The Scuola Normale Superiore, established by Napoleon in 1810, is a special public institute for higher education that in its two centuries of life has earned itself a special place, both in Italy and abroad, a place characterised by merit, talent and scientific rigour. The institutional activities are distributed among three academic structures: the Faculty of Humanities, the Faculty of Mathematical and Natural Sciences, placed in Pisa, and the new Institute of Humanities and Social Sciences, located in Palazzo Strozzi in Florence. The Academic Ranking of World Universities rates the School among the top six universities in the world and the second in Europe according to per capita performance. In 1927 the Normale was the first Italian university to set up a PhD School. Actually, the recently established Institute of Humanities and Social Sciences offers an international fully-funded four-years PhD Programme in Political Science and Sociology (with focus on the four main research areas of the faculty: Democracy and social movements; Comparative/global public policy and governance; Comparative politics and society; Transnational Politics, Institutions and Norms).
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