Scuola superiore sant'anna

Affiliate Researcher

Francesca Spagnuolo


Francesca Spagnuolo is currently Affiliate Researcher at Scuola Superiore Sant’Anna of Pisa. She completed her PhD in Law at the University of  Pisa (2005), where she also graduated in Political Sciences, with full marks in 1999. From November 2007 to July 2008 she was post-doctoral research trainee at the Institute for Environment and  Sustainability of the Joint Research Centre of the European Commission, in Ispra (Italy). In February 2008 she was awarded a Marie Curie Training Fellowship at the Environmental Policy Research Centre (FFU), Freie Universitaet Berlin. Her current main interests are global environmental governance, with special emphasis on food & water, international/global water law, water grabbing, the human right to water. Her research especially addresses allocation problems and equitable access to water; water quality standards and drinking water safety; the human right to water in situations of scarcity, emergency and disasters.  Since April 2009 she is Research Fellow within the Earth System Governance Project, the largest social science research network in the area of governance and global environmental change. From february 2018 she is Author for the Working Group II Contribution to the IPCC Sixth Assessment Report

At Scuola Sant'Anna, she has been working at the Global Security and Human Rights Laboratory since 2013, in the framework of the following international and national research projects (1)  " Water, a non-reproducible resource, a public good, a factor in development, a cause of war”  -  MIUR-PRIN 2010-2011; (2) "Ensuring the right to safe drinking water in situations of disaster: an analysis of the international regulatory and institutional framework" - CALL DIRPOLIS 2014; (3) "EnhANcing emergencY management and response to extreme WeatHER and climate Events"- H2020- DRS-01-2015; (4) "Climate change adaptation through water-related ecosystem services" (PIT-PSR 2014-2020 Regione Toscana).

She is the author of two books and over 35 articles and chapters in books. See ORCID iD 0000-0001-7162-4900.

Current research topics

  • The impact of climate change on water resources
  • The human right to water 
  • Water Grabbing & Equitable Access to Natural Resources
  • Drinking water quality standards
  • Access to water in disaster situations


Istituto di Diritto, Politica e Sviluppo

  • Consiglio Istituto Dirpolis