GSADI promotes the use of innovative theories and methods in Analytical Sociology. Our main research interest is in building formal models of social mechanisms to explain the complex interaction of social norms, strategic rationality and institutional design.

To this effect GSADI researchers employ a variety of innovative methodologies and techniques, including agent-based social simulation and experiments (inspired by recent advances in behavioural social science). These models and techniques are applied to a variety of research topics covering several disciplines within the social sciences (computer simulation, political theory, social philosophy, archaeology, and behavioural economics/psychology). GSADI currently does empirical research on fiscal sociology, social influence, prosocial motivations, norm compliance, and collective action.

GSADI also aims to foster theoretical, normative and epistemological research oriented towards the consolidation of sociology as a scientific discipline.

Research areas


  • Social experimentation 
  • Social simulation and agent-based models 
  • Social networks

Fiscal sociology

  • Behavioural aspects of taxation 
  • Tax compliance and tax morale
  • Agent-based models of tax compliance
  • Tax policy analysis

Social norms and group behaviour

  • Norm compliance
  • Social influence
  • Informative effects of law

Sociological theory and philosophy of the social sciences

  • Analytical sociology and social mechanisms
  • Social ontology
  • Normative social theories and institutional design

The welfare state and social mechanisms 

  • Basic income and universal social benefits 
  • Pro-social motivations and social policy 
  • Social perception of distributive justice


  • Collective action and rationality
  • Behaviourally enriched rational choice