PhD project


Research interests, PhD Thesis and beyond..

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

My doctoral dissertation focused 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 aimed at going one step forward, looking at the political – or, better, non-economic – variables influencing accountability in these countries.

I considered 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 covered 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, aimed 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, democratic responsiveness, issue voting and electoral integrity.

 My research experience abroad

Below the tremendous EIP Team and 2016 Visiting Fellows I had the pleasure to work with in Sydney and the Visiting Researchers I had the pleasure to meet during my stay in Cologne. (click to enlarge)

My Doctoral Defence

On July 10th 2017 I completed the three-year journey defending successfully my PhD thesis at LUISS University. My greatest thanks go to my supervisor, Leonardo Morlino, for having accepted me as doctoral student three years ago. My gratitude goes also to Pippa Norris and Alessandro Nai – as well as the rest of the research team – for having accepted me for a semester at the University of Sydney within the Electoral Integrity Project. Apart from them, thanks to my friends who make this experience unforgettable and my family who made this achievement possible. (click to enlarge)