Foto del docente

Paolo Zurla

Alma Mater Professor

Alma Mater Studiorum - Università di Bologna

Adjunct professor

Department of Sociology and Business Law

Curriculum vitae

Full Professor of Sociology at the School of Political Sciences of the University of Bologna. He is President of the School of Political Sciences of the University of Bologna and Vice-President for the Forlì Campus of the same School. He is member and Vice-Director of the Department of Sociology and Business Law.


Academic Career

He holds a degree in Political Science with special focus on social politics at the University of Bologna.

In 1983, he wins a research award at the University of Bologna and continues his work as a researcher until 31st of October 1992.

Between the 1st of February 1992 and the 31st October 1995 he works at the University of Padova as an Associate Professor of Sociology in the Faculty of Political Science.

From the 1st of November 1995 he is Associate Professor of Sociology at the Faculty of Political Science "Roberto Ruffilli" Forlì Campus at the University of Bologna.

From the 1st of November 2000 to the 31st of October 2003 he is an Untenured Full Professor of Sociology (teaching Sociology - SPS/07) at the Faculty of Political Science "Roberto Ruffilli" Forlì Campus at the University of Bologna.

From November 2003 he is confirmed Full Professor of Sociology in the same Faculty of Political Science where he continues to work.

Teaching and institutional activities

From  2011 to 2012 he has been Dean of the Faculty of Political Sciences "R.Ruffilli" - Forlì Campus.

From March 2006 to 2010 he has been President of the Forlì Campus.

He has been member of the Council of the PhD Program in Sociology of the University of Bologna.

He has been Head of the following Bachelor and Master Degree Courses at the School of Political Sciences "Roberto Ruffilli" Forlì Campus: Sociology, Sociology of the Third Sector, and Sociology and Criminological Sciences. 

During the present academic year he is teaching the following courses: Sociology at the Bachelor course in Sociology at the School of Political Sciences "R.Ruffilli" - Forlì Campus and Social Policies at Master course in Sociology and Social Services at the School of Political Sciences of Bologna. 

Research activities and scientific cooperations

He has lead and conducted a series of empirical researches at local, national and international levels and he has written several essays and papers in books and reviews. 

At a local and national level, he has cooperated in delivering analysis of services and public organisations, polls and researches for many institutions and government bodies - such as the Ministry of Health, Ministry of Justice, the Republic of San Marino-; for local institutions - Regione Toscana, Regione Emilia-Romagna, Regione Sardegna, the industrial association of Emilia-Romagna, Giovanni Agnelli Foundation, Ismu Foundation, Riello Spa company - and for local municipalities  - municipalities of Bologna, Forlì, Rimini and Cesena, province of Forlì-Cesena and chamber of commerce of Forlì-Cesena.

He's also been project consultant for TEAM consortium and for Telecom Italia (the Italian telecommunication company). He also took part in the information technology commission at the Ministry of Health during the institution of the National Health System.

He has also taken part in the European Community project "Third system and occupation", coordinated a Socrates-Erasmus project and taught within the School of Higher education in Public Administration.

He led numerous researches on a wide range of subjects, such as young people and their relationship with social, economic and cultural changes in the contemporary society, the local job market and the relationship with irregular work and technological innovation, social policies at local level with particular attention to the issue of working hours regulation, reconciliation of times and social integration of some less advantaged social groups.

During the academic year 2002-2003 he worked on the implementation of the API Project (Methods and Techniques for Integrated Learning) financed by the University of Bologna and aimed at experimenting e-learning.

He carried out the research project “Job Network: development of a network of services for a quality labour market in the footwear sector”, concerning the industrial area of San Mauro Pascoli and financed by the Emilia-Romagna Region. He has also conducted a survey on a sample group of 1000 young people in the Province of Forlì-Cesena, financed by the provincial government, as part of a project aimed at looking more closely into the world of the youth while studying individual and group life styles, education and training processes, the relationship with work, politics, social participation and values, as well as the perception of the future.

Recently, he directed the research project “Socio-economic conditions, life styles and well-being expectations. A research in the Forlì-Cesena Province” (Provincia of Forlì-Cesena and University of Bologna - Polo Scientifico-didattico di Forlì), that involved 835 citizens aged 15-74.

From 2011 he takes part as “Senior expert-social” at the research project “Data collection and research services on fundamental rights issues - procurement procedure F/SE/10/03”, funded by the European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights (Vienna), in which a multidisciplinary equipe of researchers belonging to Bologna University cooperate, together with Cospe, to produce papers and reports on thematics related to human rights. Regarding this, he has been in charge of the national Italian report for the research project “Data Protection: Redres mechanism and their use. Social Fieldwork Research” and he is now in charge of the national Italian report for the research project “Mapping data sources on Roma in the Eu”.

He has recently directed the research "Youth and intergenerational equity: problems and perspectives in Emilia-Romagna” (in collaboration with Legislative Assembly of Emilia-Romagna) and he is currently leading the project "Open city platform: ideation, experimentation and evaluation of a  citizens' marketplace”, and the project “Analysis, evaluation and integration of the practices of defence of citizens' rights" (funded by Legislative Assembly of the Emilia-Romagna Region). 

In the last period the themes subject to his works have been:

- Youth issues covering matters concerning the relationship between education and work placements;

- Women occupation and policies of conciliation between worktimes and livinghood;

- the immigration process and the question of social integration;

- The governance of local development with particular emphasis on the transformation of industrial districts;

- Social policy issues with special regard to social programme development, integrating services and the relationship between the public and the private sectors;

- The introduction of the information technology within services and health organizations.


He was the principal scientific and organizational responsible for various academic conferences, among which could be mentioned the international meeting Young people, Europe, the Mediterranean. Territories, Identities, Policies (, that took place in Forlì on 26-27-28 March 2009. 

He has participated as coordinator at the annual ESPAnet Italia 2008 conference organized at Ancona (Italy) from 6/11/2008 to 8/11/2008, on the theme: local welfare and territorial focused adjustments.

In 2006-2007 he organized and led a higher education course in “Immigration fluxes, integration paths in local areas” at the Forlì Campus.

He has led and organized numerous seminars and teachings on behalf of local institutions, health organizations, cooperatives, companies and privates.


He is director of the four-monthly journal “Autonomie locali e servizi sociali” [“Local Autonomies and Social Services”] (published by il Mulino) and a member of the Executive Committee of the quarterly magazine "Sociologia del lavoro" [“Labour Sociology ”] directed by Michele La Rosa (published by Franco Angeli).

He is member of the Scientific Committee of the book series “System theory and complexity” (ed. Aracne, Roma).

He is member of the Scientific Committee of the book series “Métissage” (Ed. L'Harmattan Italia).

He is member of the Scientific Committee of the Scientific Journal "Studi di sociologia". 

He is member of the Scientific Consulence Committee of the book series “Ismu – Iniziative e studi sulla multietnicità” (ed. FrancoAngeli, Milano).

He is member of the Scientific Committee of the book series “Spe- Sociologia per la persona” (ed. Franco Angeli, Milano).

From 2006 he is member of the board of "Jeunes & Sociétés en Europe et autour de la Méditerranée" (

He is member of the Scientific committee of Iress soc. Coop., Bologna (Istituto Regionale Emiliano-Romagnolo per i Servizi sociali e Sanitari, la ricerca applicata e la formazione).

He is member of the Scientific Committee of the Europa Point, Forlì (

In 2008 and 2011 he has been appointed by the technical scientific research committee of the autonomous province of Trento as research project supervisor for "post-doc 2007" and for “post-doc 2011”.

From 2002 he is member of the referee committee at the University of Padova.



He is member of the Italian Association of Sociology (AIS), of which he has been also member of the directive council, and part of the “ELO” committee dealing with issues concerning economy, work and organisation. 

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