (USA), and at the Department of Sociology, Universiteit Utrecht (NL). He has been involved in several research projects on quality of democracy, political participation, public opinion, and collection of survey data. His articles have appeared, among others, in Current Sociology, Information, Communication & Society, International Political Science Review, Electoral Studies, European Political Science Review, Social Science Research, Social Indicators Research and West European Politics. His book “Political protest in Western Europe: Exploring the role of context in political action” was published by Springer in 2015.

5 Most recent publication

  1. Quaranta, M. (2017) How citizens evaluate democracy: An assessment using the European Social Survey. European Political Science Review (2017). Online first. doi: 10.1017/S1755773917000054
  2. Quaranta, M. (2016) The meaning of democracy to citizens across European countries: Exploring the complexity of views and the factors involved.” Social Indicators Research (2016). Online first. doi: 10.1007/s11205-016-1427-x
  3. Quaranta, M., e Dotti Sani, G. M. (2016) The relationship between the civic engagement of parents and children: A cross-national analysis of 18 European countries. Nonprofit and Voluntary Sector Quarterly 45(6): 1091-1112
  4. Mosca, L., and Quaranta, M. (2016) News diets, social media use and non-institutional participation in three communication ecologies: Comparing Germany, Italy and the UK. Information, Communication & Society 19(3): 325–345
  5. Quaranta, M. (2016) Protesting in ‘hard times’: Evidence from a comparative analysis of Europe, 2000–2014. Current Sociology 64 (5): 736–756


  • Comparative political behavior
  • Comparative public opinion
  • Political participation
  • Attitudes towards democracy