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Giovanna De Maio

Giovanna De Maio is a visiting fellow in the Center on the United States and Europe at Brookings. With a background on Russia and international security, as well as on Italy’s relations with Russia, EU and United States, De Maio’s current research project analyzes Italian domestic and foreign politics, in light of the challenge posed by the rise of populism in the European Union and of the political instability in the Mediterranean. In particular, De Maio is working on the evolving topic of “direct democracy” in the Italian case and its possible consequences on democratic stability.

Prior to joining Brookings, she worked as a trans-Atlantic post-doctoral fellow at the French Institute for International Relations in Paris, where she provided expertise on the impact of the sanctions towards Russia (and Russia’s counter-sanctions) on the Italian economy, and at the German Marshall Fund (GMF) of the United States in Washington, D.C., where she analyzed the ties between Russia and eurosceptic parties in Italy prior to the national elections in 2018.

De Maio holds a doctorate in international relations from the University of Naples, L’Orientale; an advanced certificate in diplomatic studies from the Società Italiana per l’Organizzazione Internazionale in Rome; and a master’s and bachelor's degree from the University of Naples, L’Orientale. In her doctoral dissertation, Giovanna focused on the 2014 conflict in Ukraine and provided a comprehensive analysis of the crisis from the perspective of Russia, including an assessment of the decisionmaking mechanisms within the Kremlin and mythmaking processes addressing Russian public opinion. She conducted field research in Moscow and spent five months as a special guest of the Brookings Institution, where she completed research on EU energy security vis-à-vis Russia.

Prior to enrollment in her doctoral program, De Maio was a trainee at the Council of Europe in Strasbourg, where she worked reviewed NGO projects proposals and country-targeted action plans in the fields of human rights, democracy, and rule of law.

De Maio writes regularly a number of policy-oriented articles, working papers, and policy briefs different outlets such as the Observatory for International Politics of the Italian Senate, the GMF, Brookings, and the Institute of International Affairs.