Research Centres

Interdepartmental Centre of Research on Political Change (CIRCaP)

Director: Prof. Maurizio Cotta

This Centre was founded in June 1997, in order to pursue research, analysis, documentation and advanced education regarding the problems and processes of political change at the sub-national, national and international level. At this Centre, political science scholars engage in lively interdisciplinary dialogue with representatives of the other main branches of the social sciences.

Interdepartmental Centre for Cognitive Studies of Language (CISCL)

Director: Prof. Luigi Rizzi


  • The Interdepartmental Centre for Cognitive Studies of Language (CISCL) coordinates theoretical, descriptive and experimental studies of language from an interdisciplinary perspective of the cognitive sciences.
  • Organizes cycles of workshops on specific lines of research.
  • Participates in FIRB, COST, PRIN, ESF projects.
  • Hosts research performed for PhD theses in the cognitive sciences referring to language.
  • Hosts Italian and foreign visiting scholars and visiting students who present projects in the lines of research of the CISCL.
  • Hosts student internships.

Organisation of operative units

  • Centre for linguistic documentation (coordinator A. Belletti, room 326): Collection and cataloguing of preprints, theses and other unpublished documents related to linguistics, collection and availability of bodies of work of natural production of those learning a first and second language, of bilingual speakers and of various forms of language pathology.
  • Laboratory for Experimental Linguistics and Syntactic Cartography (coordinator L. Rizzi, room 312): cartographic research on the fine structural mapping of syntactic structures; experimental research on L1 and L2 acquisition and on adult comprehension/production; simulative experiments in computational linguistics.
  • Sector of the Philosophy of Language (coordinator G. Usberti, room 324)
The Interuniversity Centre for Experimental Economics (LabSi)

Director: Prof. Alessandro Innocenti

The Interuniversity Centre for Experimental Economics (LabSi) was founded in 2008 by the University of Siena, the University of Florence, the Second University of Naples and the University of Salerno.

The Centre aims to:

a) promote the use and diffusion of experimental methods in economics through the involvement of scholars with different scientific skills from the fields of economics, cognitive sciences, cognitive psychology and business organisation;

b) develop and coordinate experimental research activity by providing scholars and researchers with the tools needed to perform laboratory research in the economic and cognitive sciences;

c) train specialised staff to ensure the guidance and collaboration needed to prepare and process experimental data;

d) organise conferences, workshops, seminars and didactic activity relative to the use of laboratory methods in the economic and cognitive sciences;

e) stipulate contracts and agreements for research projects and scientific collaboration with public and private institutions.

The Centre’s administrative and organisational headquarters are located at the University of Siena. Its activities are performed at the contracting Universities, and are organised based on the plans and programmes developed by the technical-scientific Committee.

The Interuniversity Centre for the Study of Totalitarian Regimes of the 20th Century (CISRETO)

Director: Prof. Paul Corner

The Interuniversity Centre for the Study of Totalitarian Regimes of the 20th Century (CISRETO) is active in:

a) organising seminars and workshops

b) organising research projects

c) encouraging bilateral and multilateral exchanges between professors and researchers

The Centre is sponsored by Prof. Paul Preston (London School of Economics), Prof. Robert O. Paxton (Emeritus, Columbia, New York), Prof. Katherine Fleming (Remarque Institute, New York University), Prof. Sir Ian Kershaw (Emeritus, University of Sheffield), Prof. Mary Fulbrook (University College, London), Prof. Jie-Hyun Lim, (Hanyang University, Seoul).

The Interuniversity Centre on Cooperation and Interculture (CISCOI)

Director: Prof. Roberto De Vita

The Interuniversity Centre on Cooperation and Interculture (CISCOI) was founded by a group of faculty members of the Department of Political Science of the University of Siena who had long studied migratory processes and international cooperation, with the goal of joining colleagues and researchers from other Departments and other Universities who share the same ideas and fields of study. CISCOI was created through an agreement between the University of Siena, the University of Padova and the Cattolica Sacro Cuore University of Milan. The Centre established a hub for the research and study of themes related to national and international migratory processes, the social transformations of local communities and the development of the third sector. The Centre also created an organisation aimed at gathering, processing and diffusing data and documents on local and national migratory flows, as well as educating and updating information on problems related to multiculturalism and multi-religiosity in the various spheres of daily life.

The Centre maintains a strong network of collaborations with different local authorities and research institutes. Notably, CISCOI has been collaborating with the Region of Tuscany on a project named “integrometer”, aimed at measuring the integration of immigrants, in collaboration with the Foundation for Initiatives and Studies on Multiethnicity (ISMU) of Milan. In the field of Cooperation, Ciscoi is also involved in activities developed by the NGO Oxfam Italy and with the programme Art Universitas – UNOPS (United Nations Office for Project Services).

Centre for Communication Study and Research – Permanent Critical Observatory

Director: Prof. Giovanni Manetti

The Centre for Communication Study and Research – Permanent Critical Observatory was founded in 2000 through a collaboration with the Universities of Siena, Bologna and Pisa and the Municipality of Rosignano-Castiglioncello. It aims to create a cultural space that valorises scientific research on communication as much as activities for mediation between public and private institutions and the world of communications. Every year it organises a cycle of summer conferences and the “Castiglioncello Communication Award”. Each year it also grants two scholarships to graduates in Communication Sciences and guarantees two internships. It has produced numerous publications.

The Center for Semiotics and Theory of Image “Omar Calabrese”

Director: Prof. Tarcisio Lancioni

The Siena Centre for the Semiotics of Text, today namedThe Center for Semiotics and Theory of Image Omar Calabrese”, performs research aimed at semiotic analysis and text interpretation, with particular attention to visual objects and the figurative dimension of texts.

Over the years, a strong network of scholars has been created, who find common ground for dialogue and research in semiotics and the theoretical-critical study of images. This network communicates its ideas in the journal Carte Semiotiche. Rivista internazionale di semiotica e teoria dell’immagine, (“Semiotic Papers. International Journal of Semiotics and Theory of Image”) founded by Omar Calabrese.

The Center also organises meetings and conferences for critical discussion and the divulgation of research results.