After more than 20 years, the Centre has changed its structure and broadened its research scope. The founding partners of the ‘new’ CIRCaP  are the Department of Social and Political Sciences at the University of Florence, the Department of Political Sciences at the University of Pisa and the Department of Social Political and Cognitive Science at the University of Siena, the latter serving as the administrative coordinator.

The Centre regularly accepts Visiting Scholars from Italian and foreign Universities that take part in the teaching and research activities. Specialized courses, which are particularly focused on research methodologies, complete the advanced training offered at the Centre.

CIRCaP mainly promotes research activities in the following areas:

  • Comparative analysis of the European political elites and of their recruitment processes;
  • Analysis of public opinion, with a particular focus on the themes of national and European identity and the public’s beliefs on foreign and defence policy issues;
  • Study of political behaviour and elections;
  • Comparative analysis of parliamentary and governmental institutions;
  • Analysis of the relationship between domestic politics and the European integration;
  • Analysis of political language;
  • Theories of political class.

CIRCaP operates as a reference point for international networks (e.g. the scientific network EurElite, supported by the European Science Foundation) and research projects (e.g., the IntUne project, which was part of the 6th Framework Programme, the Europolis project and the Transworld project which were part of the EU’s 7th Framework Programme).

CIRCaP was home to a number of large research projects funded by some of the most prestigious research agencies, which include IntUne (6th Framework Programme, 2005-2009), Europolis (7th Framework programme, 2008-2010), and Euengage (H2020, 2015-2018) in the role of coordinator; members of the CIRCaP also led work packages in several projects, including Transworld (7th Framework programme, 2008-2010) and IMAJINE (H2020, 2017-2002).

Currently, CIRCaP coordinates a H2020 project on participatory democracy, EUComMeet, and participates in other H2020 projects: JOINT, focused on the developments of the EU’s foreign and security policy; EnTrust, providing novel insights into trust and distrust in governance and measures to support sustainable and democratic societies in Europe.

After the launch of the Standing Group of the Italian Political Science Association (SISP) on Parties, Public Opinion and Elections (POPE), CIRCaP has become the headquarters of the Italian Political Science Association (SISP).

Connected to these activities, CIRCaP creates and updates some important databases: on the parliamentary and governmental elites; on governments and political parties’ programs; on public opinion and foreign policy. Members of the CIRCaP research team have also produced several datasets, which are available online. These include: Euengage survey datasetImajine survey dataset; and the FraTerr dataset.

CIRCaP has also published a number of Occasional Papers. Moreover, within the framework of our graduate community and in cooperation with the School of International Studies (University of Trento), the Centre launched the journal Interdisciplinary Political Studies (IdPS), with the primary aim of promoting Open Access publishing and the work of young scholars. Since 2017 IdPS is edited by the University of Salento with the support of the Centre. Moreover, a Working Papers Series in Public and Cultural Diplomacy has been launched to encourage original scientific contributions on these topics.


CIRCaP operates with the collaboration and the administrative support of the Department of Social, Political and Cognitive Sciences at the University of Siena.