Giovanni Capoccia is a professor of comparative politics in the Department of Politics and International Relations and a fellow in politics at Corpus Christi College, University of Oxford. His current research is a comparative analysis of how democracies control extremist political dissent. His most recent book, Defending Democracy: Reactions to Extremism in Interwar Europe (Johns Hopkins University Press, 2005), analyzes five crises of democracy in interwar Europe that, although similar in most of their basic characteristics, led to different outcomes.
At the Radcliffe Institute, Capoccia will work on a monograph about how contemporary Western European democracies control extremist parties and movements. Titled Militant Democrats (Johns Hopkins University Press, to be completed in 2008), the book will explore in comparative perspective the factors that affect the choices of reaction to extremism and the consequences of such choices for democratic stability and legitimacy. This research combines a general analysis of sixteen Western European countries since 1920 with a more in-depth investigation of recent events in France, Germany, and Spain.
Capoccia did his undergraduate studies in Rome and earned his doctorate at the European University Institute in Florence. He has been a visiting scholar at the University of Heidelberg, at the University of California at Berkeley, and the Max Planck Institute for Comparative Constitutional Law and International Law in Heidelberg. His work has been supported by the British Academy, the German Service for Academic Exchanges, and the Nuffield Foundation, among other organizations.