My first book “Presidential Activism and Veto Power in Central and Eastern Europe” has now been published

My first book Presidential Activism and Veto Power in Central and Eastern Europe has now been published with Palgrave Macmillan as the inaugural volume in its new series ‘Palgrave Studies in Presidential Politics‘. The book is based on my award-winning PhD thesis that I completed at University College London, School of Slavonic and East European Studies in 2010-2015 and which received the ECPR Jean Blondel PhD Prize 2016 for the best thesis in politics.

The book examines the use of presidential powers in Central and East Europe between 1990 and 2010, focusing on presidential vetoes and the formation of governments. Based on original quantitative data and unique insights into presidential politics gathered through a large number of elite interviews, it provides one of the first comprehensive comparative studies of presidential activism and veto power in Europe.

“Despite the prominence of presidential powers in academic debates, until now only few scholars have tried to analyse and explain how presidential actually use them. My study attempts to fill this gap in the literature and add to our understanding of presidential politics in parliamentary and semi-presidential systems.”

The book has already received praise from established scholars. Ferdinand Müller-Rommel, Professor of Comparative Politics at the Leuphana University Lüneburg, highlights the originality and scientific rigour of the study: “The book is an inspiration for scholars of comparative government. It has set a new approach of excellence for those seeking to understand presidential activism in democracies across the globe.”

The book is available as hardback and ebook – you can download a flyer here. I would of course also be grateful if you would recommend it to your library. Last, you can watch a short book trailer summarising the book’s key features below.

Jean Blondel Prize award ceremony at the 45th ECPR Joint Sessions, Nottingham

From 25 to 27 April 2017 I am at the 45th ECPR Joint Sessions at the University of Nottingham. On Wednesday, 26 April, I will officially receive the Jean Blondel PhD Prize 2016 for the best thesis in politics.

Since October 2003, the ECPR Press has awarded an annual PhD prize named after Political Science Professor Jean Blondel for the best thesis in politics (including not only Comparative Politics but also other fields such as International Relations, Political Theory and Public Administration). The central criterion for this prize is that, with suitable amendments, the thesis would make an outstanding book. The prize comes with a cash reward of €1,000 and is thus one of the most highly endowed dissertation prizes worldwide.

The prize committee highlighted that “the thesis makes an important contribution to studies of presidential activism. It suggests an innovative research approach to explain this activism and, moreover, it is elegantly constructed and the dissertation is a pleasure to read.”

A revised version of my thesis will be published as a monograph with Palgrave Macmillan as Presidential Activism and Veto Power in Central and Eastern Europe in May 2017.

Jean Blondel PhD Prize 2016 for the best thesis in politics

ECPR Jean Blondel PhD Prize Winner 2016

I am honoured and excited to announce that my PhD thesisVeto et Peto: Patterns of Presidential Activism in Central and Eastern Europe has been awarded the Jean Blondel PhD Prize 2016 for the best thesis in politics!

Since October 2003, the ECPR Press has awarded an annual PhD prize named after Political Science Professor Jean Blondel for the best thesis in politics (including not only Comparative Politics but also other fields such as International Relations, Political Theory and Public Administration). The central criterion for this prize is that, with suitable amendments, the thesis would make an outstanding book, addressing central themes in the relevant subfield(s) of the discipline. The prize comes with a cash reward of €1,000 and is thus one of the most highly endowed dissertation prizes worldwide.

The prize committee highlighted that the thesis makes an important contribution to studies of presidential activism. It suggests an innovative research approach to explain this activism and, moreover, it is elegantly constructed and the dissertation is a pleasure to read.

At the same time, I am proud to announce that a revised version of my PhD thesis, titled ‘Presidential Activism and Veto Power in Central and Eastern Europe‘ will be published as a monograph with Palgrave Macmillan in 2017. Until then, you can still download and read my original thesis via the UCL Discovery platform. An extended summary is available from my blog presidentialactivism.com.

PhD thesis shortlisted for ECPR Jean Blondel PhD Prize 2016

My PhD thesis ‘Veto et Peto: Patterns of Presidential Activism in Central and Eastern Europe’ has been shortlisted for the ECPR Jean Blondel PhD Prize. Since October 2003, the ECPR Press has awarded an annual PhD prize named after Political Science Professor Jean Blondel for the best thesis in politics (including not only Comparative Politics but also other fields such as International Relations, Political Theory and Public Administration).

Each full ECPR member institution (currently 288) can nominate only one dissertation (usually after an internal contest/selection procedure) which, with revision, could be potentially published as a monograph.

Initial selection is based on a 15-20 page abstract; no more than 5 nominees are included in the short list and then submit a full copy of their thesis for evaluation by the committee. The winner will be announced by 30 September 2016.

You can read my thesis here. I am currently working towards publishing it as a monograph.

Successful PhD thesis defence

From left to right: Dr James Melton (UCL School of Public Policy, internal examiner), Professor Robert Elgie (Dublin City University, external examiner), Dr Allan Sikk (UCL SSEES, principal supervisor), myself.

From left to right: Dr James Melton (UCL School of Public Policy, internal examiner), Professor Robert Elgie (Dublin City University, external examiner), Dr Allan Sikk (UCL SSEES, principal supervisor), myself.

Today I successfully defended my doctoral thesis “Veto et Peto: Patterns of Presidential Activism in Central and Eastern Europe” on which I worked since October 2010 at University College London – School of Slavonic and East European Studies. You can read more about my PhD research on http://www.presidentialactivism.com.

SSEES Excellence Scholarship

UCL SSEES_logo

After having held the SSEES Foundation Scholarship – my department’s only 3-year, full doctoral scholarship (£15,000 p.a.) – from 2010 to 2013, I have now been awarded the SSEES Excellence Scholarship, worth £2,000.

The purpose of the SSEES Excellence Scholarship is to support outstanding research students in the final stages of writing-up the dissertation and is awarded based on a record of academic excellence and excellence in the doctoral programme to date. More information can be found here.

Paper accepted: BASEES Annual Conference 2014

RGB_logo_basees

My paper ‘Presidential activism in Central and Eastern Europe: The question of popular elections’ has been accepted for presentation at the Annual Conference of the British Association of Slavonic and East European Studies (BASEES), Fitzwilliam College, University of Cambridge, 5-7 April 2014. The paper summarises the main findings of my PhD thesis – an abstract is available here; as in this year, I will also chair a panel – this time on Governance & Accountability. The full programme can be found here.

Case study for ‘SAGE Cases in Methodology’: Elite interviews in a nested analysis framework

SAGE_logoMy methods case study ‘Semi-structured elite interviews in a nested analysis framework: Studying presidential activism in Central and Eastern Europe’ has been accepted for publication with SAGE Cases in Methodology, a unique collection of over 500 case studies for use in the teaching of research methods (more information here).

In my case study, I use the research design of my PhD thesis and my fieldwork experiences to shed light on the challenges of integrating qualitative interviews into a nested analysis framework. You can read an abstract here.

Президентське вето – Talk at the Ukrainian Institute in London, 28 February 2013

Ukrainian Institute London_logoOn 28 February 2013 I will be giving a talk titled “Президентське вето – Central and Eastern European presidents and their power to block legislation” at the Ukrainian Institute in London.

In my talk I am going to present results from my study of the use of presidential vetoes in the new EU member states in Central and Eastern Europe and compare these findings with how Ukrainian presidents from 1998 to to 2012 have used their power to block legislation.

Time: 7.00PM
Place: Ukrainian Institute
79 Holland Park
London W11 3SW

The talk will be held in English; admission is free and everybody is welcome! There will be an opportunity of Q&A after the talk as well as a wine reception.

Further information can be found here http://ukrainianinstitute.org.uk/upcoming-events/929