Open selection for a 2-year post-doc position at CISE on social media analysis (deadline Apr 10)

The selection is still open (until Apr 10). The figure we are looking for (details in the call for applications-see PDF below) will deal with quantitative social media analysis, also through computational methods, so that familiarity with Python and/or R (possibly including API access) is an important plus.

The call for applications is for a two-year post-doctoral position at Luiss Rome within the CISE-run, nationally funded (PRIN) POSTGEN project – Generational gap and post-ideological politics in Italy. The position also offers interesting teaching opportunities; moreover, due to the geographically distributed nature of the project (the Luiss unit, headed by PI Lorenzo De Sio, coordinates three more units in Milan, Bologna and Pavia), applications by non-resident young scholars will be also very seriously considered.

The project is highly innovative on several aspects, from theoretical framework to data collection and analysis, combining qualitative ethnographic interviews, questionnaire-based surveys, and social media analysis using algorithms and GenAI (see description below, or directly ).

Position description (from the call)

The selected postdoctoral researcher will be in charge for specific tasks related to the project work package dedicated to social media, in terms of both data collection and quantitative analysis.

The ideal candidate has:

• a background in empirical social research with a quantitative approach;
• familiarity with manual and automated collection of social media data (including access to social media APIs);
• familiarity with quantitative analysis of social media data, both with human coding and with algorithmic (supervised and unsupervised) approaches;
• familiarity with common data analysis software/programming languages (Stata, R, Python);
• some record of scientific publications;
• some previous participation to international research projects.

The selected researcher will actively cooperate with the project team, and will be offered the possibility of a fully-fledged research experience within the POSTGEN project, including full participation to research activities and to the dissemination of the project, ranging from participation to international conferences to significant opportunities for scientific publications on international journals.

Useful links

Call for applications
(legal document in Italian; includes English position description at the end)

Application form
(deadline: 14.00 CEST of April 10, 2024)

POSTGEN in a nutshell:


Recent, disruptive political change in the Western world (Brexit; Trump; challenger parties across Europe; the birth in 2018 Italy of the first “populist” government in Western Europe) has deeply challenged theories of voting behavior and party competition, leading most scholars to broad explanations based on populism and irrational publics.

Recent comparative research (see the ICCP project; see De Sio/Lachat 2020) has shown more specific mechanisms: challenger parties thrive on an ability to mobilize conflict by leveraging issue opportunities across ideological boundaries. This reveals a de-ideologized context, where voters, relying less on traditional ideological alignments, reward innovative post-ideological platforms.

Still, ICCP research only scratched the surface of a possible de-ideologization process, lacking processual focus (and missed the impact of the Covid crisis, potentially leading to further change).

The POSTGEN Project

POSTGEN fills this gap by offering – on the Italian case, lying at the forefront of disruptive political change – an in-depth analysis of the mechanisms and dynamics of possible de-ideologization. It adopts a generation-aware perspective (needed for understanding change) with emphasis on younger generations, and with innovative focus on:

  • time: tracing the (memory and) dynamics of the formation of political attitudes (at the individual, generational, and collective level) and their impact on political behavior;
  • meanings associated to different political issues, and the (lack of) overarching ideological organization thereof;
  • non-political actors and influencers, and their increasing influence in an age of crisis of epistemic authorities.