Research Groups

For more information consult the section dedicated to “Research groups” on the University Portal.

Political behaviour, rational choice and public decisions

The study of individual choices in the fields of politics and economics. The main branches of research are: - The analysis of political behaviour, with particular reference to the evolution of voters’ choices (Bellucci). – The analysis of the behaviours of public opinion regarding public policy (Isernia). – Strategic integration, rationality and the principles of justice (Farina). – Statistical models of choice under conditions of risk (Palmitesta). The analysis of learning processes and the spread of information in the presence of heterogeneous agents (Innocenti). – The normative and empirical analysis of deliberation (Lumer, Isernia). – The epistemological approach to argumentative theory (Lumer).

Philosophy and cognitive studies

This project aims to investigate how contemporary philosophy reacts to the growing divide between common sense and science regarding human nature, and to better understand the origin, nature and implications of this divide, in order to overcome it or, if that proves impossible, to at least be able to live with it in an ethical and psychologically tolerable manner. Therefore, the following themes will be examined, from the point of view of the philosophy of mind and language, epistemology and moral philosophy: 1) STUDIES ON COGNITIVE NATURALISM AND CONSCIENCE 2) EPISTEMOLOGY, SEMANTICS AND ARGUMENTATIVE THEORY 3) ETHICAL NORMS FOR THE MODERN WORLD 4) PROOF THEORY, INTUITIONISM, REALISM/ANTI-REALISM, TRACTATUS, PRAGMATICS.

Globalisation, nationalisms, wars

The 20th Century encompasses the contradictions of the contemporary age that is still underway. Technology applied to the art of war has multiplied the destructive potential of the human race, democracy has expanded as a form of government to the majority of nation states, for the first time global relations (migrations, commerce, finance, culture) embrace the planet in its entirety, and religious ideologies have substituted political ones in building personal and collective identities of a totalitarian nature. This research group will analyse these contradictions in the medium and long term, based on interdisciplinary approaches seeking to combine sociology, anthropology, psychology, politology.

Integration and inclusion in a changing Europe

This group will examine the processes of the social, political and cultural integration of European societies, and analyse the consequences of these changes for the ability of national and European institutions to respond to these Themes: The concept of identity and the statute of its recognition, meant as the act of conferring or validating an identity (Sparti). Gender identity with attention to its reproduction in the media (Giomi) and to its formation, in particular in the new forms of family (Grilli). Practices of capital increase relative to forms of expressive tradition (Mugnaini). The dynamics of the integration of immigrants (Berti, Nasi). The image of immigrants in Italian society (Berti, Nasi, Isernia). The analysis of authority, meant as the totality of the relations of domination (Semboloni). Linguistic integration and linguistic transfers from English used as a lingua franca.

Language, competence, discourse and cognition

This research is structured in two main branches. The first concentrates on themes of linguistics in the comparative dimension. Formal study focuses on the cartography of syntactic structures, the interfaces of cartographic representations with systems of sound and meaning, the theory of place in long-distance dependencies; experimental research examines the acquisition of morphosyntax in a comparative modality: first language, second languages learned as adults, forms of bilingualism and plurilingualism in children, language pathologies. The second involves socio-linguistic research and discourse analysis: the former, with case studies on changes in language, due to mobility in modern Europe and immigration in contemporary Europe; the latter, with the analysis of the language of politics, press texts and television news, in addition to that of Parliament and the judiciary.

Psychology and the design of interaction

Theoretical and experimental research in the fields of communication, cognitive psychology and perception, and the interaction between people and technologies. Divided in: Theories and techniques for communication, social cognition, theories of signals and language, the analysis of perceptual processes relative to multitasking phenomena, the attribution of mental states to technologies, communicative phenomena connected to pathological conditions, the analysis of visual perception. Applied and Theoretical Research in the fields of: the Aesthetics of Interaction, Experience Design, Interaction Design, Embedded Computing, Phenomenology applied to design. The design, development and experimentation of interactive systems, including robotic systems and the Internet of Objects, in different applied areas: mobility services and technologies, smart living, learning, systems for supporting the development of independence for people with disabilities, technologies for public and institutional communication.

Semiotics, persuasive communication, analysis of cultural and communicative processes

Theoretical and empirical research on systems of meaning and cultural and communicative processes. Combining approaches and tools from semiotics and the sociology of cultural and communicative processes, research is organised in two branches: Contemporary semiotic theories; Theories of signals and language, with particular reference to ancient times, the period between the 1600s and the 1800s and to the contemporary age; Persuasive communication; The textual analysis of literature, painting, audiovisuals, music, fashion and media; Devices for representation, with particular attention to the modern and contemporary age; Visual languages and social aesthetics; Society, musical aesthetics and cultural consumption; Studies on identity and interaction; The analysis of cultural processes, change and trends. Scenarios and anticipation.


Theoretical and experimental research in the field of social sustainability, with particular reference to the care, independence and well-being of the person. This research has applications in the areas of systems for supporting the development of the independence of people with disabilities, and the experimentation of non-pharmacological therapies. Starting from theoretical reflection on models of development and inequalities at the international level, research activity will focus on the analysis of the actors involved in the processes of cooperation for development, referring to the role of the Third Sector and NGOs, as well as on the perception and orientation of young generations. In recent years, a new branch of research has investigated the theme of the theory of degrowth, with empirical studies aimed at analysing the behaviour and lifestyles of youth.

European Studies

This group is distinguished for strong thematic integration, and has led broad multidisciplinary studies on the process of European integration for several years. Research is performed using a wide range of tools: the analysis of institutional processes, politics and decisions; studies on mass and elite opinions; discourse analysis; the study of actors’ behaviours; the analysis of induction networks and processes; econometric analysis. Research focuses on the following themes: the transformation of the European institutional framework and its reflections on national systems; changes of public policy in the context of European multi-level governance; the behaviour of political elites and of public opinion regarding supranational institutions; the politics of European enlargement.