Solid Post-doc position at UNIMI - Solid

Call for Expressions of Interest for 1 post-doc position at the University of Milan (SOLID project)

The Department of Social and Political Sciences of the University of Milan welcomes expressions of interest from potential postdoctoral researchers with an excellent track-record to apply for 1 position linked to the following ERC-funded research project:

SOLID – Policy Crisis and Crisis Politics.

Sovereignty, Solidarity and Identity in the EU Post-2008

SOLID is a joint project of the University of Milan (coordinator), the London School of Economics and the European University Institute.

Principal Investigators:

Maurizio Ferrera, University of Milan

Hanspeter Kriesi, European University Institute, Fiesole

Waltraud Schelkle, European University Institute, Fiesole

The selected post-docs will be based in Milan but will be part of a larger team, including researchers based in London and Florence.

Short abstract of the project

The European Union (EU) went through a long decade of crises that tested its political cohesion and economic viability to the limit (the Euro-crisis, the Great Recession and its dramatic social consequences, the refugee crisis, Brexit, the COVID-19 pandemic). Conflicts over sovereignty, solidarity and identity sparked a “deep” political crisis, shaking the very foundations of the EU. Surprisingly, however, the utter collapse of the Union has been averted. In dramatic moments EU leaders agreed on significant institutional advances or at least some backstops. How can one explain this peculiar mix of crisis and resilience? The SOLID project posits that sequences of policy crises tend to disrupt routine policy-making, jeopardize its responsiveness, unleash turbulent forms of crisis politics, and put political legitimacy (even polity durability) at risk. At the same time, we also posit that severe crisis situation may also activate polity maintenance incentives for keeping the political community together “whatever it takes”. Covering developments since 2009, SOLID ultimately aims at assessing the overall soundness of the EU’s foundations in the wake of the political crisis. In order to capture both disruption and resilience, we propose to disentangle the “deep” political dimension of the crisis from more policy-specific challenges and analyze it through a “polity perspective” and a “coalition-centred approach”, which we have originally devised with specific reference to the EU. Rooted in political economy, comparative political sociology and policy analysis, SOLID will collect extensive data on processes, conflicts and coalitions through qualitative and quantitative methods, including innovative techniques. A number of original surveys will also be organized. We aim at providing an original general theory of political crisis, valuable as such, but making a strong impact on the study of EU politicization and its likely (constructive or destructive) outcomes. Dipartimento di Scienze sociali e politiche Via Conservatorio, 7 – 20122 Milano, Italy Tel +39 02 50321220 – Fax +39 02 50321240 –

The tasks of the positions include:

  • Case-studies of the key policy decisions on social policy issues and of critical issues regarding EU membership during the last decade at the national, transnational and supranational level. The case-studies will focus on the reconstruction of the key decision-making processes, map out the conflicts and identify the epistemic, sectoral and country coalitions. Case studies will involve document collection and analysis, text analysis of quality newspapers and of key public speeches.
  • The analysis of public opinion surveys as well as the social media to tap individual attitudes and beliefs and identify social and electoral coalitions and conflict potentials.
  • The analysis of elites attitudes and beliefs on the various post 2008 policy crises, with specific references to the interplay between the economic and social sides of integration as well as their consensus- and coalition-building strategies.

Qualifications required:

  • PhD in political science or political sociology;
  • A specialization (e.g. a doctoral dissertation and journal articles) in any one of these fields: comparative welfares state research, public opinion analysis, European politics, European social governance;
  • A certified expertise in at least one of these methods: advanced process tracing, elite interviewing, text analysis, survey design (conjoint survey experiments), quantitative methods for the analysis of survey data.

Place of work: Milan, Italy

Length of contract and % of full-time: Starting 1 April 2023, full time, for a minimum of two years.

Salary range: calibrated on international standards for post-doc positions.

Languages: excellent knowledge of English (spoken and written) and at least another EU language.

How to express your interest: expressions of interest should be addressed to

Deadline: 15 February 2023

The following documents are requested:

1) A cover letter, specifying the specific area of interest among those above and the potential contribution to the SOLID’s project;

2) A copy of your CV (max. 2 pages plus full list of publications);

Short listed candidates will be notified and will need to apply following the ordinary procedures of Milan University when the calls open.

This project is funded with a Synergy Grant by the European Research Council under Grant Agreement n. 810356. Views and opinions expressed are however those of the author(s) only and do not necessarily reflect those of the European Union or the European Research Council. Neither the European Union nor the granting authority can be held responsible for them.