I am a political scientist and Postdoctoral Research Fellow in the Department of Political Science, Chair in Comparative Government and German Politics, at Leibniz University Hannover, Germany. Until January 2018, I was Senior Research Fellow and and Deputy Director of the Centre for European Studies (CEFEUS) at Canterbury Christ Church University. Before then I worked as a postdoctoral researcher in the FP7 ANTICORRP project at University College London, School of Slavonic and East European Studies and student research assistant at the Mannheim Centre for European Social Research (MZES).

I gained a BA in Political Science and Public Law at the University of Mannheim, Germany, and a MA in Politics, Security and Integration at University College London, School of Slavonic and East European Studies. In 2015 I completed a PhD in Political Science at the same department. My PhD thesis dealt with presidential activism in Central and Eastern Europe, 1990 to 2010. My thesis won the ECPR Jean Blondel Prize 2016 for the best thesis in politics and was published with Palgrave Macmillan in July 2017.

Currently, my research is primarily concerned with candidates and competition in indirect presidential elections, electoral candidates and party system change and the workings of illiberal democracies in Central Eastern Europe and authoritarian regimes in the CIS.

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