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Research activity

Michele di Donato


Bourse Marie Curie

Current Position

• January 2017– : Marie Skłodowska Curie Fellow, (Sciences Po, Centre d'histoire)

Previous Positions

• 2015-2016: Research Fellow, Gramsci Foundation, Rome
• 2014-2015: Postdoctoral Fellow (Research in Paris Programme), Centre d’histoire de Sciences Po, Paris
• 2013-2014: Visiting Fellow, IDEAS Centre, London School of Economics

Projet du 1/1/2017 au 31/12/2018 Grant Agreement - 704507 - EUROSOCIAL
correspondant au CALL: H2020-MSCA- IF-2015, Bourse Marie Sklodowska-Curie

Individual Fellowships European. Le superviseur de cette bourse est le professeur Mario Del Pero.

The 1970s are widely considered in historiography as a turning point in European and international history. Amid major social and cultural shifts, the decade witnessed the crisis of the post-World War II patterns of ‘embedded liberalism’, economic growth and state interventionism, and set the stage for the emergence of a new globalisation process that would redefine the concept of national sovereignty.

This project investigates these processes from the point of view of the European social democratic movement. A leading political force in many European countries for most of the decade, the social democrats were especially hard hit by the emerging new conditions, which called them to revise their programmes and approaches. The research focuses on three main aspects of their response to the crisis of the postwar ‘Keynesian compromises’: A) Social democracy as a transnational political force: the exchange of ideas and the transfer of policy strategies, the learning processes and the ideological conflicts that took place within the social democratic networks. B) The European Left as a variable of the transformation of the Cold War order: the alteration of the ideological, political and economic relations between the two blocs and within each one of them, the evolution of social democracy’s transatlantic partnership, the impact of globalisation. C) Social democracy and European integration: the new debates on (and contributions to) the development of the European Community that emerged during these years in connection with the economic crisis, globalisation and the difficulties of national reformism.

This analysis will be crucially supported by a broad multi-archival research, to be carried out in five European countries and in the US. As a final result, this project aims at providing a highly innovative transnational narrative of the social democratic response to the challenges of the 1970s, consistent with the most recent trends in international political history.

Selective bibliography


  • I comunisti italiani e la sinistra europea: Il PCI e I rapporti con le socialdemocrazie (1964-1984), (Rome: Carocci, 2015) – 2016 “Alceo Riosa” Prize for studies on the history of the socialist and labour movements in Italy and Europe.


  • “Enrico Berlinguer e la sinistra europea”, Dimensioni e Problemi della Ricerca Storica, issue 2, 2016 (in press)
  • “ The Cold War and Socialist Identity. The Socialist International and the Italian ‘Communist Question’ in the 1970s”, Contemporary European History no. 24, issue 2, 2015: 193-211
  • “Tra Guerra civile internazionale e distensione. I comunisti italiani, la Guerra fredda in Europa e l’Ostpolitik” (Between ‘international civil war’ and détente. The Italian communists, the Cold War in Europe, and Ostpolitik), Giornale di Storia costituzionale no. 26, issue 2, 2013: 135-149
  • “Il rapporto con la socialdemocrazia tedesca nella politica internazionale del Pci di Luigi Longo (1967-1969)”, Dimensioni e Problemi della Ricerca Storica, issue 2, 2011: 145-171
  • “Partito comunista italiano e socialdemocrazia tedesca negli anni Settanta”, Mondo Contemporaneo, issue 3, 2010: 91-117

Book Chapters

  • S. Pons, M. Di Donato, “Reform Communism”, in The Cambridge History of Communism, Cambridge University Press (forthcoming: 2017)
  • “Il socialismo sovietico e la riforma del capitalismo europeo”, in Oltre il confine. Europa e Russia dal 1917 a oggi, ed. A. Panaccione, Milan: Fondazione Feltrinelli, 2016, 48-53
  • “La SPD e l’integrazione europea da Willy Brandt a Sigmar Gabriel”, in Il socialismo europeo e il processo di integrazione. Dai Trattati di Roma alla crisi politica dell'Unione (1957 - 2016), ed. S. Cruciani, Milan: FrancoAngeli, 2016, p. 81-100.
  • M. Di Donato, R.D. Portolani, “Il Foreign Office e la stampa italiana”, in Gli intellettuali nella crisi della Repubblica (1968-1980), eds. E. Taviani, G. Vacca, Rome: Viella, 2016, p. 333-352.
  • “Back to square one. L’Internazionale socialista e il dibattito sul comunismo, 1964-1968”, in Sguardi sulle nuove prospettive della ricerca storica, eds. Michelangela Di Giacomo, Annarita Gori, Rome: Aracne, 2014, 163-178
  • “Un socialismo per l’Europa del Sud? Il PS di François Mitterrand e il coordinamento dei partiti socialisti dell’Europa meridionale”, in Nazioni e narrazioni tra l’Italia e l’Europa, eds.Michelangela Di Giacomo, Annarita Gori, Tommaso Nencioni, Gregorio Sorgonà, Rome: Aracne, 2013, 235-251


  • Review of Mathieu Fulla, Les socialistes français et l’économie (1944-1981). Une histoire économique du politique, in Mondo Contemporaneo, issue 1, 2017 (forthcoming)
  • Review of Antonio Varsori, La Cenerentola d’Europa. L’Italia e l’integrazione europea dal 1947 a oggi, in Officina della Storia, no. 7 (2011) 3
  • “And once again: Social democracy, what is to be done?” – Review of Progressive Politics after the Crash. Governing from the Left, eds. Olaf Cramme, Patrick Diamond, Michael McTernan (eds.), in Political Quarterly vol. 85, issue 3, 2014: 387-389

Other Publications