European civil society organizations in global governance
I started my PhD with the idea of investigating the lack of cooperation between the European and the Chinese civil societies. After some months of research, I realized that such a task would have been impossible to undertake without a better investigation of some other core issue that had not been addressed in the field yet. At that time, I came to the conclusion that it was impossible to investigate power and cooperative relations within the third sector without a proper and formalised understanding of its unique characteristics.
Therefore, I started developing a framework based on resource dependency theories and their application to the third sector. Identifying its nonprofit nature as the core attribute of the sector, I started to frame the effects of this characteristics on the available theories. With the help of a consistent literature retrieved from management and economic theories and from a less developed but still present literature on the nonprofit, I created a research structure to understand the drivers that move nonprofit organisations (NPOs) towards a type of funding or another.
Funding instruments and strategies, together with the mission of the organisation are specific issue related exclusively to the nonprofit sector. While profit oriented organisations can develop their strategies in order to achieve higher profits, NPOs have to find a balance between external funds and services that often don’t provide any economic returns. I conceptualized this dynamic with the Resource Procurement Cycles, a theoretical tool that helped me distinguish the differences between the public, the profit and the nonprofit sectors.
After having set the theoretical framework, I moved to the empirical research. On the basis of a mixed method approach, I tried to identify and exclude variables that can affect the choice of the funding instruments. Next, I analysed the issue form both a macro and a micro point of view. The quantitative analysis focused on the understanding of the macro phenomena, investigating the relation between variables such as space, sector of activity and time on the choice of the instruments. Whereas, the qualitative analysis tried to identify deeper and more hidden drivers that the quantitative analysis was unable to show, such as the entrepreneurial initiative and the driving power of the organization mission.
The quantitative analysis was developed around different datasets. The greatest part is based on the survey of the nonprofit sector operated by the Italian Institute of Statistics (ISTAT).
Early findings have shown a lack of coherence on different level when dealing with nonprofit organisations. The complexity of the sector leads to a variety of approaches and definitions that complicate the operationalisation process of theoretical and empirical researches.
Early statistical results show that there is a dependence between the independent and the dependent variable. Specifically, distributions of proportion of privately and publicly funded organisations vary across regions, sector of activity and date of creation. Even more specifically, publicly funded organisations are more present in regions that present higher level of autonomy, suggesting that this could be a possible explanation to the distribution. Furthermore, older organisations seem to rely more than new orgs on public funding. Finally, there are clear differences across sector of activity. However, a common pattern is hard to identify and for the moment it is hard to hypothesise why some sector are more prone to public funding than others.
The research and its results will benefit the academic debate as well as the operators of the nonprofit sector and interested institutional actors.
The research is collocated in a developing literature, merging an innovative approach with preexisting and well-established theories. The analysis of both old and new datasets can generate a new leap in the academic production on the nonprofit.
The analysis and considerations on funding instruments and strategies will benefit professionals working in the sector, providing guidelines and data to engage more consciously with the management of their organisations.
The review of existing datasets and the evaluation of the nonprofit sectors of different countries can become a useful resource for institutional actors that are willing to better understand and incentivise the third sector.
EU – Researcher at Universität Hamburg
December 2016 – Present
GEM-STONES Marie Curie PhD Fellow. Focus on European and Chinese civil society and global governance.
Trainee – ECFIN Section at EU Delegation to China and Mongolia in Beijing
April 2016 – July 2016
Part-Time Collaboration-Staff at LUISS Guido Carli – External Relations and Events
November 2014 – July 2015
Consultant for the high school “Liceo Farnesina” at Liceo Farnesina – MEP Italia
September 2012 – July 2015
LUISS Guido Carli University (Rome) – Master’s degree, Global Studies
September 2014 – October 2016
Thesis in International Public Policies 110/110 cum laude
The study plan was oriented toward a deep understanding of the international relations from several points of view: economic, political, legal. The courses allowed me to improve the skills I acquired during my undergraduate program. After a selection process among my classmates, I was chosen to take part in a Double Degree program with the China Foreign Affairs University.
China Foreign Affairs University (Beijing) – Master’s degree, International Relations, September 2015 – May 2016
Defended Thesis: “Why Did the European Countries Join The Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank?”
Enrolled in a Double Degree program with LUISS University I studied one year in China. CFAU’s courses helped me developing my knowledge about Chinese politics and economy. All the skills I acquired have proven useful for my internship at the EU Delegation in Beijing.
Università degli Studi di Roma Tre (Rome) Laurea Triennale (Bachelor’s degree), Scienze Politiche e Relazioni Internazionali
2011 – 2014
Grade: 110/110 cum laude. Thesis in statistical models: “Statistical and Territorial Analysis of the Deaths on Italian Roads: Methodological Alternatives”. The study plan included subjects of economics, law, political science, history, sociology, and statistics. My final thesis in statistics allowed me to developed good skills in data mining and data analysis.
Liceo Scientifico Statale Farnesina (high school) – Diploma Liceo Scientifico
2006 – 2011
Contributions to cinaforum.net:
“Tutte le Sfide della Banca Multilaterale di Pechino“
Conferences and Events:
08/02/2017 – Brussels – Conference on “DAVOS and EU-China relations re-thinking the global economy”
06-07/02/2017 – Brussels – AGORA Forum on “Surfing on or drowning in complexity – The European Union in Today’s Unstable World”
Participant as researcher to the activities and round tables proposed at the AGORA Forum.