Research on public opinion makes a significant contribution to the activities of the Centre, as shown by the CIRCaP staff’s involvement and coordination of national and transnational research networks, as well as by a strong record of the centre’s external research funding


LAPS (Laboratory on Social and Political Analysis) was created in 2007 by CIRCaP to actively promote and implement public opinion research in different social and political areas. It acts as a Center of Excellence for a team of International scholars at the University of Siena, combining their methodological and professional skills.

LAPS provides research on the development of the principle socio-political-economic indicators relative to both the mass public and the elite political and/or corporate comunities to socio-economic operators, opinion-makers and local, national and international institutions.

LAPS contacts
Administrative office 
Via Mattioli, 10 – 53100 Siena
Tel 0577 235299
Fax 0577 235292


To study the nature of national identity and to asses its impact on attitudes toward immigration, European integration and foreign policy.

Recent activities
In 2004, Paolo Bellucci, Richard Herrmann (Mershon Center, Ohio State), Pierangelo Isernia and Paolo Segatti (University of Milano, Italy), with the scientific advice of Paul Sniderman (Stanford University), carried out a survey in Italy (telephone, by Selecta-GFK) and the US (internet, by Knowledge Network). This research was financed by the Italian Ministry of Education, University and Research (MIUR) [Contract No:20050000186] and the Mershon Center, Ohio State University.

Publications and papers

  • P. Isernia, “Changement et Continuité dans la Culture Politique Italienne ”, in Pôle Sud, No. 19, Novembre 2003.
  • P. Isernia, “L’Europa vista dagli Italiani: vent’anni dopo”, in M. Cotta, P. Isernia, and L. Verzichelli (a cura di), L’Europa in Italia: Elite, opinione pubblica e decisioni, Bologna, Il Mulino, 2005.


To study the determinants of support for the use of force in comparative perspective, approaching the issue at both the individual and aggregate level, and comparing the support for the use of force in different crises and countries, before and after the end of the Cold War.

Recent activities
Pierangelo Isernia and Philip Everts (University of Leiden) are undertaking a systematic collection and content analysis (with the support of Dr. Ebru Canan) of all available questions (more than 3,000) on issues related to the use of force across several international crises (starting from the Gulf crisis of 1990-1991, through Bosnia, Kosovo and the recent Iraq crisis), in Europe and the United States.

Publications and papers

  • B. L. Nacos, R. Y. Shapiro and P. Isernia (eds.), Decision-making in a Glass House: Mass Media, Public Opinion and American and European Foreign Policy in the 21st Century. Lanham, MD: Rowman and Littlefield, 2000.
  • P. Everts and P. Isernia (eds.), Public Opinion and the International Use of Force. London, Routledge, 2001.
  • P. Isernia, “The Rational Public and Foreign Policy in Comparative Perspective”, Journal of Conflict Resolution, vol. 46, No. 2, 2003, pp. 201-224.
  • P. Bellucci and P. Isernia, “Massacring in front of a Blind Audience? Italian Public Opinion and Bosnia”, Circap Occasional Papers, No. 2, 1998, University of Siena. [a revised version has been published in R. Sobel and E. Shiraev (eds.), International Public Opinion and the Bosnia Crisis. Lanham, Lexington Books, 2003]. 
  • P. Everts and P. Isernia, “Uniti attorno alla Bandiera? Le Opinioni Pubbliche di Europa e Stati Uniti di fronte alla Guerra”, ItalianiEuropei, 2, 2003, pp. 49-77.
  • P. Everts and P. Isernia, “Potere, Guerra e Opinione Pubblica: Falchi e Colombe in Europa e Stati Uniti dopo l’Iraq”, ItalianiEuropei, 4, 2003, pp. 169-186.
  • P. Everts and P. Isernia, “Reactions to the 9/11 2001 Terrorist Attack in Countries Outside the US”, Circap Occasional Papers, No. 10, University of Siena.
  • P. Everts and P. Isernia, “The Poll-Trends: The War in Iraq”, Public Opinion Quarterly, vol. 69, No. 2, 2005, pp. 264-323.


To study the degree of convergence/divergence among American and European publics and elites on various international issues (from security issues to the use of military force, the fight against terrorism, multilateralism, the role of NATO, etc.).

Recent activities
There are two main activities in this research field.
Pierangelo Isernia is a member of the Scientific Advisory Committee of the Transatlantic Trend Survey, a yearly project promoted by the German Marshall Fund of the United States and the Compagnia di San Paolo. This survey is conducted in several European countries and in the United States since 2002 on Transatlantic issues. 
In 2004, in connection with the Transatlantic Trend Survey, Circap conducted a pilot study on the Italian parliamentary elites, with the financial support of the Compagnia di S. Paolo. Circap is exploring the possibility of carrying out a survey of the European Parliamentary Elites in the nine countries that are part of the Transatlantic Trend Survey.

Publications and papers

  • “Transatlantic Trend Survey Reports”: 
  • Rapporto CIRCaP, Europa o Stati Uniti? Europeismo e Atlantismo nell’opinione pubblica e nelle élite parlamentari italiane, 2005.
  • R. Asmus, P. Everts, and P. Isernia, “Power, War, and Public Opinion: Looking behind the Transatlantic Divide”, Policy Review, No. 123, February-March 2004, pp. 73-88. [translated in Dutch: “Amerikaanse presidentsverkiezingen en transatlantische betrekkingen”, Vrede en Veiligheid, 33, 3, 2004, pp. 401-421; in Italian: “Quale uso della forza: percezioni Europee e Americane a confronto”, ItalianiEuropei, 4, 2004, pp. 177-194].
  • R. Asmus, P. Everts, and P. Isernia, “Across the Atlantic and the Political Aisle: the Double Divide in U.S.-European Relations”, Transatlantic Trends, 2004.
  • P. Isernia, “Europei e Atlantici: Gli Italiani di Sempre”, Aspenia, No. 26, 2004, pp. 266-278.
  • P. Everts and P. Isernia, “Partners Apart? The Foreign Policy Attitudes of the American and European Publics”, Japanese Journal of Political Science, vol. 5, No. 2, 2005, pp. 229-258.


To study the dimensions, measurement, determinants and consequences of anti-Americanism in Western Europe.

Publications and papers

  • P. Isernia,“Meno anti-Americani di altri”, Aspenia, No. 19, Istituto Aspen, Roma, pp. 242-265.
  • P. Isernia, “Pro-Europe and Pro-America: the Italian Way”, Aspenia, No. 25-26, Istituto Aspen, Roma, pp. 140-152.
  • P. Isernia, Anti-Americanism and European Public Opinion, in S. Fabbrini, ed., America Contested. The Limits and Future of American Unilateralism, London, Routledge, 2005.
  • P. Isernia, Anti-Americanism in Europe during the Cold War, in R. Keohane and P. Katzenstein, eds., The Politics of Anti-Americanism.


To study the long-term evolution of the support for European integration, with a special attention to the formative years of the 1950s and the 1960s.

Recent activities
Pierangelo Isernia and Teresa Ammendola have been collecting survey data (see section data) in anticipation of making available a long-term trend codebook of data on the evolution of the Italian public opinion on European integration from the 1950’s up to now. The archive of the Centre contains more than 120 inquiries of the Italian public beliefs concerning the European integration in the period 1952-1999 and available upon request.

Publications and papers

  • T. Ammendola and P. Isernia, “European integration and Public Opinion in Italy”, paper presented to the seminar Elites and Public Opinion Transformation in a Context of Growing Supranational Integration: the Italian Case, 27 May 2002, University of Siena.
  • T. Ammendola and P. Isernia, “Europeismo degli italiani”, in Maurizio Cotta, Pierangelo Isernia and Luca Verzichelli (eds.),L’Europa in Italia, Bologna, Il Mulino, 2005.

The research was made possible thanks to a financial contribution of the Compagnia di S. Paolo, the MIUR (project Mutamento dell’identità nazionale e ruolo del sistema Italia sullo scacchiere europeo) and the University of Siena (Quote PAR, 2000, 2001 and 2002).


ITANES is the Italian National Election Study program. Its origins date back to the early 1990s when the Istituto Cattaneo, within a project aimed at studying the transformation of the Italian political system, carried out two post-electoral surveys (in 1990 and 1992). With the 1994 first majoritarian elections, the Cattaneo program was joined by researchers from several Italian universities which now constitute the ITANES group. ITANES carries out extensive surveys, marking the occasion of the Italian Parliamentary elections, which are financed by the Italian Ministry of Educations and Research (MIUR). Members of the ITANESSteering Committee are: Paolo Bellucci (University of Siena), Piergiorgio Corbetta (University of Bologna and Istituto Cattaneo), Patrizia Catellani (Università Cattolica, Milano), Marco Maraffi (University of Milano) Paolo Segatti (University of Milano), Salvatore Vassallo (University of Bologna and Istituto Cattaneo).

Publications and papers

  • P. Bellucci, “Why Berlusconi’s landslide return?”, in Politische Vierteljahresschrift, 49,4:605-617, 2008.
  • P. Bellucci & P. Segatti (eds.), Il ritorno di Berlusconi. Vincitori e vinti nelle elezioni del 2008, Bologna, il Mulino, 2008.
  • P. Bellucci, “Changing Models of Electoral Choice in Italy”, in Modern Italy, vol. 12, 2007 pp. 55-72.

For further details check the ITANES website


CNEP is a comparative project aimed at studying the transformation of politics and social structures in contemporary (established and new) democratic systems. Funded by the Mershon Center (Ohio State University) and Volkswagen Stiftung, CNEP draws together a trans-national group of investigators that are able to conduct empirical comparative inquiry through a common module inserted in the survey instrument employed by the respective National Electoral Study (NES) in several countries.

Recent activities
CNEP’s recent research has dealt with the intermediaries of voting (secondary associations, mass-media and peer groups), focusing on the social determinants of voting in Europe, Northern and Southern America, East Asia. Paolo Bellucci (University of Siena), Marco Maraffi and Paolo Segatti (University of Milan) have analysed the encapsulation of voters by secondary associations. A new project is currently being launched. It will focus on democratic support, social cleavages and political behaviour in a large set of democratic and quasi-democratic countries (including Africa, Asia, Europe and the Americas).


  • P. Bellucci, M. Maraffi, and P. Segatti, “Secondary Associations. The organizational context of electoral behaviour”, in Richard Gunther, José Ramon Montero and Hans-Jurgen Puhle (eds.), Electoral Intermediation, Values and Political Support in Old and New Democracies: Europe, East Asia and the Americas in Comparative Perspective, Oxford University Press, forthcoming.

Gli effetti del Covid-19 sulla politica Italiana di Linda Basile*, Rado Fonda, Mattia Guidi*, Pierangelo Isernia*, Sergio Martini*, Francesco Olmastroni*, Alida Spurio(*Dipartimento Scienze Sociali Politiche e Cognitive, Università di Siena; ‡SWG)

Politica Italiana e COVID-19 v.4_verL