Picture of Paolo Dardanelli ©Jiri Rezac © Jiri Rezac










My research explores the connections between statehood, nationality and democracy, with a particular focus on the structuring of political systems and the forces shaping their evolution over time. 

Projects and main publications

European Integration and State Restructuring in Western Europe.

This project investigates the causal connections between inter-state integration and intra-state processes of federalisation in Europe on the basis of a cross-sectional and cross-temporal comparative approach. The project is funded by the James Madison Trust.

2014. European Integration, Party Strategies, and State Restructuring: a Comparative Analysis - Appendix. European Political Science Review 6/2: 213-36 [© Cambridge University Press].

2012. Europeanization and the Unravelling of Belgium: a Comparative Analysis of Party Strategies. Acta Politica 47/2: 181-209.

Federalism, Nationality, and Democracy in Switzerland.

This project investigated the nature and evolution of Swiss federalism from a comparative perspective. It dealt with a number of aspects, including its relevance for the evolving confederalism of the EU, the degree to which it is challenged by Europeanisation, its connections with democracy and with national identity. The project was funded by Presence Switzerland, the Institut d’Estudis Autonòmics, the British Academy and the James Madison Trust and led to the following main publications: 

2011. Multi-lingual but Mono-national - Exploring and Explaining Switzerland's Exceptionalism. In Ferran Requejo and Miquel Caminal (eds), Federalism, Plurinationality, and Democratic Constitutionalism - Theory and Cases. Abingdon: Routledge.

2011. The Acid Test? Competing Theses on the Nationality-Democracy Nexus and the Case of Switzerland. Nations and Nationalism 17/2: 357-76 [with Nenad Stojanović].

2008. Multinational Switzerland?. Swiss Political Science Review 14/3: 551-77.

2005. The Dynamics of Confederalism and Federalism: Comparing Switzerland and the EU. Regional and Federal Studies 15/2: 163-85 [with Clive Church].

European Integration and the Politics of Devolution in Scotland.

This project investigated whether European integration had a significant impact on the demand for self-government in Scotland. In particular, it addressed the question of whether the process of integration increased the demand for self-government between 1979 and 1997. On the basis of a comparative analysis over time of the strategies of elite political actors and of the preferences at mass public level, the research concluded that the European dimension played a crucial role in raising the demand for self-government in Scotland between the two points in time. This project started as a doctoral research conducted in the Department of Government of the London School of Economics and was funded by the ESRC under the 1995-2000 Globalisation, Regions and Emerging Markets programme [award No. R00429824368] and by the LSE under the Research Studentship scheme. Its results were reported in a PhD thesis for the University of London and have subsequently been published in the following outputs: 

2009. Europeanization as Heresthetics: Party Competition over Self-Government for Scotland, 1974-97. Party Politics 15/1: 49-68.

2005. Between Two Unions: Europeanisation and Scottish Devolution. Manchester: Manchester University Press.

2005. Democratic Deficit or the Europeanisation of Secession? Explaining the Devolution Referendums in Scotland. Political Studies 53/2: 320-42.

2003. Ideology and Rationality: the Europeanisation of the Scottish National Party. Österreichische Zeitschrift für Politikwissenschaft 32/3: 271-84.

The Implementation of Subsidiarity in the European Union.

This project was concerned with ascertaining the extent to which the principle of subsidiarity had been implemented in EU policy-making after the ratification of the Treaty of Maastricht, which formally enshrined the principle. Taking the European Regional Development Fund as a test case, it concluded that the principle had still not been implemented by the late 1990s. This project started as research for my MA dissertation at the University of Durham and its results were subsequently published in the following article: 

1999. Implementing Subsidiarity: Regional Policy from a British Perspective. Regional and Federal Studies 9/2: 69-88.

Social and Political Factors in the Industrial Development of Turin.

This project investigated the connections between social structures, political agency and industrial development in Turin in the early XX century. It found that Turin's social structures and cultural traditions facilitated industrialisation through the crucial mediating factor of local government's agency. This project started as research for my Laurea thesis at the University of Turin and its results were subsequently published in the following article:

1993. Risorse e transizioni: l'esperienza dell'età giolittiana [Resources and Transitions: the Case of Turin in the Early Twentieth Century]. Sisifo 25: 57-62.