A short overview of my main research interests and outputs, and of some of the projects I am working or have worked on.

Decentralisation and party politics

Since obtaining my PhD, I have conducted independent research on the analysis of political parties’ discourse on territorial issues through a party manifestos’ content analysis. On this, I published a book with Palgrave (2019) and journal articles for Regional & Federal StudiesParty Politics, and the Italian Review of Political Science. The ground-breaking aspect of my research was the introduction of framing analysis in coding party positions, which offers a more fine-grained picture of party attitudes, based on how parties justify the salience and position they adopt on policy issues.

This framing analysis has been later included in a Work Package of the H2020 IMAJINE project, which analyses how autonomist movements justify (i.e., frame) their demands for independence and/or greater territorial autonomy. This research resulted in a paper co-authored with Anwen Elias, Núria Franco-Guillén, and Edina Szöcsik, and the open-access Fraterr dataset, while other papers using this data are still in the pipeline.

Public opinion on …

Working with survey data, I wrote several articles and book chapters dealing with public opinion on political issues. Here there are two key themes of my recent research on public opinion.

…Solidarity and burden-sharing

Using survey data from the H2020 EUENGAGE project, I conducted research on public attitudes towards burden-sharing in the EU. In this article (with Francesco Olmastroni) we found that contextual factors influence policy preferences in both masses and elites, with support for solidarity measures being stronger in countries with higher shares of illegal migrants and asylum seekers. Moreover, concern about the flow of migrants to Europe and the overestimation of the immigrant population consolidates the impact of contextual factors. On public and elites support for burden-sharing, I also co-authored a book chapter with Rossella Borri and Luca Verzichelli.


On the theme of sovereigntism, I co-edited a special issue in 2020 with Oscar Mazzoleni for European Politics and Society, which has been then also published as a book by Routledge. We argue that processes such as globalization and supranational integration, which have progressively shifted powers and competencies away from nation-states, have created a fertile terrain for reactions against the sources of such insecurity. They find full expression in the sovereignist claims to ‘take back control’, that is to say, to return to the traditional understanding of sovereignty being based upon mutually exclusive territories. These sources of insecurity and social unrest have also provided structures of political opportunity for the electoral success of populist parties. Hence, we propose a new research agenda to study populist mobilization that focuses on the linkage between populism and sovereignism. Our editorial has been widely cited and paved the way to further research on the link between sovereigntism and populism.

For instance, in this article (with Rossella Borri and Luca Verzichelli) we find that some predictors, like conspiracy thinking, party-cueing, and political efficacy explain public support for sovereigntist claims. In this paper, Rossella Borri and I show that the conflicts of sovereignty seem to provide some electoral advantage to the populist radical right parties (PRRPs) like the Lega and Brothers of Italy over other competing parties in the electoral arena.

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Territorial inequalities

Territorial inequalities are evident and deepening on every geographical scale, including between European regions. Scholarly and policy attention often focuses on the impact of such inequalities on territories’ economic and societal growth. Yet, territorial inequalities also directly impact individuals in terms of opportunities and constraints for self-realisation. In other words, they are a matter of social (in)justice.

Thanks to the IMAJINE project, I had the opportunity to deepen my knowledge of spatial justice, while combining my research interests in territorial politics and public opinion. It also allowed me to build a broad and stable academic network that will support and encourage this line of research and provide useful advice. I am currently working on some research projects on the impact of territorial inequalities. My first peer-reviewed paper on the topic examines how the unequal distribution of social and economic resources (or “capitals”) explain different turnout rates across Italian regions.

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Deliberative and participatory processes

In working on projects like Siena Siamo NoiTRANSWORLDEUENGAGEExcellence Department, and AGRIFOODMED, I also became interested in participatory methods, deliberative processes (mostly online) and forecasting methods like scenario building and Delphi. Of particular note, I coordinated the design and fieldwork of 3 online deliberative events and two Delphi exercises. Currently, I am a member of the team of the H2020 EuComMeet project on deliberative events. Moreover, I am also writing two chapters on online deliberations and I co-authored a scientific article on the Delphi on the Agrifood sector with Marta Antonelli, Francesca Gagliardi and Pierangelo Isernia.

Electoral politics, political behaviour

As an Italian political scientist, I contribute occasionally with comments and research insights on Italian politics, using survey data. In 2018, I provided a comment on the government’s formation.

In the occasion of the recent general elections of 25 September 2022, I wrote three book chapters on, respectively, how the socio-demographic characteristics of Italian voters have influenced vote choices, and voters’ positions on the Ukraine war.

Open data and Research transparency

In my academic career, I spent a lot of time designing survey questionnaires, conducting fieldwork, and cleaning datasets. That’s why I gained expertise and knowledge in the complex world of Data Management.


Over the recent decades, political science has witnessed an increased focus on the use of data. This requires a profound reflection on the need and opportunities, but also the challenges and constraints that the discipline faces to promote a culture of open data. Making data “as open as possible, as closed as necessary” (H2020 Guidelines on FAIR Data Management) makes research more visible, accessible, replicable, and ultimately, more credible.

Moreover, open data allows for proper and safe storage of data. However, there is still the need to increase awareness of the benefits of open data, as well as the knowledge of the protocols to make data FAIR.

Furthermore, the time investment required to make data open should be properly acknowledged, for example in competitions for tenured positions by counting as much as research articles in peer-reviewed journals, when evaluating a scholar’s research impact. Moreover, the correct citation of datasets’ authors should be ensured in research articles using them.

As journal editors, we must actively contribute to promote a culture of open data.

With my colleagues Alasdair Blair and Fiona Buckley, I co-authored an Editorial for EPS where we present the new guidelines for research transparency and open data when publishing in EPS. Furthermore, it reflects on the importance of research transparency, the challenges that it faces, and offers a few proposals to foster a culture of open data.

You can also watch my contribution at the 20202 ECPR General Conference’s Roundtable titled “Developing an ecosystem of FAIR, Linked, and Open Data in and beyond Political Science”.