Foto del docente

Stefano Bianchini

Full Professor

Department of Political and Social Sciences

Academic discipline: SPS/06 History of International Relations


Keywords: Diversity Management Democracy and Human Rights in SEE State Partitions and Ethnopolitics Modernity in Eastern Europe Post-Comunist Transition Balkans Politics and History Russian Foreign Policy EU Enlargements Eastwards

Prof. Bianchini's main field of studies currently concerns the following topics:

a. Modernity and development: ideas and itineraries of Eastern Europe between 19th and 20th century.

b. Liquid Nationalism and State partition in Europe.

c. Ethnopolitics and energy issues in the Adriatic-Caspian corridor.

d. EU-Russian-Chinese relations

e. Western Balkan political developments and the EU enlargement.

Prof. Bianchini's main research fields are focusing on Politics and Political Culture in the Balkans, Nationalism and state partition with a specific focus on 20th century Europe, Current institutional and political problems of the transition in the Balkans, the idea of State, Modernization and Backwardness not only in the Balkans but also in the wider Eastern Europe (Including Russia/USSR), China and Russia, Balkans geopolitics, History of the Balkans during the 20th Century, Yugoslav history, International and regional relationships with particular attention to the Italian-Balkans relations since the Balkans wars.

As for his research, Prof. Bianchini had the opportunity to work in the Tito's archives and at the archives of the Yugoslav Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Belgrade. Later, he was a Visiting Fellow of the Columbia Research Institute of Scholars at Reid Hall in Paris for a specific study on State partitions with Indian and European colleagues. He has also conducted researches in Bulgaria and Albania, as well as in Russia. As an expert witness at the ICTY he had the opportunity to assess evidences during the Yugoslav succession wars based on thousands of original documents.

A new book on modernity and development in Eastern Europe was published in 2015 and the paperback in 2016. The book is unique in Italy and at the international level, as it analyzes synthetically the most relevant debates on development with an interdisciplinary and transnational approach. The title is  Eastern Europe and the Challenges of Modernity 1800-2000, Routledge.

Recently he focused on nationalism and state partition in Europe. A new book has been published in September 2017 by Edward Elgar under the title Liquid Nationalism and State Partitions in Europe.

Since 1980s, he has extensively published on social and political events related to the Yugoslav society, as well as on Balkan nationalism, either in comparative perspective or through in-depth analysis of the Yugoslav secession wars. Prof. Bianchini has gone beyond the wide and systematic international literature on State building theories and nationalism in methodology, by strengthening the relevance of the interdisciplinary approach (in terms of historical, sociological, economic, legal, political and cultural interactions). He was one of the few scholars in the world that openly alerted policy makers about the risk of nationalism in Yugoslavia (since 1981) and then of a war. Furthermore, his open approach to the key topics of his research has allowed him to develop a comparative perspective: in other words, he did not restrict the study to the Balkans only (in spite of the fact that this is the region that he knows insightfully), but he has been acute in scholar sensitivity by collecting research studies from the Balkans to other European regions (as the Baltic sea area) or India (highly influenced by the Yugoslav model during the non Aligned Movements experience). Prof. Bianchini has emphasized a sort of continuity in his mainstream research, while offering repeatedly new angles of visions (for instance in the EU-Balkans relations, or in the incompatibility between democracy and nationalism), new interpretations (currently on ethnopolitics and energy issues, as well as in diversity management applied to multicultural democracies), and a tremendous prismatic approach to Politics and History of the Balkans using interdisciplinary and comparative approaches.

As a result, Prof. Bianchini has been consultant of the ICTY in The Hague, as well as of the World Bank, and has conducted research for the European Commission, the Central European Initiative, and the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, by producing policy papers and recommendations on concrete actions to be taken for dialogue, peace, cooperation in SEE. He is also cooperating with different Universities and institutions in the United States and in Europe.

As for the relations between EU, China and Russia, Prof. Bianchini is leading a 3-years international research project of the Forlì Unit of the Department of Political and Social Science under the title "Russia and China in the Global World. State and Society between domestic dynamics and International Projections". The project came to an end in January 2018 leading to the publications of two books, both co-edited together with Antonio Fiori. The first one is in Italian: Russia e Cina nel mondo globale. Due potenze fra dinamiche interne e internazionali (Carocci, Roma, 2018) while the other was published by Brill, Leiden under the title: Rekindling the Strong State in Russia and China (2020). Previously, prof. Bianchini led a research project in 2007 with the cooperation of the Universities of Leuven, Turku, Bristol and the Coimbra Group on the four spaces of cooperation between EU and Russia. The project included a conference on the consequences of the elections in 2008 and the open energy issues between the EU and Russia. The meeting was carried out with the cooperation of the Italian Association of Slavists, the United Democratic Center of Moscow and the Universities of MGU, RGGU and the State University at St. Petersburg. Recently a study on the history of the EU-Russian relations has been prepared for the Spanish journal "Ayer" and will be published soon.

In the end, the studies on post-communist transition and EU Enlargement Eastwards are focusing on post-communist stabilization and the role of EU conditionality and are regularly monitored by prof. Bianchini.