Global History and Governance

The Ph.D. in Global History and Governance is an advanced course of study and research at the end of which the student defends a dissertation based on original and independent scientific work. The course offers an educational program based on a multi-disciplinary approach centred on history and law and open to contributions from other disciplines.

The programme focuses on the comparisons, connections, and processes of globalization that have characterized different areas of the planet between the 16th and the 20th  century and does so by concentrating on the relational dimension of historical processes, legal regimes, and the organization of power; on the interconnections between economic, political, legal, cultural and social factors; and on circulation, exchange and interconnection of ideas, persons, institutions, legal cultures, political models, concepts, rights and goods on a global scale.

The areas and themes on which the members of the scientific board can offer international level training and research preparation are States, wars, ideologies, and violence; History of empires; History of political and social ideas; History of slavery and forced labour; History of migration; Religions and the sacred; Ideas and practices of citizenship; States, nations, languages, peoples, classes, minorities; Cross-cultural relations; Material culture and consumption; History of historiography; The idea of Europe and its history; The legal heritage of Europe and its integration; Comparative law in the historical flux; International institutions; Administrative and private law-making in the global sphere; Human rights; Global legal pluralism; Rule of law and democracy; Public and private powers as actors of global governance;  General principles and methods of dispute resolution in the global arena; Comparative federalism.

The Ph.D. program in Global History and Governance is aimed at highly motivated students with a solid personal background, diverse language skills, and who are eager to deal with multi and interdisciplinary approaches. Admission to the Ph.D. course is by means of a competition based on qualifications, research project, and interview. Those who have a master’s degree or equivalent qualification can apply. A Selection Committee evaluates the university career and the candidate’s research project. Shortlisted candidates are invited to an interview.

Francisco Goya, La Verdad, el Tiempo y la Historia (1814?)

 Prof.ssa Daniela Luigia Caglioti

Professor of Modern and Contemporary History,

Department of Humanities

Università di Napoli Federico II


Gordon Anthony

Queen’s University Belfast

Jean-Bernard Auby

Sciences-Po, Paris

Mauro Bussani

Università di Trieste

Daniela Luigia Caglioti

Università di Napoli Federico II

Mauro Calise

Università di Napoli Federico II

Giovanna Cigliano

Università di Napoli Federico II

Giacinto della Cananea

Università Bocconi, Milano

Domenico Conte
Università di Napoli Federico II

Olindo De Napoli

Università di Napoli Federico II

Angela Ferrari Zumbini

Università di Napoli Federico II

Andrea Graziosi

Università di Napoli Federico II

Barbara Guastaferro

Università di Napoli Federico II

Marta Infantino

Università di Trieste

Pasquale Palmieri

Università di Napoli Federico II

Roberto Mastroianni

Università di Napoli Federico II

Adriano Roccucci

Università di Roma Tre

Teodoro Tagliaferri

Università di Napoli Federico II

Antonella Salomoni

Università della Calabria

Alessandro Stanziani

Ecoles des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales, Paris

Roberto Zaugg

Universität Zürich

Erik-Jan Zürcher

Universiteit Leiden

The teaching activity is concentrated in the first year of the course, while in the following three years the students will be engaged in conducting the research and reporting periodically on its progress both in individual interviews and in regular seminars.
The coursework is divided into mandatory courses with final verification, seminar activities during which students can discuss specific aspects of their doctoral work with faculty, and  workshops held by invited scholars.

The first year’s teaching activity is divided into two terms: November-February and March-June and is organised as follows:

The first year:
– 6 seminar courses (about 10 meetings of two hours each);
– 6-8 workshops (3 consecutive meetings);
– active participation in the research workshop, the conferences and the seminars organised by the doctorate;

– participation in conferences on topics related to the dissertation organised by other universities and research institutions;

– preparation of a structured research project containing an expanded state-of-the-art for the transition to the 2nd year of the course.

Second year:
– active participation in conferences and workshops organised by the doctorate or other university and research institutions;
– 2 days of presentation of the progress of the research in the presence of the supervisor(s) and the board;
– research work at the thesis and preparation and presentation of a commented tabla of contents and at least one chapter.

Third year:
– Seminars presenting the current research in the presence of the supervisor(s) and the board and active participation in conferences and workshops;
– research work on the dissertation and preparation of at least one chapter;

Fourth year:
– completion of the dissertation.

Second Term 2022-2023



First Term 2022-2023


Mauro Bussani (U. Trieste) and Marta Infantino (U. Trieste), An Introduction to Global Law

Olindo De Napoli (U. Napoli Federico II), Historical research and the problem of sources

Elyssa Gage (SSM) and Suzanne Levin (SSM), Age of Revolution(s)

Orçun Can Okan (SSM), Aftermaths of the Ottoman Empire in the Balkans and the Middle East (1878-1939)

Aymeric Xu (SSM), History of East Asia


Scott Straus (U. of Berkeley), Political Order after Civil War and Violence

Omer Bartov (Brown University), The Holocaust, Israel-Palestine, and first-person history

Stefan-Ludwig Hoffmann (U. of Berkeley), Human Rights History/ Reinhart Koselleck’s Theory of History

Second Term 2021-2022


Daniela Luigia Caglioti (U. Napoli Federico II) e Marie Bossaert (SSM), Histories of Citizenship

Marta Infantino (U. Trieste), Technologies of Globalization: Rules, Numbers and Global Governance

Orçun Kan Okan (SSM), The Modern Middle East through Literature and Film

Aymeric Xu (SSM), Conservatism on the Global Stage

Suzanne Levine (SSM), History of Natural Rights


Gordon Anthony (U. Belfast), Common Law and Globalization

Erik-Jan Zürcher (U. Leiden), Nation states and great power rivalry in the Middle East (1914-1940),  

Mauro Bussani (U. Trieste), De-globalising Rule of Law and Democracy 

Pasquale Pasquino (NYU), Democracy: history theory and politics 

Serhii Plokhii (Harvard U.), East European Identities: Russia and Ukraine 

Jane Burbank (NYU) and Frederick Cooper (NYU), Imperial trajectories in the 20th century,  

David C. Engerman (Yale U.), Global Inequality and Responses since 1945 

First Term 2021-2022


Mohamed-Ali Adraoui (SSM), Doing Research in Global History

Giacinto Della Cananea (U. Bocconi), The rule of law in the EU and the UN

Olindo De Napoli (U. Napoli Federico II), Historical research and the problem of sources


Mark Kramer (Harvard University), The Legacy of the Cold War in Today’s World § 

Ivan Cardillo (U. Trento), Chinese Law Between Tradition and Modernity § Roberto 

Zaugg (U. Zürich), The Atlantic Slave Trade. Trans-Imperial Entanglements, Material Culture, Contested Memories 

Second Term 2020-2021


Andrea Graziosi (Univ. Napoli Federico II), Popoli, Nazioni, Classi, Razze e Etnie. Classificazione umana, analisi della società e azione politica da Herder a Gumilëv

Giacinto della Cananea (Univ. Bocconi, Milano), Il ritorno dello Stato: la prospettiva del diritto amministrativo globale

Luca Puddu (SSM), Imperialismo, decolonizzazione e “neocolonialismo”: capitale, lavoro e politica di potenza in Africa subsahariana

Orçun Can Okan (SSM), The League of Nations and the Mandates System


Mauro Bussani (Univ. di Trieste), Mitologie del diritto globale: rule of law e democrazia (27-29 April). 

Jean-Bernard Auby (Sciences-Po), The plural universe of relations between legal systems in globalization (21, 27-28 maggio) 

Teodoro Tagliaferri (Univ. di Napoli Federico II), Le speranze del 1919 e le radici della World History contemporanea: nuovo ordine mondiale e imperiale, governo internazionale, storia globale (21, 24-25 May). 

Alessandro Stanziani (EHESS, Paris), Global History of history writing (2, 3, 7 June). 

Simone Attilio Bellezza (Univ. Napoli Federico II), La storia ucraina come laboratorio (7-9 June) 

First Term 2020-2021


Mohamed-Ali Adraoui (SSM), Doing research in global history
• Olindo De Napoli (Univ. Napoli Federico II), Lo storico e le fonti
• Marta Infantino (Univ. Trieste), Regole, numeri e governance globale 


Roberto Zaugg (Zürich Univ.), Prospettive africane sulla tratta atlantica (13-15 January)  

Pietro Maffettone (Univ. di Napoli Federico II), The Ethical Aspects of Global Trade, 16-18 February) 

The following activities are managed in concert with the other SSM PhDs’ programmes.

Language courses: Italian language courses for foreigners, as well as English, French, German and Spanish are offered by the Centro Linguistico di Ateneo..
Computer skills: The School organises short courses to train PhD students in the critical use of digital resources and familiarise them with tools such as reference and source managers.
Management of research, knowledge of research systems and funding sources: The School organises training activities on funding opportunities .

Enhancement of research results and intellectual property: The School organises activities on the dissemination of scientific research, the protection of research results and authors, the protection of intellectual property and patenting procedures in the national and international field.

The research activity is carried out by each PhD student under the supervision of a thesis director chosen from among the members of the Scientific Board. The thesis director designated by the Board can be joined by a second director from within or outside the Board, possibly also activating a co-tutelle agreement.

The transition from the first to the second year will be decided on the basis of the presentation of an expanded research project including a state-of-the-art and a three-year work plan discussed in an interview which normally takes place in October. In addition to the discussion of the project itself and the papers prepared by them for the attended seminars and courses, the students will also present and discuss the bibliography relevant to their research.

The transition from the second to the third year will be based on the discussion and approval of an indicative but detailed outline of the thesis that the doctoral student proposes to draft and a chapter.

The transition from the third to the fourth year will take place on the basis of the presentation and discussion, and therefore the approval by the director of the thesis, of a further chapter of this and a detailed index.

Every Tuesday, the Global History and Governance Program organises a research workshop where postdoc fellows and Ph.D. students present the progress of their research.

The timetable for the academic year 2022-2023 is available here

The timetable for the academic year 2021-2022 is available here

The full timetable for the academic year 2020-2021 is available here.

10 June 2022 – Workshop: “Nationality and citizenship in Occupied Istanbul.Consult the program.

22-24 June 2022 – Workshop: “Recasting subjects and subjectivities in the writing of history: strategies spaces and conflicts between the 19th and 20th centuries.” Consult the program.

Doctoral students are offered the opportunity to study and research abroad and to conduct their research thanks to co-supervision agreements.

Universities and international research centres with which the members of the Scientific Board maintain research collaborations

1. Center on Changes in Governance and Public Law, Sciences-Po, Paris, France
2. School of Law, Queen’s University Belfast United Kingdom
3. Centre de Recherches Historiques (Crh), Ecole des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales (Ehess), Paris, France
4. Leiden University Institute for Area Studies, Leiden, Netherlands
5. Harvard Ukrainian Research Institute, Harvard University, Cambridge, Massachusetts, United States of America.

Length of the programme: 4 years

Scholarship: each year the SSM advertises six scholarships amounting to € 19.000 gross per year.

In addition to the scholarship, each student receives a research allowance.


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