Dr Lorenza Antonucci

Dr Lorenza Antonucci

Department of Social Policy, Sociology and Criminology
Associate Professor
Deputy Head of Research (Methodology), College of Social Sciences
Co-Director of the Master in Social Research Methods (MASR)

Contact details

School of Social Policy
Muirhead Tower
University of Birmingham
B15 2TT

Lorenza Antonucci (she/they) is Associate Professor in the Department of Social Policy, Sociology and Criminology and Deputy Head of Research (Methodology) at the College of Social Sciences at University of Birmingham (UK). Their research is concerned with understanding how societies are changing and reacting to growing socioeconomic insecurity and inequality in Europe and globally.


  • FHEA (Fellow of the Higher Education Academy), 2016
  • PhD in Social Policy, University of Bristol, 2015
  • MSc (distinction) in Social Policy (Research), (distinction), London School of Economics, 2010
  • MSc (110/110 cum laude) in Economics of Public Administration, Bocconi University, 2009
  • BS (110/110 cum laude) in Economics of Public Administration, Bocconi University, 2007


Antonucci joined the University of Birmingham in 2017 as Birmingham Fellow and was promoted Associate Professor in 2020. She was promoted to Deputy Head of Research (Methodology) in 2021 after serving as School Impact Lead between 2017 and 2021. In 2022, she has been awarded with the German Kennedy Memorial Fellowship and was Visiting Scholar at the Minda de Gunzburg Center for European Studies (Harvard University) in 2022-2023. She remains affiliated with Harvard University as Alumni of the Weatherhead Research Cluster on Comparative Inequality & Inclusion.

Her interdisciplinary and comparative sociological work has been published in international journals (e.g. European Sociological Review, Current Sociology, Sociological Research Online, Journal of Youth Studies). Their co-authored article on the inequality of Brexit has been selected in the Sociologist of the Month coverage of the International Sociological Association in June 2020. Their research and writing have been featured in numerous international outlets such as The New York Times, The Guardian/Observer, The Independent and Slate.

Antonucci has a keen interest in investigating insecurity empirically and theoretically alongside other key sociological concepts across cultural and economic sociology, such as social status, recognition and sociology of risk. Their next book, under advanced contract with Princeton University Press, offers an in-depth examination of the role of insecurity in the political sociology of populist voting.


  • Policy Futures (MA)
  • Dissertation Workshop (MASR)


Antonucci conducts interdisciplinary and comparative sociological research that investigates the link between structural changes (e.g. welfare state shifts, the privatization of social risk) and micro-level experiences of work and financial insecurity, particularly among groups that are critical to grasp the reproduction of inequality (e.g. young people, platform/gig workers, voters etc). They use a range of methodologies to conduct their research: large-N quantitative analysis, online surveys, in-depth interviews, q-methodology and digital methodologies. Antonucci is currently researching how socioeconomic insecurity reverberates into populist voting and investigating platform work as a site of reconfiguration of insecurity.

Antonucci lead-authored and acts as PI/Working Package Lead of two major grants:

  • ESRC New Investigator: ‘The effect of gig economy work on workers' financial (in)security and the mediating role of social security systems’ (GIGWELL)
  • Volkswagen Foundation (Challenges for Europe), ‘Populist Roots: Economic and Cultural Explanations of Democracies in Europe’ (PRECEDE), a Consortium of five institutions across four countries.

Antonucci’s research has developed through several international collaborations and international visiting positions, such as the Visiting Associate Professorship at Sciences Po (Paris) at the Center for European Studies (2022) and the Royal Society of Edinburgh (RSE) Visiting Fellowship at the European Trade Union Institute (ETUI) & European Social Observatory (OSE) in Brussels (2015).

Antonucci’s attempts to influence European policy-making have resulted in a number of policy reports and impactful activities, such as the Commissioned Solidar/FEPS research on ‘Inequalities & the European Semester’ introduced by the EU Commissioner Nicolas Schmit and the activities to assist Javi Lopez MEP in drafting the ‘Resolution on Combatting Inequality to boost job creation and growth’ of the European Parliament.

Other activities

  • Honorary Research Associate of the European Social Observatory (OSE) in Brussels
  • Invited Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts (FRSA) for contributions on youth policies
  • EU COST - LGBTI+ Social and Economic (in)equalities: Member & MC Substitute UK, 2020-2024.


Zhirnov, A. and Antonucci, L. (first co-author), Thomeczek, P., Horvath, L., D’Ippoliti, C, Ospina, C., Krouwel, A. and Kersting, N. (2023) “Precarity and populism: Explaining populist outlook and populist voting in Europe through subjective financial and work-related insecurity”, European Sociological Review, https://doi.org/10.1093/esr/jcad052

Antonucci, L., D’Ippoliti, C., Horvath, L. and Krouwel, A. (2021) “What’s work got to do with it? How radical and mainstream party support is linked to feelings of precarity”, Sociological Research Online, 28 (1).

Antonucci, L. and Varriale, S. (2020) “Unequal Europe, unequal Brexit: How intra-European inequalities shape the unfolding and framing of Brexit”, Current Sociology, 68 (1): 41-59.  

Antonucci, L. (2018) “Not all experiences of precarious work lead to precarity: the case of young people at university and their welfare mixes”, Journal of Youth Studies, 21 (7): 888-904.

Antonucci, L., Horvath, L., Kutyski, Y. and Krouwel, A. (2017) “The malaise of the squeezed middle: Challenging the narrative of the left behind Brexiter”, Competition & Change, 21 (3): 211-229.

Antonucci, L. (2016) Student Lives in Crisis. Deepening inequality in times of austerity, Bristol: Policy Press/Chicago University Press.

Antonucci, L., Hamilton, M. and Roberts, S. (eds.) (2014) Young People and Social Policy in Europe: Dealing with risk, inequality and precarity in times of crisis, Work and Welfare series, Basingstoke: Palgrave.

View all publications in research portal