Short CV

March 2018

(full CV available at:


Research interests are located at the intersection of three main themes: a) risk, uncertainty, environmental change and sustainability; b) the impacts of scientific advancement and technological innovation; c) conflict, participation, deliberative democracy, the public sphere and the transformation of governance. These issues are explored both empirically and in their implications for social and political theory.

In recent years he has been committed to elaborating on the major process of change begun in the 1970s, a crucial part of which concerns ‘nature’, ‘human nature’, new and emerging techno-sciences, environmental challenges and socio-political and economic transformations. This research program, which aims at understanding the major underpinnings and implications of this process (for society and social theory as well), has led to date to a book editorship, some book chapters and journal articles and a book. He is the co-ordinator of the seminar ‘Politics-Ontology-Ecology’, the first edition of which took place in Pisa on October 5-6, 2017. Its aim is to offer an opportunity of discussion between scholars belonging to various disciplines in the social sciences and humanities (sociology, geography, anthropology, philosophy, political science, economy, STS etc.), who share an interest in the problem-area identified by the intersection of the three words.

He has been as well engaged in elaborating on the issue of responsibility and expertise in the governance of the environment and techno-scientific innovation, and is presently working on socio-technical imaginaries, anticipations and Responsible Research and Innovation (RRI). In this context he has organized a dedicated session at the First International Conference on Anticipation (Trento, 5-7 November 2015). In regard to climate change, he is co-author of the widely cited article ‘Changing the intellectual climate’ (published in 2014 in Nature Climate Change), on the need to overcome narrow conceptions of and approaches to the ‘human dimensions’ of climate change towards a more broad-based, integrated knowledge, building on an extensive, pluralistic dialogue between ‘hard’ sciences and social sciences and humanities. He is presently working as well on the themes of practice-oriented social mobilizations and emergent forms of ‘commoning’, with some publications in preparation.

He is active at international level as member and session organizer at general and thematic conferences of ISA (International Sociological Association), ESA (European Sociological Association), EASST (European Association for the Study of Science and Technology) and 4S (Society for the Social Study of Science). At national level he (with Giorgio Osti) has inaugurated in 1996 the series of the Conferences on Environment and Society. He is also member of the ECPR (European Consortium for Political Research) Standing Groups on Political Sociology, Environmental Politics and Politics and Technology, of AIS (Italian Sociological Association) and of STS-Italia (Italian association for science and technology studies).

He has given lectures and keynote speeches at various institutions and international conferences (EHESS Paris, SCORE Stockholm, European Commission-JRC Ispra, EUI Florence, European Sociological Association etc.). He is in the board of various journals (Environmental Sociology, Science as Culture, European Societies, Sociologica, Rassegna Italiana di Sociologia, etc.) and was editor of Sociologica (2011-2013). He has been as well in the board of the Research Committee RC24 ‘Environment and Society’ of the International Sociological Association (2002-2006) and for two terms (2011-2013 and 2013-2015) in the executive committee of the European Sociological Association. Visiting scholarships include the Centre for the Study of Environmental Change (CSEC), Lancaster University, UK.

He has a long experience as program and unit coordinator or senior researcher in national (e.g. PRIN) and international projects (e.g. European Commission’s FP IV, V, VI, VII and Interreg programs) on issues related to environment, technology, innovation, social conflicts, expertise, governance and public participation (GMOs, electromagnetic fields, food risk, chemical, nuclear and natural hazards, energy, waste, territorial and urban policies, ecotourism etc.). He has worked with organizations and bodies such as WHO, ENEL, SNAM, EC-JRC, regional governments and local administrations.

In 2017 he has been appointed full professor in sociology of the environment and territory at the University of Pisa. From 2000 to 2016 he was associate professor at the University of Trieste. He is member of the PhD Program in Sociology and methods for social research (University of Turin and State University of Milan), has taught at the IUAV University of Venice, the University of Udine and the International School for Advanced Studies Trieste (SISSA). He has supervised and is supervising at PhD programs of the Milan Catholic University, the State Universities of Milan and Turin, the Université Paris IV-Sorbonne, the European University Institute, the IUAV University of Venice and the International University Institute for European Studies, Trieste (IUIES).

He authored about 140 scientific publications, publishing in leading Italian and international journals (Rassegna Italiana di Sociologia, Quaderni di Sociologia, Sociologia e Ricerca Sociale, Rivista Italiana di Politiche Pubbliche, etc.; British Journal of Sociology, Environmental Values, European Journal of Social Theory, Theory, Culture and Society, Environmental Politics, Journal of Classical Sociology, Public Understanding of Science, etc.). Among his books: Il rischio ambientale (Il Mulino, 2001), La deliberazione pubblica (ed., Meltemi, 2005), Sociologia dell’ambiente (Il Mulino, 2008, 2ed.), Neoliberalism and Technoscience: Critical Assessments (ed., Ashgate, 2012), Ontological Politics in a Disposable World: The New Mastery of Nature (Routledge, 2016). Google Scholar (January 2020) reports 3187 citations, with an h index of 25 and an i10-index of 40.

Selected publications


2016   Ontological Politics in a Disposable World: The New Mastery of Nature. London: Routledge.

2008    Sociologia dell’ambiente. Bologna: Il Mulino (with G. Osti).

2001    Il rischio ambientale. Bologna: Il Mulino (with B. De Marchi and D. Ungaro).

1996    Giovani verso l’Europa. Popoli, paesi, istituzioni. Gorizia: ISIG (with G. Delli Zotti).

1991    Tra simbolo e funzione. Immagini giovanili del centro storico. Milano: Angeli.

Book editorship

2018    Energia e innovazione tra flussi globali e circuiti locali. Trieste: EUT (with G. Osti).

2012    Neoliberalism and Technoscience. Critical Assessments. Farnham: Ashgate (with M. Ylönen).

2011    Conflitti ambientali. Esperti, politica, istituzioni nelle controversie ecologiche. Bologna: Il Mulino

2007    Democrazia locale. Apprendere dall’esperienza. Gorizia: ISIG

2005    La deliberazione pubblica. Roma: Meltemi

Editorship of journal monographic issues

2019    Italian perspectives on world-ecology, Sociologia Urbana e Rurale, 120 (with E. Leonardi)

2018    Problematizing the commons: New insights into the promises and perils of commoning. Rassegna italiana di sociologia.

2015    La transizione energetica: prospettive sociologiche. Quaderni di sociologia, 66 (with G. Osti).

2013    Conflitti e ingiustizie ambientali nelle aree fragili. Partecipazione e conflitto, 1 (with G. Osti)

2012    ‘Reassessing sustainability’. Sociologica, 2 [online], monographic section

2010    ‘Ambiente e teoria sociale’. Quaderni di teoria sociale, 10, monographic section

Articles and book chapters

(in press) ‘Post-truth or pre-emptive truth? STS and the genealogy of the present’, in K. Rommetveit (ed.), Post-truth imaginations, London, Routledge.

(in press) ‘Subtraction, affirmation and inoperativity: rethinking the transformative potential of prefigurative politics’, Social Movements Studies.

(in press) ‘Ambiente e sostenibilità’, in P. Magaudda e F. Neresini (a cura di), Gli studi sociali sulla scienza e la tecnologia, Bologna, Il Mulino.

(in press) ‘Technoscience: divergent Marxist perspectives’, in Handbook of Marxism, edited by Beverley Skeggs, Sara R. Farris, Alberto Toscano, London, Routledge (with L. Levidow)

2020    ‘Modernità o capitalismo? Tornare davvero sulla terra’, Quaderni di Sociologia, 79.

2020    ‘The environmental state between pre-emption and inoperosity’, Environmental Politics, 29(1).

2020    ‘Commons, capitalism and inoperative praxis: beyond the Green New Deal?’, in S. Baldin and S. De Vido (eds.), Environmental sustainability in the european union: socio-legal perspectives, Trieste, EUT.

2019    ‘Reconfiguring non-domination: green politics from pre-emption to inoperosity’, Critical Review of International Social and Political Philosophy. DOI:10.1080/13698230.2019.1698149

2019   ‘Climate crisis and new ecological mobilisations’ (Part I and II), Undisciplined Environments, November 8, 2019 –  November 12, 2019

2019 ‘Politica, ontologie, ecologie’, Le Parole e le Cose 2,

2019    ‘Responsibility’, in Routledge Handbook of Global Sustainability Governance, edited by Agni Kalfagianni, Doris Fuchs and Anders Hayden, London, Routledge.

2018  ‘Responsibility and ultimate ends in the age of the unforeseeable. On the current relevance of Max Weber’s political ethics’. Journal of Classical Sociology, doi: 10.1177/1468795X18758232

2017    ‘The ethical government of science and innovation’. In: D.Tyfield, R. Lave, S. Randalls and C. Thorpe (eds.), Routledge Handbook of Political Economy of Science. London: Routledge, 182-193.

2017   ‘New materialism and runaway capitalism’, Soft Power, 5(1): 63-80.

2017    ‘I rischi della resilienza’. In: A. Mela, S. Mugnano, D. Olori (eds.), Territori vulnerabili. Verso una nuova sociologia dei disastri italiana. Milano: Angeli, 28-41.

2017    ‘On the infinity of debt’, Continental Thought and Theory, 1(2), 406-429.

2017  ‘Intensifying embroilments: technosciences, imaginaries and publics’. Public Understanding of Science, 26(2): 212-219.

2016    ‘Public participation and trade-offs in flood risk mitigation. Evidence from two case studies in the Alps’. Nature and culture 11(1): 93–118 (with. A. Scolobig and C. Bianchizza).

2016    ‘Catching up with things? Environmental sociology and the material turn in social theory’. Environmental Sociology, 2(4): 312-321.

2015    ‘Embroiling nature and history: The philosophy of praxis and the challenges of the present’. Science as culture, 24(3): 325-334.

2014    ‘Studying communities at high environmental risk: the case of Gela’, in P. Mudu, B. Terracini and M. Martuzzi (eds.), Human Health in Areas with Industrial Contamination, Copenhagen: World Health Organization, Regional Office for Europe, 247-267 (with P. Saitta).

2014    ‘Construction, co-production and beyond. Academic disputes and public concerns in the recent debate on nature and society’. Sociology Compass, 8(6): 851-864.

2014    ‘Changing the intellectual climate’, Nature Climate Change, 4 (September): 763-768 (with N. Castree et al.)

2014    ‘Bridging promises and (dis)illusions: deliberative democracy in an evolutionary perspective’. In: Applying Evolutionary Governance Theory, edited by K. Van Assche, R. Beunen and M. Duinenveld  Berlin: Springer, 215-232.

2014    ‘Metaphors and problematizations. Notes for a research programme on new materialism’. Tecnoscienza. Italian Journal of Science and Technology Studies, 2: 73-91.

2014    ‘Governo dell’ambiente e razionalità neoliberale’. Sociologia e ricerca sociale, 102, 31-40.

2014    ‘Territorio e movimenti sociali. Continuità, innovazione o integrazione?’. Poliarchie, 2.

2014    ‘Natura, buen vivir e razionalità neoliberale’. In: S.  Baldin, M. Zago (eds.) Le sfide della sostenibilità. Il buen vivir andino dalla prospettiva europea, 185-199.

2013    ‘Une idée sur le déclin? Evaluer la nouvelle critique de la délibération publique’. Participations, 2 : 87-118 (special issue on Critique de la participation et gouvernementalité)

2013    ‘Biological resources, knowledge and property’. In: S. Lockie, D.A. Sonnenfeld and D.R. Fisher (eds.), Routledge International Handbook of Social and Environmental Change, London: Routledge, 292-306.

2013    ‘Risk’. In: C. Death (ed.), Critical Environmental Politics, London: Routledge, 198-207.

2013    ‘Fornire conoscenze alla deliberazione. Il ruolo degli esperti’. In: L. Bobbio (ed.), La qualità della deliberazione. Studio sui processi dialogici tra cittadini. Roma: Carocci (with C. Zanetti).

2012    ‘In search of community. Political consumerism, governmentality and immunization’. European Journal of Social Theory, 15(2): 1-21.

2012    ‘Hegemonic contingencies: neoliberalized technoscience and neorationality’ (with M. Ylönen) In: L. Pellizzoni and M. Ylönen (eds.), Neoliberalism and Technoscience. Critical Assessments. Farnham: Ashgate, 47-74.

2012    ‘Mistaking publics. A challenge for environmental governance’. In: C. Claeys-Mekdade and M. Jacqué (eds.), Environment, knowledge and democracy. Brussels: Peter Lang, 37-59.

2012    ‘Strong will in a messy world. Ethics and the government of technoscience’. NanoEthics 6: 252-272.

2012    ‘Reassessing sustainability. An introduction’. Sociologica, 2: 1-18 [online]. doi: 10.2383/38266

2011    ‘Perspectives on social capacity building for natural hazards: outlining an emerging field of research and practice in Europe’. Environmental Science & Policy, 14(7): 804-814 (with C. Kuhlicke et al.).

2011  ‘Governing through disorder: neoliberal environmental governance and social theory’. Global Environmental Change, 21(3): 795-803.

2011    ‘The politics of facts. Local environmental conflicts and expertise’. Environmental Politics, 20(6): 765-785.

2011    ‘Ecoturismo: un’esplorazione concettuale’. Archivio di studi urbani e regionali, 101-102, 9-31.

2010    ‘Risk and responsibility in a manufactured world’. Science and Engineering Ethics, 16(3): 463-479.

2010    ‘Environmental knowledge and deliberative democracy’. In: M. Gross and H. Heinrichs (eds.) Environmental Sociology: European Perspectives and Interdisciplinary Challenges. Berlin: Springer, 159-182.

2010    ‘Fabbricare la natura. Crisi ecologica, critica sociale e governamentalità neoliberale’. In: O. Marzocca (ed.), Governare l’ambiente? La crisi ecologica tra poteri, saperi e conflitti. Milano: Mimesis.

2009    ‘Revolution or passing fashion? Reassessing the precautionary principle’. International Journal of Risk Assessment and Management, 12(1): 14-34.

2008    ‘Responsibility in uncertain times. An institutional perspective on precaution’. Global Environmental Politics, 8(3): 51-73 (with M. Ylönen).

2008    ‘The antinomy of accountability’. In: M. Boström and C. Garsten (eds.) Organizing Transnational Accountability. Cheltenham: Elgar, 210-230.

2007    ‘Opinione o indagine pubblica? Concetti e esperimenti di democrazia deliberativa’. Rivista italiana di politiche pubbliche, 2, 101-126.

2006    ‘”Decidiamo insieme!” Conflitti tecnologici e deliberazione pubblica’. Quaderni di Sociologia, L(41).

2005    ‘Cosa significa deliberare. Promesse e problemi della democrazia deliberativa’ In: L. Pellizzoni (ed.), La deliberazione pubblica. Roma: Meltemi.

2005    ‘Trust, responsibility and environmental policy’. European Societies, 7(4): 567-594.

2005    ‘Cosa significa partecipare’. Rassegna italiana di sociologia, 46(3), 479-514.

2004    ‘Responsibility and environmental governance’. Environmental Politics, 13(3): 541-565.

2003    ‘Knowledge, uncertainty and the transformation of the public sphere’. European Journal of Social Theory, 6(3): 327-355.

2003    ‘Uncertainty and participatory democracy’. Environmental Values, 12(2): 195-224.

2001    ‘The myth of the best argument. Power, deliberation and reason’. British Journal of Sociology, 52(1): 59–86.

1999    ‘Reflexive modernisation and beyond. Knowledge and value in the politics of environment and technology’. Theory, Culture and Society, 16(4): 99-125.

1998    ‘Conoscenza, deliberazione e cooperazione’. Rassegna italiana di sociologia, 39(4), 577-620.