Studying Social Dynamics

Studying Social Dynamics


The Carlo F. Dondena Center on Social Dynamics and Public Policy, is cross-disciplinary research hub due to the variety of topics covered, which mainly (but not exclusively) refer to the Bocconi Department of Social and Political Sciences. The Center, as Marco Bonetti, Full Professor of Statistics and Dondena’s Director since the end of 2014, is keen to emphasize, "has grown a lot in these 15 years, both in terms in terms of the number of researchers and sources of funding, and for the quality of the research output, which has enabled us to earn a strong international reputation.”
The Dondena research center was founded in 2006 through a donation by Dr. Alberto Dondena, and currently has about 60 affiliates. Since then, thanks to the fundamental input of its first director and current President Prof. Francesco Billari, the aim of the Center has been to promote, coordinate and conduct research on social dynamics, with an emphasis on medium and long-term processes and comparative analyses, often following an interdisciplinary approach.
The Center is currently divided into three research areas: Population Dynamics and Health, coordinated by Guido Alfani; Welfare State and Taxation, coordinated by Simone Ghislandi; Politics and Institutions, coordinated by Catherine De Vries. These are supplemented by the AXA Research Lab on gender equality, coordinated by Paola Profeta.
The researchers of the Dondena Center belong to subject areas such as demography, epidemiology, sociology, public economics, economic history, statistics, and political science. Currently, the main areas of activity are: population dynamics (from health to historical demography, to economic and social history, to sociology); the study of the development and effects of government intervention on economic and social variables (from taxation to pensions, health systems, migration); collective decision-making processes and social interactions (institutions, elections, corruption, redistribution, and transparency); and issues associated with gender equality (which cuts across all previous research areas).
Research grants that are fueling publications in high-end international journals (the most important goal for the institution) include those from the European Research Council (ERC), the body of the European Union that funds frontier research activities in EU member states and associated countries: “Six projects funded by as many individual ERC grants are currently underway at Dondena. These projects are led by Arnstein Aassve, Guido Alfani, Francesco Billari, Catherine De Vries, Alessia Melegaro, and Tamas Vonyo, respectively,” continues Bonetti. "However, many other research projects are being developed at the Center, and we expect the next 15 years will bring ever greater results and satisfaction.”

by Davide Ripamonti
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