Call for Papers: Panels on presidential veto power & leadership in EU crises – ECPR General Conference 2017


After the success of my panel on presidential vetoes at the ECPR General Conference in Prague this year, I am once again organising panels as part of the Presidential Politics section for the ECPR General Conference 2017 in Oslo (6-9 September).

Please email paper abstracts (max. 300 words) for inclusion in the panels to  Philipp Köker ( by Monday, 6 February 2017.

1. Presidents and legislation: Policymaking consequences of presidential veto power

The presidents’ legislative veto has traditionally attracted great scholarly attention and scholars have been able to identify common predictors of its use across political systems. This research now provides the basis for a shift of scholarly focus from explaining general patterns of presidential veto use to more bill-specific theoretical and statistical models of presidential involvement in the legislative process. This panel invites submissions that push the boundaries of current research on presidential vetoes and presidents’ involvement in legislation (e.g. through judicial review requests or legislative initiatives) irrespective of methodological (quantitative/qualitative) or theoretical approach. Both case studies of individual countries and/or specific mechanisms as well as comparative research and theoretical papers are welcome.
Full call for papers under this link.

2. The role of presidents in the recent EU crises

Throughout the recent European crises, presidents have emerged as exceedingly vocal actors in a number of countries where they normally do not play a leading executive role. Starting with the Eurozone crisis in 2008 and the subsequent austerity policies, presidential action has been provoked by a number of international factors. The aim of the Panel is to analyse the context and consequences of these interpellations and interventions in which presidents – despite often limited in formal prerogatives – have gone beyond established roles and constitutional practice in a bid to influence the management of European crises at national and international level. This panel welcomes contributions that look at cases individually or comparatively and embed their analyses in the wider literature on political leadership, agenda-setting and European Union studies.
Full call for papers under this link.

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

New job: Senior Research Fellow at Canterbury Christ Church University

cccu-logo-2colourAfter seven years at University College London, School of Slavonic and East European Studies, as MA and PhD student and postdoctoral researcher, I am leaving London and am taking up a new post as Senior Research Fellow in Politics and International Relations at Canterbury Christ Church University from today. I will continue my research into presidential and party politics on collaboration with my new colleagues and also work on communicating our research to the public. More information about the department (part of the School of Psychology, Politics and Sociology) can be found here – it also has an excellent research blog which is definitely worth a read and to which I will soon contribute on a regular basis.

Please note my updated contact details – emails sent to my UCL address however still reach me.

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

Political Methodology Specialist Group Conference, 27 June 2016, London

Today Allan Sikk and I are presenting at the first annual conference of the Political Methodology Specialist Group of the Political Studies Association at University College London. In our presentation, we discuss the challenges of using candidate lists and candidate registers for parliamentary elections as (difficult) big political data (abstract here). You can read more about our research at

EPSA Annual Conference in Brussels, 23-25 June 2016

This week I am at the 6th Annual General Conference of the European Political Science Association (EPSA) in Brussels. I will present my paper ‘Risk or Reward: Party strategies and extra-parliamentarian electors in German presidential elections, 1949-2012’. In it I examine the inclusion of electors that do not hold legislative office into the state delegation to the Federal Convention (view the abstract here). More information as well as my original data will be available via in due course.

UACES Workshop ‘Crisis and Innovation in the European Union: Beyond Populism and Managerialism’

Crisi and innovation in the EU - warwick workshopOn 13 May I will take part in the workshop ‘Crisis and Innovation in the European Union: Beyond Populism and Managerialism‘ at the University of Warwick. The of this interdisciplinary workshop is to explore the impact of ‘crises’ in their material and ideational forms, upon EU institution and policy-making dynamics. Emphasis is also put on identifying policy responses focusing on ‘innovation’ as a strategy. The workshop is funded by the Academic Association of Contemporary European Studies (UACES), the British Academy and the Society of Legal Scholars (SLS).
I will present Allan Sikk‘s and my work on corruption and candidate turnover in Central and Eastern Europe and discuss self-regulating mechanisms of parties faced with increasing corruption.

The full workshop programme can be downloaded here.

[Update 18/07/2016] A report from the workshop is now available from the UACES website.

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.