Dr Licia Cianetti

Dr Licia Cianetti

Department of Political Science and International Studies
Lecturer in Political Science and International Studies
Deputy Director of the Centre for Elections, Democracy, Accountability and Representation (CEDAR)

Contact details

Department of Political Science and International Studies
School of Government
Muirhead Tower
University of Birmingham
Edgbaston, Birmingham,
B15 2TT, United Kingdom

Licia Cianetti is Lecturer in Political Science and International Studies and Leverhulme Early Career Fellow, and the Deputy Director of Birmingham’s Centre for Elections, Democracy, Accountability & Representation (CEDAR). Her research focuses on questions of inclusion and exclusion in democratic policymaking, at national and local levels. She is an area expert in Central and Eastern Europe, and she is also interested in interdisciplinary methodological innovation, especially between Politics and Arts. She is the author of The Quality of Divided Democracies: Minority Inclusion, Exclusion and Representation in the New Europe (University of Michigan Press, 2019) and co-editor of Rethinking 'Democratic Backsliding' in Central and Eastern Europe (Routledge, 2019). She is currently working on a new monograph on Making Inclusive Institutions: Change, Crisis and Policymaking in Europe's Multicultural Cities. Her related artist-academic multimedia collaboration can be accessed at www.multiculturalcities.com.


  • PhD in Politics, University College London – School of Slavonic and East European Studies  
  • MA in Politics, Security and Integration, University College London – School of Slavonic and East European Studies  
  • BA in International Studies, University of Florence, Italy


Licia Cianetti is a comparative political scientist, interested in democracy, minority politics, urban studies, and public policy. Before joining POLSIS she held teaching and research positions at Royal Holloway University of London's Department of Politics and International Relations (UK), the University of Coimbra's Centre for Social Studies (Portugal), and Canterbury Christ Church University (UK). She holds a PhD from University College London's School of Slavonic and East European Studies.


Challenges to Liberal Democracy in Europe


Licia Cianetti's research straddles the fields of democracy studies, minority politics, urban studies, and public policy, with a focus on policymaking and institutional change. She is particularly interested in:

  • Democracy and policymaking in ethnoculturally diverse settings (nations and cities)
  • (Un)democratic change and democratic backsliding, particularly how patterns of inclusion and exclusion in democracies are sustained, challenged, and changed over time
  • Central and Eastern Europe
  • Qualitative and interdisciplinary methods (espacially Politics and Arts)


Recent publications


Cianetti, L 2019, The Quality of Divided Democracies: Minority Inclusion, Exclusion, and Representation in the New Europe. University of Michigan Press. https://doi.org/10.3998/mpub.9992703


Cianetti, L 2023, 'Here we go again! Repetition and the politics of inclusive institutional reform', Journal of European Public Policy. https://doi.org/10.1080/13501763.2023.2172062

Cianetti, L & Hanley, S 2021, 'The end of the backsliding paradigm', Journal of Democracy, vol. 32, no. 1, pp. 66-80. https://doi.org/10.1353/jod.2021.0001

Cianetti, L 2020, 'Governing the multicultural city: Europe’s ‘great urban expectations’ facing austerity and resurgent nativism', Urban Studies. https://doi.org/10.1177/0042098019884214

Cianetti, L 2018, 'Consolidated technocratic and ethnic hollowness, but no backsliding: Reassessing Europeanisation in Estonia and Latvia', East European Politics. https://doi.org/10.1080/21599165.2018.1482212

Cianetti, L 2018, 'Rethinking “democratic backsliding” in Central and Eastern Europe – Looking beyond Hungary and Poland', East European Politics. https://doi.org/10.1080/21599165.2018.1491401

Cianetti, L 2018, 'Trickle-Down Social Inclusion: The EU Minorities Agenda in Times of Crisis', JCMS: Journal of Common Market Studies. https://doi.org/10.1111/jcms.12618

Cianetti, L & Nakai, R 2016, 'Critical Trust in European Institutions: The Case of the Russian-speaking Minorities in Estonia and Latvia', Problems of Post-Communism , vol. 64, no. 5, pp. 276-290. https://doi.org/10.1080/10758216.2016.1237292

Cianetti, L 2015, 'Integrating Minorities in Times of Crisis: Issues of displacement in the Estonian and Latvian Integration Programs', Nationalism and Ethnic Politics. https://doi.org/10.1080/13537113.2015.1032029

Cianetti, L 2014, 'Granting Local Voting Rights to Non-Citizens in Estonia and Latvia: The Conundrum of Minority Representation in Two Divided Democracies', Journal on Ethnopolitics and Minority Issues in Europe.

Cianetti, L 2014, 'Representing Minorities in the City: Education Policies and Minority Incorporation in the Capital Cities of Estonia and Latvia', Nationalities Papers. https://doi.org/10.1080/00905992.2014.957663


Sikk, A & Cianetti, L 2015, Political Mechanics of Smallness: The Baltic States as Small States in the European Parliament. in Small States in the Modern World. Edward Elgar. https://doi.org/10.4337/9781784711443.00016


Cianetti, L & Lončar, J 2018, 'Representation of minorities: perspectives and challenges', Nationalities Papers, vol. 46, no. 2, pp. 197-201. https://doi.org/10.1080/00905992.2017.1421150

Review article

Cianetti, L 2017, '[BOOK REVIEW] Russian-speakers in Post-Soviet Latvia. By AMMON CHESKIN, Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press. 2016.', Journal of Contemporary European Studies. https://doi.org/10.1080/14782804.2017.1260242

Web publication/site

Cianetti, L, Diaphra (aka Biru), AP, Mbengue, G, Moledina, F & Strokins, A, What Happened to the Multicultural City?, 2021, Web publication/site. <https://multiculturalcities.com/>

View all publications in research portal