Dr Mattia Zulianello

Dr Mattia Zulianello

Department of Political Science and International Studies
Research Fellow

Contact details

Mattia Zulianello is a Research Fellow in the Department of Politics and International Studies (POLSIS) in the University of Birmingham. He is currently working on an ESRC funded project 'The survival of the mass party: Evaluating activism and participation among populist radical right parties (PRRPs) in Europe' (aka “Populism In Action”) (ES/R011540/1).

His work has focused on populist parties, anti-system parties, Italian politics, party competition and mixed-method research. His monograph, entitled 'Anti-system parties: from parliamentary breakthrough to government’ was published by Routledge (Extremism and Democracy Series) in 2019, and his articles have appeared in international journals such as Government and Opposition, The International Journal of Press/Politics, Quality and Quantity – International Journal of Methodology, European Politics and Society, and Contemporary Italian Politics. Mattia has also edited the Italian translation of the book Populism: a very short introduction (2017), written by C. Mudde and C. Rovira Kaltwasser.


  • Ph.D. in Political Science (summa cum laude), Scuola Normale Superiore, Florence, 2015.
  • MsC in Political Science & Decision-Making Processes (summa cum laude), University of Florence, Italy, 2011
  • BSc in Political Science, University of Trieste, Italy, 2008.


Mattia Zulianello completed his doctoral research (with distinction) in Political Science at the Scuola Normale Superiore in Florence. Prior to working on the project “The survival of the mass party: Evaluating activism and participation among populist radical right parties (PRRPs) in Europe”, Mattia worked for two years as a Postdoctoral Fellow at the Department of Political and Social Science, University of Florence, Italy.


Research interests

  • Populism
  • populist parties
  • party systems
  • European politics
  • mixed methods 

Current projects 

Mattia Zulianello is a Research Fellow at the University of Birmingham. He is working on the project “The survival of the mass party: Evaluating activism and participation among populist radical right parties (PRRPs) in Europe” (aka “Populism In Action”) funded by ESRC (ES/R011540/1). He is conducting research on the ideology and organization of the League (Lega) in Italy.



Zulianello, M. (under contract). The leadership factor in new populist parties. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press 

Zulianello, M. (2019). Anti-system parties. From parliamentary breakthrough to government. Abingdon: Routledge.

Journal articles 

Zulianello, M. (2019). Varieties of Populist Parties and Party Systems in Europe: From State-of-the-Art to Application of a Novel Classification Scheme to 66 Parties in 33 Countries, Government and Opposition. Online first, DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/gov.2019.21

Zulianello, M. (2019). What is anti-system party? Some clarifications. Contemporary Italian Politics, 11(2), pp. 192-194. 

Zulianello, M., Albertini, A., & Ceccobelli, D. (2018). A Populist Zeitgeist? The Communication Strategies of Western and Latin American Political Leaders on Facebook. The International Journal of Press/Politics23(4), pp. 439-457. 

Zulianello, M., (2018). Anti-system parties revisited: Concept formation and guidelines for empirical research. Government and Opposition, 53(4), pp. 653-681. 

Zulianello, M. (2018). Mobilizing young voters? A cross-national analysis of contextual factors in pirate voting. European Politics and Society19(3), pp. 282-298. 

Zulianello, M. (2017). Le Mouvement 5 étoiles : une réponse 2.0 à la crise de la démocratie représentative’. La Revue internationale et stratégique, n° 106, pp. 111-120. 

Zulianello, M. (2015). L’ascesa di Alba Dorata: ideologia e organizzazione in un’industria privata di protezione nella Grecia contemporanea. Governare la Paura – A Journal of Interdisciplinary Studies,  University of Bologna, pp. 83-115. 

Zulianello, M. (2014). Analyzing Party Competition through the Comparative Manifesto Project Data: Some Theoretical and Methodological Considerations. Quality & Quantity, 48(3), pp. 1723-1737. 

Zulianello, M. (2013). When Political Parties Decide Not to Govern: Party Strategies and the Winners and Losers of the Monti Technocratic Government. Contemporary Italian Politics, 5(3), pp. 244-261.

Zulianello, M. (2011). I poteri delle istituzioni di vertice in democrazia: problemi di misurazione e di metodo nell’analisi degli esecutivi duali. Quaderni di Scienza Politica28(2), pp. 293-318.

Chapters in books 

Soare, S. & Zulianello, M. (2019). L’anti-corruption dans la vie politique de la Seconde République italienne: une tribune politique de succès?. In A. Iancu & S. Marton (Eds.), Corruption et politique en Europe. Enjeux, réformes et controverses, Paris: L’Harmattan, pp. 97-116. 

Zulianello, M. (2017). I populismi del XXI secolo’. In AA.VV, Atlante Geopolitico Treccani 2017. Roma: Istituto dell’Enciclopedia Italiana Treccani, pp. 290-307. 

Zulianello, M. (2016). Fascismo. In M. Calise, T. Lowi & F. Musella (Eds.). Concetti Chiave. Capire la Scienza Politica, Bologna: Il Mulino, pp. 119-129. 

Zulianello, M. (2014). Danimarca, Finlandia e Svezia: il Vento del Nord diventerà tempesta?, in M. Valbruzzi  & R. Vignati (Eds.). L’Italia e l’Europa al bivio delle riforme: le elezioni europee amministrative del 25 maggio 2014. Bologna: Materiali di ricerca dell’Istituto Cattaneo, pp. 287-296.

Other selected publications  

Albertazzi, D. & Zulianello M. (2019). The Italian right sweeps to victory in Umbria: What now for the second Conte government?. LSE EUROPP blog – European Politics and Policy. Available at: https://blogs.lse.ac.uk/europpblog/2019/10/29/the-italian-right-sweeps-to-victory-in-umbria-what-now-for-the-second-conte-government/

Zulianello, M. (2019). Right-wing populist parties made only modest electoral gains in the EP elections, but their influence is now unprecedented. LSE EUROPP blog – European Politics and Policy. Available at: https://blogs.lse.ac.uk/europpblog/2019/05/30/right-wing-populist-parties-made-only-modest-electoral-gains-in-the-ep-elections-but-their-influence-is-now-unprecedented/ 

Zulianello, M. (2018). Un governo “anti-sistema”?, Il Mulino, Rivista di Cultura e Politica. Available at: https://www.rivistailmulino.it/news/newsitem/index/Item/News:NEWS_ITEM:4393 


Mattia has appeared on national and international media, such as Euronews, La Stampa, LSE EUROPP blog, Il Gazzettino, Il Piccolo, Political Observatory on Populism, Radio Popolare.