I’m a British-Italian PhD researcher and journalist/commentator. I studied Theology and Religion for my BA at Oxford University (2015-2018), writing a thesis on the women of the early Protestant Reformation, and went on to complete a Master’s (MPhil) in International Relations and Politics for his Master’s in Cambridge University (2019-2020), with a dissertation comparing British and Italian Euroscepticism. In April 2021, I started my doctoral research on the history of Italian Euroscepticism, joining the Germanic Historical Institute in Rome and being registered as PhD student in Contemporary History at LMU Munich.
Aside from my academic work, I also write on socio-political, cultural and historical issues for publications such as TIME magazine, The Independent, The Times, Euronews and HuffPost, among others. My pen name as a journalist is just Andrea Carlo.
I’m researching how both mass and elite-level attitudes towards the European project – in particular those opposing integration, otherwise known as “Euroscepticism” – developed in Italy between the ending of the Second World War and the Treaty of Maastricht, focusing particularly on the 1950s and 60s.
Why I’m interested in it:
Since most studies on Italian Euroscepticism have emerged within the political science field and have tended to locate the phenomenon in a largely post-Maastricht context, I believe it is necessary to look closely at the history of anti-integrationist attitudes in the country prior to the 1990s. Aside from expanding on existing studies and filling in current gaps, doing this will allow us to see what kind of attitudes towards European integration prevailed among both the Italian political elites and general public throughout the country, and how modern-day anti-EU critiques were shaped by political developments in the decades immediately following World War II. Given the longstanding narrative that has painted Italy as a traditional bastion of pro-Europeanism recently “turned Eurosceptic”, my aim is to test existing theories and assumptions, and to see whether there is more nuance to the matter than previously thought.
Next working steps:
I will consult a mixture of primary sources – from electoral manifestos, newspaper clippings and speeches, to opinion polls and surveys. Perhaps the most challenging part of my project will be that of assessing mass-level attitudes at a time prior to the existence of social media. This will become especially difficult when looking at more rural parts of the country – which is rendered even more complicated when one considers the diversity of Italy’s regional and cultural mosaic.