Elisa Bellè

Postdoctoral Fellow

Elisa Bell

Elisa Bellé obtained her Ph.D in Sociology and Social Research at the University of Trento, Italy, and also studied 4 semesters at the Technische Universität Dresden (Germany), completing an Italian-German Double Degree programme. Her main research interests are related to the study of cultures, identities and practices of political militantism, both of parties and social movements. Her research experience is characterized also by the interest for comparative approaches, with a focus on the socio-political contextualisation (localism, political subcultures, dynamics of territorial anchorage of political parties). Her methodological skills are prevalently qualitative, with a consolidated experience in interviewing (structured, semi-structured and ethnographic interviews), focus groups, participant observation, and archival research.

Elisa Bellé's Marie Curie project, called ERRANT – Ethnography of Right Across Nations and Territories, proposes an in-depth and comparative study of two leading actors of the European right: the Italian Lega and the French Rassemblement National (RN). The project, organized around two in-depth qualitative case studies, analyses the dynamics of parties’ territorial anchorage at the forefront of their institutionalization, in two middle-sized towns where they have already accessed the mainstream (high electoral scores, party in local government). It also sheds light on the internal life and fabric of the two parties, giving voice to the activists themselves in their everyday interactions, from rank and file to higher executives. With an experimental mix of immersion and comparison, ERRANT inaugurates a new methodological template that will be useful for future ethnographic works on the local anchorage of political parties. Beyond the two case studies, the research aims to produce new interpretative categories of partisanship and political cultures.

Research interests

  • Political ethnography, political sociology, social movements
  • Militantism, grassroot activism, political participation
  • Territorial and centre/periphery divides
  • Qualitative methods, ethnography, comparative case studies

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