My Profile

I was born in Faenza on February 15, 1951.
I graduated from the Faculty of Political Science at the University of Bologna in 1974, and I attended postgraduate studies at the European University Institute (1976-78) and at MIT (1978-79). After a professional experience in the private sector, in 1984 I entered the University of Bologna as a Lecturer in Political Science. -With the exception of a short period at the University of Calabria (1998-2000), I always taught and researched at the University of Bologna where I became Full Professor of Comparative Politics in 2001. Since 2017 I am Chercheur associé at the Cevipof , Sciences Po Paris, and since 2021, after my retirement, I am Professor Alma Mater of the University of Bologna.

My comparative approach to political science led me to interact intensely with the international academic environment both as Visiting professor in many international institutions, and as President of the Research committee in Political Sociology of the International Political Science Association and of the International Sociological Association (2006-2014). At the world congresses of both these associations I organized numerous sessions and panels on issues relating to the relationship between class, religion and the vote.

My research activity has mainly focused on the study of political parties. Initially I concentrated myself on a neglected field of analysis (at that time), that of the extreme right. On this topic I published the first scientific monograph on the Italian neofascist party, the Italian Social Movement (Il Polo Escluso, 1989; revised and updated edition 2023), and the first analysis of the European extreme right presented in an article on the European Journal of Political Research, The Silent Counterevolution (1992), later developed in two books (The extreme right in Europe, 1994; revised and updated edition 2000), and the more comprehensive Extreme Right Parties in Western Europe, 2003; revised and updated edition 2006).
Beyond this specific field, I published many works on the Italian party system, and on some case- studies (Radical Party, Communist Party, Forza Italia). I also devoted my attention to the characteristics, evolution and role of the political party in the political system. On this topic, in addition to a series of essays in international journals (including Party Politics, Comparative Political studies, European Journal of Political Research, West European Politics, Italian Review of Political Science, Revue Française des Sciences Politiques), I have presented my more articulated theoretical and empirical considerations in Party and Democracy. The Uneven Road to Party Democracy (2017), translated into French, Italian and Spanish.
Alongside this main field of study, I have devoted my attention to the relationship between religion and politics in Italy, and to the Italian foreign policy, in connection with the Master in International Relations at the University of Bologna which I directed for several years and where I taught European countries’ foreign policy.
My commitment to the public debate has found an outlet in the editorial activity for some newspapers – Il Sole-24Ore ( 1993- 2012) , la Repubblica (2012-2021) , Domani (2021-) – and the weekly L’Espresso (2007-2017). Finally I have been the editor in chief of the journal of politics and culture Il Mulino (209-2012)