I am a political scientist and Postdoctoral Research Fellow in the Department of Political Science at Leibniz University Hannover, Germany. Until January 2018, I was Senior Research Fellow and and Deputy Director of the Centre for European Studies (CEFEUS) at Canterbury Christ Church University. Before then I worked as a postdoctoral researcher in the FP7 ANTICORRP project at University College London, School of Slavonic and East European Studies and student research assistant at the Mannheim Centre for European Social Research (MZES).
I hold a BA (1:1) in Political Science and Public Law from the University of Mannheim, Germany, and a MA (with distinction) in Politics, Security and Integration from University College London, School of Slavonic and East European Studies. In 2015 I completed a PhD in Political Science at the same department. My PhD thesis dealt with presidential activism in Central and Eastern Europe, 1990-2010. My thesis won the ECPR Jean Blondel Prize 2016 for the best thesis in politics and was subsequently published with Palgrave Macmillan in July 2017.
Currently, my research is primarily concerned with presidential elections, electoral candidates and party system change in Central and Eastern Europe, and the workings of authoritarian regimes in the former Soviet Union. I serve as the deputy editor of the Presidential Power Blog and am a member of the editorial boards of Acta Politologica and SN Social Sciences; I am also part of the international advisory board of IAPSS Politikon.