PhD in Social in Political and Social Sciences

The complexity of contemporary technological and social challenges requires the mastering of advanced research tools. The doctoral programme in Political and Social Sciences is designed to train rigorously social scientists able to conduct cutting-edge research.

A doctoral degree in Political and Social Sciences enables a career as academic or other types of professional careers with demand for the capacity of conducting research at the highest level. Such capacity might also be used to develop autonomous entrepreneurial activities. Potential areas of employment include academic institutions, research institutions, public and private organizations.

The programme combines a common set of courses on the methodology of research along with advanced knowledge in specific subfields.

The programme has three curricula:

  • Political Science, including Political Theory
  • International Relations, including Area Studies 
  • Sociology

The acquisition of a common background allows students to carry out a research project grounded in a specific discipline but also to experiment with innovative cross-curricular paths. For instance, the programme aims at integrating the regional expertise typical of area studies with the methodological tools of the social sciences.

The activities to be carried out by PhD students will take place in Palazzo Hercolani and its nearby areas, in Bologna. As such, the PhD programme offers the opportunity to be immersed in the vibrant academic community of the Department which is home to a large number of junior and senior scholars conducting research in the fields of sociology, political science, area studies and international relations. The multidisciplinarity of this academic environment will enhance each student's intellectual exploration and personal development.

Students will also have the opportunity to spend time doing research abroad, as the Department will allocate resources to help to fund their international mobility.

Be prepared to take part in this exciting experience!

List of Research Topics


Curriculum 1: Political Science

- Political Theory

- Authoritarian Regimes

- Democratic Regimes

- Democratic Transitions

- Electoral Politics

- Parties and Party Systems

- Political Participation

- Political Culture

- Comparative Political Institutions

- EU Institutions and Policies

- Public Policy

Curriculum 2: International Studies

- International Political Economy

- International Security

- Strategic Studies

- War and Politics

- Cooperation and Conflict in the International Arena

- International Organizations

- Technological Innovation and International Relations

- Theories of International Relations

- Africa

- Americas

- Asia

- Eastern Europe

- Balkans

Curriculum 3:

- Sociology

- Sociology of Culture

- Communication

- Trust and Social Capital

- Social Media

- Digital Society

- Immigration

- Crime

- Religion and Society

Sociology of Labour