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Valeria Benko

Photo Valeria Benko

Postdoctoral Researcher


            2012 – Present: Doctoral Candidate, Graduate School of North American Studies, Freie Universität Berlin.

            2011: M.Sc European Public Policy, University College London.

            2008 – 2011: M.A. Economics and Politics of Development, University of Bologna.

            2004 – 2007: B.A. Political Science and International Relations, University of Bologna.

Teaching Experience:

            SoSe 2015: The U.S. and the Global Challenges of the 1970's (Vertiefungsseminar)

Research Experience:

In past years, I have wandered through the following archives, in the United States and elsewhere: NARA, College Park (MD), Library of Congress, Washington (DC), Rockefeller Archive Center, Sleepy Hollow (NY), Gerald Ford Presidential Library, Ann Arbor (MI), Jimmy Carter Presidential Library, Atlanta (GA), Richard Nixon Presidential Library, Yorba Linda (CA), Hoover Institution, Stanford (CA), National Archives, Kew Gardens (UK), Fundação Getulio Vargas (FGV), Rio de Janeiro (Brazil), and a good number of University Libraries in Europe and in the United States.


2012 – German Research Foundation (Graduate School of North American Studies, Freie Universität Berlin).

2011 – Higher Education Full Scholarship, funded through the European Social Fund (School of Public Policy, University College London).

2010 – Overseas Study Grant (History Department, University of California, Davis).


The Oxford Handbook of Italian Politics (seven chapters), OUP, forthcoming.

My research interests stem from my inability to pick sides between history and political science. I am fascinated, in no particular order, by Cold War history and its remaining traces in current times, systemic theories of international relations, the birth and development of global political and economic regimes, global redistributive issues and theories of political representation, Western world identity and self-perception, and the historical agency of common people.

Among the questions I ask myself daily are: How do people's concerns become embedded into political structures? What is the West, and who decides it? How do elected leaders and common people interpret, justify, and act upon the unequal distribution of economic and political power among nations?

In the attempt to answer at least some of these questions, I spent the last three years researching the American public debate on interdependence and Third World issues in the 1970's, and its impact on international institutions dedicated to the management of globalization.