Wolfgang Minatti

I am a PhD Researcher at the Department of Political and Social Sciences at the European University Institute in Florence. With a background in Political Science and International Relations, I focus on violent non-state actors, rebel strategy and governance in civil wars.

My PhD project investigates the legitimation of state and non-state actors during civil war. I develop a theoretical framework that allows to map the micro-dynamics of legitimacy and elaborates on the processes that lead to the legitimation of certain actors in the eyes of a population. For the project, I am advised by Professor Jeffrey Checkel.

Before joining the European University Institute in 2019, I obtained a Bachelors’ degree at the University Innsbruck (Austria) and a Masters’ degree at Leiden University (The Netherlands). In between my studies I have also worked in Cairo (Egypt) as an intern for the Austrian Economic Chamber.

Civil War

What is the role of ideation in civil war? What are the ethics of fieldwork in contexts of political violence?

Rebel Strategy

Which patterns shape non-state actor strategic thought? What drives military and strategy adaptation of rebel groups?


How do armed actors govern in civil war? How is governance negotiated between civilians and governance providers?



Why and how do armed actors legitimise themselves in civil war? How can we theorise and operationalise legitimation in violent contexts?

Curriculum Vitae


Published in EUIdeas

Published in EUIdeas

Published in Civil Wars, 22(1), pp. 1-15, with Isabelle Duyvesteyn

Presentations & Conferences

May 2021, Virtual
ECPR Joint Sessions
Paper Presentation: "Beyond Legitimacy: Process, Agency and Localness in the Legitimation of International Organisations"
Nov 2020, Washington DC
SSHA 2020 Annual Meeting

Roundtable: "Politics, Economy, and Legitimation Crisis: Approaches to Studying Legitimacy in Unsettled Times" (Cancelled due to Covid)

Wolfgang Minatti

PhD Researcher
Department of Political and Social Sciences
European University Institute
Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Copyright 2020 by Wolfgang Minatti
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