Caterina Paolucci has studied political and social sciences in Milan and Florence. She has taught at the School of Political Science of the Universities of Milan (Catholic University) and Pisa and at several US university programs in Florence. Since 2007, she has served as Academic Coordinator of the JMU EUPS program.
In 1989, she received a Masters in Political Science from the Catholic University in Milan, where, in 1991, she published an award-winning thesis on the changes in postwar West European party competition and organization. After that, Caterina was awarded a scholarship to produce a study on the application of game theory to political science and was offered a one-year contract with the Center for National Research (CNR), Institute for the Study of the Development of Economic Systems in Milan, where she worked on a project exploring the impact and applicability of economic models in political science.
From 1994 until 2000, she taught a seminar on “The Formation and Consolidation of Western European Party Systems” at the Catholic University in Milan. She then moved to Florence, where she attended the Ph.D. program of the European University Institute and continued her studies. Her thesis, “Forza Italia: from Business Firm to Political Party,” allowed her to specialize in party organizational changes and their consequences for contemporary representative democracies. She is currently writing a book on Silvio Berlusconi’s political party.
Caterina’s main research interests lie in comparative politics, the history and theory of party systems, inter-party competition models, party organizational changes, and electoral behavior. She is also interested in political theory, with a special attention for theories of democracy and political representation. More recently, she has expanded her field of study to the politics and economics of the European Union, and lately she has been teaching international relations and EU topics courses at the University of Pisa and various American universities operating in Florence. At Syracuse University in Florence, she was coordinator of the All-School Lectures Series from 2005 to 2007. Paolucci’s mother tongue is Italian, but she speaks German as a second language and is fluent in English, French, and Spanish. She has published in Italian, English and French scholarly journals and has contributed a number of essays to edited books. Her most recent publication, an article entitled: 'From Democrazia Cristiana to Forza Italia and the Popolo della Liberta': Partisan change in Italy', was recently awarded the Association for the Study of Modern Italy (ASMI) Christopher Seton-Watson Prize for the best article published in the journal Modern Italy during the calendar year 2008.
Paolucci has always been active at the organizational level within her discipline. From 2004 to 2008 she has been the Italian representative of the British Political Studies Association (PSA) forging and promoting links between the British Association and the Italian Political Science Association (SISP). Within this framework, she has brought together British and Italian political scientists on several occasions through the organization of seminars, workshops, and conferences, with the aim of improving relations between the two groups and increasing the fruitful exchange of ideas, academic collaborations and common publications. She has organized several international conferences and has participated in the organisation of the bi-annual European Consortium for Political Research (ECPR) General Conference in 2007.
She volunteers in the community through various educational activities, including giving lectures to citizens groups, political parties, grassroots organizations, and high school students about European and Italian politics and EU history, institutions, and policy-making.