Mattia Collini


Mattia Collini



Mattia Collini is a PhD candidate in Political Science, his current research interests are in comparative party politics in Central and Easter Europe, with a specific focus on left and centre-left parties.

Mattia completed a Master degree with honours at the University of Florence in Political Science and Decision Making Processes, with a major in representative and government organs. His master thesis was on the evolution of the Hungarian political system from the democratic transition to the second Orbán government. Earlier, he received his Bachelor degree in Political Science from the University of Florence in 2010, with a dissertation on post-soviet transition in Ukraine and Belarus.

During his Master, he did a traineeship at the Italian Centre for Electoral Studies (CISE) and spent some research periods abroad in Hungary.

Before joining SNS, Mattia worked as a trainee at the Regional Government of Tuscany, in the electoral office and the directorate for participation policies.


Research interests: comparative politics, party politics, elections and electoral systems, Central and Eastern Europe.


Supervisor: Professor Maurizio Cotta (University of Siena)


Research Project

Provisional title: What is left of the left in Central and Eastern Europe? Evidences of success, survival and crisis

The aim of this research is to analyse comparatively the evolution of left and centre-left parties in Central and Eastern Europe (CEE), looking at the transformations over time, the role within the party systems and the challenges they faced and they are facing. This will provide some evidences of the crisis and success of the ‘traditional’ political family(es) that ‘centre-left’ encompass in CEE.

A comparative analysis of left wing parties in CEE, their evolution and current electoral appeal can be of major interest in order to assess the changes and the patterns of normalization of maturing new (or “young”) democracies. Moreover, looking at the broader left-wing spectrum will help to define the concept of centre-left in CEE and whether it is (still) dominated by ‘traditional’ social-democratic forces. In the end, this can help to see if we can speak of converging trends in party politics and check for increasing signs of normalization or “westernization” in CEE politics after a generation since the fall of communism, by comparing it with the crisis of the left that is affecting many western European countries. In other words, this research aims to provide additional evidences of the evolution and challenges of ‘traditional’ parties and party families from CEE.

To sum up, this research aims to provide a comparison of the left in CEE that will benefit from different insights, hoping to contribute enriching the studies on the crisis of the left in the most recent member countries of the European Union and on political parties, political competition and political change in Central and Eastern Europe.

The scope of the research is threefold:

  1. On the one hand, it would assess comparatively whether the rises and falls of the left in CEE can be deemed a special case or is part of a general phenomenon in a context commonly characterized by high instability and low party system institutionalisation.
  2. On the other, it would assess what is “left” in CEE and if it is still centred around ‘traditional’ political forces with a “social-democracy”, and “progressive” identity, mainly represented by parties adhering to the European Socialists and Democrats.
  3. In the end, this work will cover the evolution of left wing parties in the region, looking for the possible causes of their rises and falls, and why we have so different results in these countries.