PH.D. in Global History and Governance

Program coordinator: Prof. Daniela Luigia Caglioti
Length of the program: 4 years
Scholarships: 6 positions with a stipend of € 19,000 per year are available for the academic year 2019-2020 (the stipend is supplemented with additional funding for study abroad, research trips and conference travel reimbursements)

The program

The Ph.D. in Global History and Governance is an advanced research degree at the end of which each student must defend a dissertation based on independent and original academic research.
The course offers a multi-disciplinary training program based on history and law and open to contributions from other disciplines, such as political science and economics. The program focuses on the comparison, connections and processes of globalization that have characterized different areas of the planet since the first epoch of global imperialism and does so by focusing on the relational dimension of historical processes, legal regimes and the organization of power, on the interdependencies between economic, political, juridical, cultural and social factors and on the circulation, exchange and interconnection of ideas, people, institutions, legal cultures, political models, concepts, rights and goods on a global scale.

The PhD board consists of eighteen members with a wide range of research specialties and can offer training and preparation for research at the level of the best international centers in the following areas: History and historiography; European empires of the modern and contemporary age; States, wars and violence in the nineteenth and twentieth century; History of slavery and forced labor; The legal heritage of Europe and its integration; Religions and the sacred in the modern and contemporary world; Ideas, conceptions and practices of citizenship; States, nations, languages, peoples, classes; The globalization of law.

Candidates for the Ph.D. are normally expected to hold a master's degree (or equivalent qualification) in a subject relevant to the program. The Ph.D. program in Global History and Governance is conceived for prepared and motivated students who also have different language skills and are willing to study in a multi and interdisciplinary environment.

The program aims to train highly qualified scholars and managers who can work in the fields of historical and legal research, international organizations, government and public administration, private companies, thanks to the acquisition of knowledge, concepts, theories and tools useful to read and interpret critically and consciously the historical and legal dynamics and the forces that contribute to the formation and structuring of the world system.

Classes are taught either in Italian or English.

The Ph.D. Faculty Board


Admission to the Ph.D. program is competitive. The selection process is based on the evaluation of candidates'  academic record, a research project (max 3.500 words, together with a selected bibliography and an abstract in Italian and English, max 500 words), as well as an interview in English. The competent bodies of the SSM will establish each year the number of positions available.

Program rules and requirements

The Ph.D. program develops over 4 years.

The first year of the program is dedicated to coursework. In the following three years, the students will focus on their research and will be required to give periodical accounts of their progress both in individual interviews and in seminar meetings.

The coursework consists of three courses with final verification for each of the two terms plus participation in workshops, seminar activities during which students can discuss specific aspects of their doctoral work; attendance of invited lectures; and activities of linguistic training, computer science, research management and enhancement of its results.

The coursework of the first year takes place in two terms: November-February and March-June and is organized as follows:

1st year:
- 6 courses (approx. 10 two-hour sessions) with final verification, typically an historiographical or research essay of 5,000 words;
- 6 three-day workshops;
- active participation in conferences and seminars organized by the program or by other universities and research institutions;
- preparation of a detailed research project for the passage to the 2nd year of the program.

2nd year:
- active participation in conferences and workshops organized by the program or other universities and research institutions;
- two-days of presentation of the progress of the research in the presence of advisors and the Board
- research work on the thesis and preparation of a chapter.

3rd year:
- seminars presenting the research in progress in the presence of advisors and the Board and active participation in conferences and workshops;
- research work on the thesis and preparation of a chapter.

4th year:
- completion of the thesis.

Courses' topics (examples):

Forms of organization of power;
Revolutions, civil and global wars. Case studies, paradigms, and interpretative problems, historiographical perspectives;
Legal and social citizenship, the welfare state and human rights;
Power, religion, sacred in the modern and contemporary eras;
History and analysis of the concepts of people, state, nation and nationality, national languages, class;
Forms of economic and legal integration on a regional (UE, WTO, NAFTA, MERCOSUR) and global basis;
Mythologies of global law;
Rise, expansion, and decline of empires;
History and historiography of the global society;
Labor global history and dynamics of capitalism.

Research activity
Students carry out their research activity under the supervision of a thesis advisor chosen among the members of the Ph.D. Faculty Board. When applicable, the Board can appoint a second advisor, also by activating an external co-tutelle. Admission to the second year is decided on the basis of the presentation of a detailed research project, including a three-year work plan presented to the Board. In addition to the discussion of the project itself and of the papers students prepare for the courses they attend, the Board can also assign them reading lists.
Admission to the third year is decided on the basis of the discussion and approval of a detailed outline of the thesis that the student intends to write and of a chapter thereof.
Admission to the fourth year is decided on the basis of the presentation and discussion, and therefore of the approval by the thesis advisor, of a further chapter of the thesis and of a detailed table of content.

International collaborations

The Ph.D. program in Global History and Governance is designed to be innovative and interdisciplinary, with an international projection, aiming to attract the best students from all over the world. International leading experts in the field are invited as guest lecturers, in addition to scholars working in foreign universities who currently serve as members of the faculty board.
Each student will be required to spend at least one year (also broken into several terms) in foreign universities, research institutes, archives and libraries.
The official languages of the Ph.D. program are Italian and English; courses and seminars may be held in Italian or English.
The PhD program aims to build a series of international partnerships through which to develop the mobility of students and teachers.

Coursework schedule and overview (2019-2020)

In preparation

Scholarly skills

The following activities are organized in collaboration with the other SSM PhD Programs.
Language courses: The SSM organizes, through the University of Naples Fredrick II, Italian language courses for non-native speakers, as well as course in English, French, German, and Spanish.
Computer skills: Ph.D students will be trained in the critical use of e-resources, paying special but not unique attention to those available at the School. Special seminars will aim at improving the students' familiarity with tools such as reference managers, spreadsheets, etc.
Research management, knowledge of research systems and of funding opportunities: The SSM offers training activities to improve the students' knowledge of research management methods, also in relation to funding opportunities. ERC, FIRB principal investigators and other scholars awarded with fellowships from international institutions will lead and attend specific meetings focusing on how to plan research projects.
Valorization of research results and copyright: The SSM will strive to increase the students' knowledge of the rules concerning the exploitation of research results as well as their dissemination, the protection of researchers' work, and copyright. Specific training activities will also be devoted to developing an understanding of how to patent ideas and projects both nationally and internationally.