My research explores the causes and consequences of the territorial structure of political systems, from a comparative perspective across place and time.

Main projects and publications

The Politics of Conditional Grants in Australia, Canada and the United States

This project, co-led with Dr Johanna Schnabel and funded by a British Academy Newton International Fellowship, explored the impact conditional grants have on the autonomy and capacity of constituent units in Australia, Canada and the United States.

Schnabel, J. and P. Dardanelli. 2022. Helping Hand or Centralizing Tool? The Politics of Conditional Grants in Australia, Canada and the United States. Governance,

Why Centralisation and Decentralisation in Federations? 

This project measured dynamic de/centralisation across 22 policy and five fiscal categories in six major federations – Australia, Canada, Germany, India, Switzerland, and the United States – since their foundation. It aimed to explain why some federations become more centralised over time while others become more decentralised. I was lead investigator and project manager for this project, the rest of the team included Professor John Kincaid (co-PI, Lafayette College, USA), Professor Alan Fenna (Curtin University, Australia), Professor André Kaiser (University of Cologne, Germany), Professor André Lecours (University of Ottawa, Canada), Dr Ajay Kumar Singh (Hamdard University, India), Dr Sean Mueller (University of Berne, Switzerland), and Stephan Vogel (University of Cologne, Germany). It was funded by the Leverhulme Trust (grant no. IN-2013-044), the Swiss National Science Foundation (grant no. IZK0Z1_155030), and the Forum of Federations.

Dardanelli, P., J. KincaidA. FennaA. KaiserA. LecoursA. K. Singh,  S. Mueller and S. Vogel. 2019. Dynamic De/Centralization in Federations: Comparative ConclusionsPublius: The Journal of Federalism 49/1: 194-219.

Dardanelli, P., J. KincaidA. FennaA. KaiserA. Lecours, and A. K. Singh. 2019. Conceptualizing, Measuring, and Theorizing Dynamic De/Centralization in FederationsPublius: The Journal of Federalism 49/1: 1-29.

Dardanelli, P. and S. Mueller. 2019. Dynamic De/Centralization in Switzerland, 1848-2010Publius: The Journal of Federalism 49/1: 138-65.

Dardanelli, P., J. KincaidA. FennaA. KaiserA. LecoursA. K. Singh,  S. Mueller and S. Vogel. De/Centralisation Dataset 1790-2010.  [Data Collection]. Colchester, Essex: UK Data Service, doi: 10.5255/UKDA-SN-853510 

European Integration and State Restructuring 


This project investigated the causal connections between European integration and processes of state restructuring in Belgium, Denmark, France, Italy, Spain, and the United Kingdom, from 1950 to today. It was funded by the James Madison Trust.

Dardanelli, P. 2017. Restructuring the European State – European Integration and State Reform. Montreal: McGill-Queen’s University Press

Dardanelli, P. 2014. European Integration, Party Strategies, and State Restructuring: a Comparative Analysis. European Political Science Review 6/2: 213-36

Dardanelli, P. 2012. Europeanization and the Unravelling of Belgium: a Comparative Analysis of Party StrategiesActa Politica 47/2: 181-209

Federalism, Nationality, and Democracy in Switzerland 


This project investigated the nature and evolution of Swiss federalism from a comparative perspective. It dealt with a number of aspects, including its relevance for the evolving confederalism of the EU, the degree to which it is challenged by Europeanisation, its connections with democracy and with national identity. It was funded by Presence Switzerland, the Institut d’Estudis Autonòmics (now Institut d’Estudis de l’Autogovern), and the British Academy (grant no. OCG-44396).

Dardanelli, P. 2011. Multi-lingual but Mono-national – Exploring and Explaining Switzerland’s Exceptionalism. In Ferran Requejo and Miquel Caminal (eds), Federalism, Plurinationality, and Democratic Constitutionalism – Theory and Cases. Abingdon: Routledge

Dardanelli, P. and N. Stojanović. 2011. The Acid Test? Competing Theses on the Nationality-Democracy Nexus and the Case of Switzerland. Nations and Nationalism 17/2: 357-76

European Integration and Devolution in Scotland 

Dardanelli, P. 2005. Between Two Unions: Europeanisation and Scottish Devolution. Manchester: Manchester University Press

Dardanelli, P. 2005. Democratic Deficit or the Europeanisation of Secession? Explaining the Devolution Referendums in Scotland. Political Studies 53/2: 320-42

Dardanelli, P. 2009. Europeanization as Heresthetics: Party Competition over Self-Government for Scotland, 1974-97Party Politics 15/1: 49-68 

Research mentoring


2018-20. Dr Johanna SchnabelAn Instrument of Centralisation? The Politics of Conditional Grants in Federal States. British Academy-funded Newton International Fellowship. Placement: Lecturer in Comparative Politics, FU Berlin.


2019-date. Carles Ferreira Torres. Secessionist Party Rhetorical Strategies. PhD in Comparative Politics.

2017-21. Bizuneh Getachew YimenuImplementing Federalism in a Developing Country: the Case of Ethiopia, 1995-2020. PhD in Comparative Politics. Placement: Teaching fellow, University of Birmingham.

2016-20. Kieran WrightParty Competition in Post-Devolution Scotland. PhD in Comparative Politics. Placement: Teaching fellow, University of Sheffield.

2015-19. Guillermo Reyes Pascual. Party Competition over the Centre-Periphery Cleavage. PhD in Comparative Politics. Placement: Associate lecturer, University of Kent.

2014-15. Meng Zhu. Religion and National Identity in China. Visiting doctoral reseacher in Comparative Politics from Peking University, China.

2013-14. Fabian Hayoz. Lobbying and Foreign Policy. Visiting doctoral researcher in International Relations from the University of Berne, Switzerland. Placement: Swiss diplomatic service.

2009-13. Tom Vandenkendelaere. The Evolution of Polish-German Relations in the Context of EU Enlargement: the Limits to Europeanisation. PhD in International Relations. Placement: Member of the European Parliament.

2009-13. Sean Mueller. Why Centralisation? A Comparative Analysis of the Swiss Cantons. PhD in Politics & Government, awarded without corrections. Placement: Swiss National Science Foundation Post-doctoral Fellow, University of Berne, Switzerland.

2006-07. Weiqing Song. Europeanisation of National Foreign Policy: the EU and UK’s Relations with China. Main supervisor. Visiting doctoral researcher in International Relations from the University of Siena, Italy. Placement: Assistant professor, University of Macau.


2007-09. Rebecca Casson. Incentives, Opportunities and Constraints in Local Government Paradiplomacy: a Case Study of the Kent-Virginia Project. MA-R in Politics & Government, awarded without corrections. Placement: CEO, Committee for Geelong, Australia.