Portrait of Dr Arianna Giovannini Dr Arianna Giovannini

a.giovannini@hud.ac.uk | 01484 473855


I joined the University of Huddersfield in September 2014, having previously worked as a lecturer at the University of Sheffield International College, and at Leeds Metropolitan University, where I completed my PhD in 2013. My doctoral thesis critically analysed the case of England’s exclusion from the process of political devolution initiated by New Labour in 1997, using the failed attempt to set up directly elected regional assemblies in the North East, North West and Yorkshire & Humberside in 2004 as a lens through which to read the idiosyncrasies of the English Question. Drawing on my PhD research, I have published articles in international journals, and have been invited to deliver guest lectures at universities in the UK and Italy.

Before moving to the UK, I studied at the University of Urbino, Italy (MA/BA Hons in Political Sociology; Master in Territorial and Urban Politics and EU Policy). At the same institution, I also taught on Politics and Sociology undergraduate and postgraduate courses, and worked as a researcher at LaPolis (Centre for Political and Social Analysis). I have also conducted research for regional governments (Emilia-Romagna, Le Marche) and private sector institutions (ISFOL) in Italy.

My approach to teaching and learning is student-focused and research-orientated. I teach on a range of modules at Huddersfield which reflect my long-standing research interest in the interlink between identity, territory and politics. I am a member of the PSA’s Britishness Specialist Group, and I am also co-convenor of the PSA’s Italian Politics Specialist Group.

Research and Scholarship

My research interests lie in the field of contemporary British and Italian politics, with a specific focus on the politics of territorial identity, regionalisms and nationalisms, devolution and constitutional change. Currently, I am taking forward the findings of my PhD, exploring the English Question and the politics of territorial identity in England in the aftermath of the Scottish independence referendum. More specifically, at the moment my research is focusing on English devolution and the rise of regionalist parties in the North of England, looking at the way in which they seek to politicise territorial identity and challenge mainstream parties.

I am also interested in issues of regionalism in the context of Europe, and in regionalist and independentist parties in Italy. My research in this area focuses in particular on the cases of Sardinia and Veneto, and I am involved in ongoing research projects and collaborations with academics in the UK and Italy.

As part of the PSA’s Britishness Group, I have been involved in the organisation of a panel on English devolution for next year’s PSA’s annual conference (Sheffield, March 2015). As co-convenor of the PSA’s Italian Politics Specialist Group (IPSG), I have organised panels and roundtables at the PSA’s annual conferences over the past four years. As part of this role, I have also edited thematic special issues and organised events and conferences.


Membership of professional organisations

  • UK Political Studies Association (PSA)
  • Britishness Group, PSA
  • Co-Convenor of the Italian Politics Specialist Group, PSA
  • Regional Studies Association (RSA)
  • Società Italiana di Scienza Politica (Italian Political Science Association)

I have been an editor for the following journals:

  • Polis, Special Issue (2013 27:2) on Politics and Citizens’ engagement in UK and Italy
  • Journal of Modern Italian Studies Special Issue (forthcoming, 2015) on 2013 Italian general election

I have acted as peer-reviewer for a special issue of the Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies (JEMS, forthcoming) which focuses on immigration issues in minority nations.

Conferences and panel organisation

  • ‘2014 EU Elections: Italian politics and the challenge of Europe’, co-organiser (with Dr Laura Polverari, University of Strathclyde, and Dr Antonella Seddone, Univeristy of Turin), one-day conference sponsored by the PSA’s Italian Politics Specialist Group, University of Strathclyde, European Policies Research Centre, 14-15 January 2015 (forthcoming).
  • ‘Politicisation of Identities in Peripheral Regions’, panel organiser, Political Studies Association Annual Conference, Manchester, 14-16 April 2014 (panel co-sponsored by the PSA’s Territorial Politics and Italian Politics Specialist Groups).
  • ‘The Day After Tomorrow – Italian Politics and the Long Transition’, panel organiser and chair, Political Studies Association Annual Conference, Manchester, 14-16 April 2014 (panel sponsored by the PSA’s Italian Politics Specialist Groups).
  • “2013 Italian General Election – Italian politics at the crossroads?”, co-organiser (with Prof James Newell, University of Salford, and Dr Daniele Albertazzi, University of Birmingham), one-day conference, sponsored and funded by the PSA (Special Activities Fund) and the PSA’s Italian Politics Specialist Group, University of Birmingham, 17 January 2014.
  • ‘It ain’t over till it’s Over...’ Party Crisis and Political Participation in Italy’, panel organiser and chair, Political Studies Association Annual Conference, Cardiff, 25-27 March 2013 (panel sponsored by the PSA’s Italian Politics Specialist Group).
  • ‘Long Lost Brothers? Italy and the UK in comparative perspective’, panel co-organiser (with Prof J. Newell) and discussant, Political Studies Association Annual Conference, Belfast, 3-5 April 2012 (panel sponsored by the PSA’s Italian Politics Specialist Group).
  • ‘Forza, Italia! Italy before and after Berlusconi’, Roundtable co-organiser (with Prof J. Newell and Dr D. Albertazzi) and discussant, guest speakers: Bill Emmott (former editor of the Economist) and Gianfranco Pasquino (Adjunct Professor of Political Science, Johns Hopkins University, Bologna), Political Studies Association Annual Conference, Belfast, 3-5 April 2012.

Invited lectures

  • “The results of the Scottish Independence Referendum and the Future of the UK”, University of Urbino, Faculty of Political Science, January 2015 (forthcoming).
  • “Devolution in the UK and the ‘English Question’ – an analysis through the case of Northern England”, University of Strathclyde, School of Government and Public Policy, European Policies Research Centre (EPRC), October 2013.
  • “English Regionalism: the Dark Side of Devolution? An Analysis through the case of the North East referendum”, as part of the Public Lecture series Talk About the North, organised by the Institute of Northern Studies, School of Cultural Studies, Leeds Metropolitan University, November 2009.
  • “Devolution and territorial governance in the UK. The North of England: political scenarios of a ‘region on the margins’”, University of Urbino, Faculty of Political Science, October 2008.

Media activities

Contributions to academic blogs and online publications

  • ‘Scotland’s independence referendum is spurring the desire for political devolution in England’ (with J. Willett), LSE’s British Politics and Policy Blog, 17 June 2014 (http://ow.ly/yccNf).
  • ‘The uneven path of English devolution – Will the dog finally bark?’ (with J. Willett), PSA‘s Political Insights Blog, 11 June 2014 (http://ow.ly/yccWY).
  • ‘Arrivederci, Veneto? The independence referendum in Veneto as a test for the Italian democracy and its institutions’, openDemocracy, 7 April 2014 (http://ow.ly/wEFk2).
  • ‘The election of Matteo Renzi as the leader of the PD might herald a ‘New Labour’ style revolution in Italy’s centre-left’ (with J. Newel), LSE’s EUROPP Blog, 19 December 2013 (http://bit.ly/1bQ44VJ).
  • ‘The PD’s leadership election might signal the first step in the re-legitimation of the Italian political system’ (with J. Newell), LSE’s EUROPP Blog, 8 November 2013 (http://bit.ly/1hQYmcN).
  • ‘Cronaca di un Leader Annunciato, col fattore B.’ (Matteo Renzi: Chronicle of the Coronation of a Leader), with J. Newell, Questioni Primarie (online publication of the Italian Political Studies Association’s Standing Group Candidate & Leader Selection), n. 8/13 (http://ow.ly/shFrB).
  • ‘Englishness, whose Englishness? Reflections on the IPPR Festival of Englishness, and its meaning(s)’, Hannah Mitchell Foundation blog, 12 November 2013 (http://ow.ly/siF2z1).
  • ‘Il PD e le elezioni del suo prossimo leader – riflessioni da oltre Manica’ (The Democratic Party’s Primary Elections – a view from outside Italy), with J. Newell, Questioni Primarie (online publication of the Italian Political Studies Association’s Standing Group Candidate&Leader Selection), n. 3/13 (http://ow.ly/shFuC).

Research-related interviews

Research Degree Supervision

I welcome research supervision opportunities in the following areas: contemporary British politics; the politics of Britishness and Englishness; devolution and constitutional reform in the UK; nationalisms and regionalisms in the UK, Italy and EU; territorial and political identity in the North of England; English regionalism.

Currently, I am supporting as an external advisor the supervision of a MSc on the politics of Yorkshire identity (candidate: David Speed; supervisors: Dr Andrew Mycock and Pete Woodcock).

Teaching and Professional Activities

I teach lectures and seminars on a number of politics and sociology modules in the Department of Behavioural and Social Science, including:

  • HIX1021, Ethnicity and Nationalism (lead tutor, year 2)
  • HIB2000, Research Methods (year 2)
  • HIB2001, Sociological Imagination (year 2)

I also supervise final year dissertations (HHB2002, Final Year Project for the Social Sciences).