Elena Serina


Ciclo: XXXVI

Project title: Charity, democracy, and social rights. The Holy See and the transnational Catholic assistance facing the European reconstruction.

Supervisor(s): Prof. Adriano Roccucci



September 2017 – May 2020


Diploma di Licenza Biennale di II Livello at Istituto Universitario di Studi Superiori (IUSS) of Pavia

Mark: 100/100 cum laude

Dissertation: Assistenza e beneficenza in epoca fascista. la gestione degli indigenti a Pisa nel ginepraio delle Opere pie; Advisor: Prof. Ilaria Pavan.


October 2019 – May 2020


Research scolarship for dissertation at Scuola Normale Superiore di Pisa under the supervision of Prof. Ilaria Pavan.


September 2017 – December 2019


Master of History Degree at University of Pavia

Mark: 110/110 cum laude

Dissertation: Louis Dimier. Un protagonista dell’Action française e dell’integralismo cattolico francese (1865-1920); Advisors: Prof. Elisa Signori, Prof. Olivier Dard (Sorbonne Uiniversité).


January – June 2019


Erasmus Studio at École des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales (EHESS).


September 2018 – June 2019


Research scholarship for dissertation at École Normale Supérieure de Paris under the supervision of Prof. Grégoire Le Quang.


September 2014 – May 2018


Diploma di Licenza Triennale di I Livello at IUSS of Pavia

Mark: Excellent

Dissertation: Ghislieri 1930: un buon rifugio? Advisor: Prof. Elisa Signori.


September 2014 – July 2017


Bachelor of Arts Degree at University of Pavia

Mark: 110/110 cum laude

Dissertation: L’Action française tra politica e religione. Una ricognizione nella storiografia francese; Advisors: Prof. Elisa Signori, Prof. Olivier Dard.


February – June 2017


Erasmus Studio at Sorbonne Université under the supervision of Prof. Olivier Dard.

My research aims to investigate the role of the Holy See in the Postwar European reconstruction through a specific focus on the transnational network of charitable lay organizations championed by Pope Pius XII to face the wartime humanitarian emergency and gain a leading role in the rehabilitation of society. More specifically, I intend to reconstruct the evolution of Pius XII’s public discourse on charity and his attempt to encourage and coordinate the efforts of Catholic social actors until the creation of Caritas Internationalis (1953). The study of this progressive internationalization of Christian-based humanitarian assistance will allow us to understand the interactions, the mutual exchanges, and the circulation of ideas and practices concerning charity both inside and outside the Catholic milieu. Moreover, it will enable us to determine the role of the Holy See as a global social policymaker, aiming to influence the development of welfare policies and the emerging language of social rights.