Category Archives: UCL

Launch of my book “Presidential Activism and Veto Power in Central and Eastern Europe” at UCL SSEES – 8 December 2017

You are all cordially invited to join me for the launch of my book “Presidential Activism and Veto Power in Central and Eastern Europe” (Palgrave, 2017):

8th December 2017
18:00-19:00, followed by a wine & snacks reception
UCL School of Slavonic and East European Studies
16 Taviton Steet, London WC1H 0BW

This book is one of the first comprehensive comparative studies of presidential activism and veto power in Europe. Focusing on presidential vetoes and the formation of governments, it maps patterns of presidential activism and its determinants across nine Central and East European democracies between 1990 and 2010. Thereby, it combines the analysis of original quantitative data on the use of presidential powers with in-depth case studies in an innovative mixed-methods framework. Based on regression analyses and unique insights from numerous elite interviews, the study shows strong support for the hitherto insufficiently tested assumption that popularly elected presidents are more active than their indirectly elected counterparts. This book will be a key resource not only for area specialists but also for scholars of presidential studies, comparative government, and executives.

The book will be introduced by Professor Petra Schleiter (Oxford University) followed by a brief presentation by the author and a Q&A. The launch concludes with a wine and snacks reception in the Masaryk Senior Common Room.

The launch and wine reception are kindly sponsored by the Political Leadership Specialist Group of the Political Studies Association (PSA). The event is hosted jointly by the UCL SSEES Centre for European Politics, Security and Integration and the UCL European Institute.

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.

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.