Wolfgang Minatti

I am a PhD Researcher at the Department of Political and Social Sciences at the European University Institute in Florence and a visiting scholar at the Cluster of Excellence SCRIPTS at the Freie Universität Berlin.

I work on legitimation and governance in international politics. 


My PhD project investigates the legitimation of governing armed actors during civil war, focusing on the Colombian conflict. 

I explore the legitimation of governance, all the way from international politics to civil war.

In my dissertation, I investigate how governing armed actors within civil war become legitimised on a local level?

I develop a relational theory of legitimation that allows to map the micro-dynamics of legitimacy and empirically illustrate this theory by investigating the legitimation of the FARC rebel group within the Colombian conflict, using a qualitative methodology. For the project, I am advised by Professor Jeffrey Checkel.

I have conducted extensive fieldwork in Colombia, where I interviewed inhabitants of rural communities about their experiences with the various armed actors to study the congruence between the communities’ normative expectations and those propagated by the Colombian state and the FARC insurgency.
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). I was a visiting scholar at the Universidad de los Andes in Bogota (Colombia). 


How can we theorise and operationalise legitimation in contexts of complex governance such as international politics or civil war?

Civil War

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


How do armed actors govern in civil war? How is governance co-constructed between civilians and governance providers?


Peer-Reviewed Articles

Working Papers

Work in Progress
Whither Willkommenskultur? National Identity Change following the Arrival of Refugees in Germany in 2015/16
with Selma Kropp (European University Institute)
Work in Progress
"We’ve been made vulnerable": Towards a Situational Understanding of Vulnerability in Fieldwork
with Guillaume Gass (L’École des hautes études en sciences sociales)
Work in Progress
Of Assistants and Researchers: Vulnerability during Fieldwork on the Colombian Conflict
with Laura Ramírez Rodríguez (Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona)
Work in Progress
Legitimacy in Practice: The Meaning of Legitimacy for UN Peacebuilders

Non-Academic Writings


A Life Cycle of Fieldwork

PhD-Level Seminar
European University Institute, Italy
Co-organised with Ophelia Nicole-Berva and Samuel Ritholtz

Social Phenomena of Rebel Groups

MA-Level Seminar
Technische Universität Darmstadt, Germany

Conducting Qualitative Fieldwork: Interviews and Participant Observation

PhD-Level Seminar
European University Institute, Italy
Co-organised with Prof. Caitlin Procter and Mariusz Bogacki

Wolfgang Minatti

PhD Researcher
Department of Political and Social Sciences
European University Institute
Email: wolfgang.minatti@eui.eu

Copyright 2022 by Wolfgang Minatti
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