Office of the Provost

Alberta M. Sbragia

  • Vice Provost

Alberta M. Sbragia is Vice Provost and Professor of Political Science. She is an expert on European Union politics and political economy.

Sbragia earned her undergraduate degree from Holy Names College in Oakland, California, and spent her junior year in France studying at the Université de Paris (Sorbonne). She received her MA and PhD in political science from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, which included a year of research in Italy as a Fulbright Fellow.

Following completion of her PhD, Sbragia joined Pitt’s faculty and taught American and European urban politics and policy. From 1983-1984 she was visiting associate professor at Harvard University’s Graduate School of Business Administration. In 1984 the University asked her to develop and direct the West European Studies Center. From 1993 to 1995 Sbragia chaired the European Union Studies Association (EUSA), the field’s premier scholarly association, and based its headquarters at Pitt. In 1998 she founded the University’s European Union Center, one of the original 10 centers in the United States funded by the European Commission, that was named a European Union Center of Excellence in 2005.

Sbragia has been recognized as a scholar, teacher, and mentor internationally and within the University. The European Union named her in 2005 Jean Monnet Chair ad personam in recognition of her teaching and research related to the European Union; in 2013, EUSA conferred on her its Award for Lifetime Achievement in European Studies. At Pitt, Sbragia was the inaugural holder of the Chancellor Mark A. Nordenberg University Chair from 2006-2010, awarded the Provost’s Award for Excellence in Mentoring in 2013, and is presently University Center for International Studies Research Professor.

In addition to the European Union, Sbragia’s areas of expertise center on comparing the European Union and the United States, comparative politics, comparative regionalism, and comparative federalism. Among her several books, numerous book chapters, and scholarly articles are Euro-Politics: Politics and Policymaking in the ‘New’ European Community and Debt Wish: Entrepreneurial Cities, US Federalism, and Economic Development. She has also presented and given more than 200 papers and speeches around the globe, in addition to teaching in Europe, Australia, New Zealand, and China.

She works with committees of faculty, staff, and graduate students to establish minimum standards and to review and make recommendations on proposals for all new graduate and professional programs. She is the liaison to the Provost’s Advisory Committee on Women’s Concerns, one of several activities aimed at improving the status of women at the University of Pittsburgh.


  • Electronic Theses and Dissertations Steering Committee
  • Provost's Advisory Committee on Women's Concerns (PACWC)
  • University Council on Graduate Study (UCGS)
  • Task Force on Postdoctoral Fellows

Education & Training

  • PhD, University of Wisconsin-Madison

Representative Publications


  • Debt Wish: Entrepreneurial Cities, US Federalism, and Economic Development, Pittsburgh, PA: University of Pittsburgh Press, 1996. Nominated as one of the best books of 1996 APSA's Urban Politics Section 1996 Best Book Committee. (Sections reprinted in Laurence J. O'Toole, Jr., ed., American Intergovernmental Relations: Foundations, Perspectives, and Issues, 3rd edition, Washington:  CQ Press, 2000, pp. 217-228.)

Chapters and Articles

  • “The Treaty of Nice,” The Oxford Handbook of the European Union, Anand Menon, Erik Jones, and Stephen Weatherill, eds., Oxford University Press, 2012.
  • “Key Policies” (with Francesco Stolfi), Elizabeth Bomberg, John Peterson, and Richard Corbett, eds., The European Union: How Does It Work? 3rd edition, Oxford University Press, 2012.
  • “The European Union: A New Form of Governance,” in The Ashgate Research Companion to Regionalisms, Timothy M. Shaw, J. Andrew Grant, and Scarlett Cornelissen, eds., London: Ashgate, 2011.
  • “EU Studies and the ‘New Regionalism’: What Can be Gained from Dialogue?” (co-authored with Fredrik Soderbaum), Journal of European Integration, 2010, 32 (6): 563-582.
  • “Multi-Level Governance and Comparative Regionalism,” in Handbook on Multi-Level Governance, Henrik Enderlein, Sonja Wälti, and Michael Zürn, eds., Cheltenham: Edward Elgar, 2010: 267-278.
  • “The EU, the US, and Trade Policy: Competitive Interdependence in the Management of Globalization,” Journal of European Public Policy, 17(3) (April 2010): 368-382.
  • “Comparative Regionalism: What Might it Be?” Journal of Common Market Studies, Annual Review, Vol. 46, September 2008, 29-49.
  • “The United States and the European Union: Overcoming the Challenge of Comparing two ‘Sui Generis’ Systems,” in Anand Menon and Martin Schain, eds., Comparative Federalism: The United States and the European Union, Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2006, 15-34.