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.

Special Issue of the Slavonic & East European Review on Innovations in Corruption Studies

The Slavonic and East European Review has published a special issue on Innovations in Corruption studies which I co-edited together with Alena Ledeneva and Roxana Bratu (UCL). The special issue emerges from the FP7 ANTICORRP project in which I worked at UCL from 2014 to 2016 and the seminar series on innovations in corruption studies in Europe and beyond that I convened on behalf of the project group in 2015/2016.

The issue (Vol 95, No. 1) includes a co-authored article on Paradigm Shifts in Corruption Studies that I co-authored with my co-editors as well as contributions by other leading scholars in the field of corruption studies and anti-corruption.

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.

Review of ‘Gwiazda. 2015. Democracy in Poland’ published in East European Politics

gwiazda 2015 democracy in poland covereep coverMy review of Anna Gwiazda’s book ‘Democracy in Poland. Representation, participation, competition and accountability since 1989’ (Routledge, 2015) has been published in East European Politics. The book provides one of the first comprehensive empirical studies of Polish democracy between 1989 and 2011. You can read the full review here (subscribers only).

Videos for SAGE Research Methods collection published

SAGE Research methods video collection

The new SAGE Research Methods Video collection went live today, currently featuring 276 videos on the theory and practice of a variety of methodological approach. It also includes two videos that I filmed for SAGE in May 2015:

While accessing the video itself requires a subscription, the transcript is freely available to all users. You can find out more about my videos here; the whole video collection is available at http://methods.sagepub.com/video.

Filming for new SAGE Research Methods Video collection

Yesterday, I spent the day filming two videos for the new SAGE Research Methods Video collection. The videos are a new initiative that aims to provide high quality video for instruction at university level and are produced by Lambent Productions. SAGE commissioned me to film both a video tutorial (i.e. a mini lecture) as well as a case study video, in which I talked about my own research, for them. The latter was based on a paper I previously published in SAGE Research Methods Cases. My videos are as follows (titles tbc):

  • Video Tutorial: Introduction to Elite Interviewing
  • Video Case Study: Stuying Presidential Activism Using Mixed Methods

My videos are part of the Politics & International Relations collection which will officially be launched in March 2016. Access to the videos itself will be subscription-based, yet the first 30 seconds and the full transcripts will be available non-subscribers as well. Until then, you can download my paper on elite interviewing in CEE here [subsribers] or here [open access version].

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Filming the videos in my office at UCL SSEES

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.