Research Centres

Centre for the Study of Political Change (CIRCaP)

Director: Prof. Paolo Bellucci


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linguistic documentation (coordinator A. Belletti, room 326): Collection and cataloguing of preprints, theses and other unpublished documents related to linguistics, collection and availability of bodies of work of natural production of those learning a first and second language, of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 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 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 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.