I am a political scientist and Senior Research Fellow in Politics and International Relations and deputy director of the Centre for European Studies (CEFEUS) at Canterbury Christ Church University. I previously worked as a postdoctoral researcher in the FP7 ANTICORRP project, as a Postgraduate Teaching Assistant at University College London, School of Slavonic and East European studies, where I still hold an honorary position, and as a student research assistant the Mannheim Centre for European Social Research (MZES).
I hold a PhD in Political Science from UCL SSEES as well as a MA in Politics, Security and Integration from the same department and completed a BA in Political Science and Public Law at the University of Mannheim, Germany. My PhD thesis dealt with presidential activism in Central and Eastern Europe 1990 to 2010. My doctoral research was funded by the SSEES Foundation Scholarship (2010-2013), the SSEES Excellence Scholarship (2014) and the UCL Graduate School. 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 mainly concerns presidents and political parties in European republics. I am particularly with presidents’ involvement in the legislative process and government formation as well as candidates and competition in presidential elections. With regard to parties, I am looking at electoral candidates, party list turnover and (new measures of) party system change. I also have a keen interest in research methods, especially in new forms of big political data, mixed-methods approaches and elite interviewing.
I am involved in a number of additional activities. I have organised and coordinated workshops, panels, conferences and seminar series. In 2015, I also advised a think tank of the UK Ministry of Defence on a new strategy paper. Last, I have been an avid academic blogger and Twitter user since the beginning of my research career. After writing my own blog for several years, I joined forces with other political scientists interested in presidential politics with whom I now write and co-edit the “Presidential Power Blog“. Occasionally, I also contribute to other online resources such as the UCL SSEES Research Blog, New Eastern Europe and Crossing the Baltic.