PhD life


Research interests, PhD Thesis and beyond..

My research interests concern the quality of democracy and, in particular, its procedural aspects, i.e. elections and voting behaviour.

My doctoral dissertation focuses on the determinants of electoral accountability in eleven Central and Eastern European countries from the early 1990s to 2015. Questioning the – well-established – economic voting theory traditionally adopted to account for electoral accountability, my research aims at going one step forward, looking at the political – or, better, non-economic – variables influencing accountability in these countries.

I consider eleven EU member States belonging to the former Communist bloc: Bulgaria, Croatia, Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Romania, Slovakia and Slovenia. The analysis covers a span of time ranging from the second democratic election (the first one was held in Poland in 1993) till the last elections held in 2015 in Croatia, Poland and Estonia.

The research, in fact, aims at contributing to the literature on democratic quality, whose aim, in turn, is (also) to measure and evaluate the performance of countries whose elections are rated free by international research centres like Polity IV or Freedom House.

Other recent works – journal and conference articles – focus on specific aspects of democracy: electoral accountability, political legitimacy, issue voting and electoral integrity.

My research experience abroad

1.  The tremendous EIP Team and 2016 Visiting Fellows I had the pleasure to work with in Sydney:


Front L-R: Merete Bech Seeberg (Aarhus University), Nikolay Marinov (University of Mannheim), Pippa Norris (Harvard and Sydney Universities), Ferran Martinez i Coma (University of Sydney), Anaïd Flesken (University of Bristol), Mark Franklin (Trinity College), Hector Millan Díaz (University of Chile). Back L-R: Max Grömping (University of Sydney), Andrea Fumarola (LUISS ‘Guido Carli’ University of Rome), Miguel Angel Lara Otaola (University of Sussex), Jørgen Elklit (Aarhus University), Lisa Fennis (University of Sydney), Karen Bird (McMaster University), Alessandro Nai (University of Sydney)


2. Below, the Visiting Researchers I had the pleasure to meet during my stay in Cologne:


L-R: David Siroky (Arizona University), Filippos Exadaktylos (University of Reading), Seong Hee Kim (Seoul University).