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The Hellenic Observatory
European Institute
London School of Economics
Houghton Street
London WC2A 2AE


Tel: +44 (0)20 7955 6066
   &  +44 (0)20 7107 5326



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One of the main objectives of the Hellenic Observatory is to develop high-quality research in the area of social sciences focusing on modern Greece & Cyprus and their international position within the European Union and Southeast Europe. The Observatory encourages the study of modern Greece & Cyprus through a multi-disciplinary and comparative perspective.

More specifically, our research aims to strengthen the theoretical and applied study of contemporary Greece & Cyprus; to enhance the understanding of society, politics and the economies of Greece & Cyprus; to increase the visibility of Greece & Cyprus in the international academic literature and policy debates; and to inform the design and implementation of policy in Greece & Cyprus.

To achieve these goals, we engage in a number of research activities, including individual-led research, team-based projects, as well as wider collaboration with colleagues from other universities and research institutions. We also offer various research and visiting fellowships for those who want to conduct research at the LSE, aiming at facilitating the exchange of knowledge and ideas and the cross-fertilisation of research between the Hellenic Observatory and wider networks.


                                                Core Staff Research Activities

Professor Kevin Featherstone’s recent research has led to the publication of a monograph (with Dimitris Papadimitriou) entitled, ‘Prime Ministers in Greece: The Paradox of Power’ (Oxford University Press, 2015), which explores the weaknesses of strategic planning, control and coordination within the Greek ‘core executive’ since 1974. He extended his work on public administration in Greece with an article, “External conditionality and the debt crisis: the ‘Troika’ and public administration reform in Greece”, Journal of European Public Policy, 22, 3, 2015.

Prof Featherstonne has also explored the evolution and contemporary range of attitudes, meanings, and implications associated with Greece’s relationship with Europe in a symposium and in an edited volume, ‘Europe in Modern Greek History’ (Hurst & Co., London, 2014).

Currently, he is pursuing research on the state tradition in Greece and the Balkans. He delivered a keynote lecture on this topic at the University of Sheffield for the 10th Anniversary of its South East Europe Research Centre (21 November 2014). In parallel, he is considering the relationship between variations in ‘quality of governance’ at the domestic level of member states and the implications for the European Union’s capabilities, accountability and legitimacy. He gave a public lecture on this at the Megaron cultural centre in Athens (23 March 2015), attended by over 350 guests: ‘Different “worlds of governance”? Building Europe on the foundations of diverse and weak national institutions’. His research focusses, specifically, on the EU’s bail-out mechanisms and the domestic responses.

In the past year Dr Spyros Economides has been concentrating on his broad research area relating to the external relations of the EU.

Within this he has focussed on issues and areas specifically related to Greece and to the broader Southeastern European region. His work on Greece has concentrated on the relationship between Greece and Europe in the field of foreign policy. In the first instance he has written on ‘The Relevance of “Europe” to Greek Foreign Policy’ which appeared in Kevin Featherstone (ed.), Europe in Modern Greek History (London: Hurst and Co., November 2013). Related to this, Dr Economides has also worked on the notion of ‘strategic culture’ in the European context with specific reference to the Greek understanding of this term. The published work also took the form of a contribution to an edited volume on this subject: Spyros Economides, ‘Greece’, in Bastian Giegerich (et. al.), Strategic Cultures in Europe (Springer verlag, July 2013).

On the Southeastern Europe front, Dr Economides continued to research and publish on the EU’s enlargement strategy towards the region and the relationship between Serbia and Kosovo in the EU context. He published ‘Kosovo, Self-Determination and International Order’, Europe-Asia Studies, 2013, and with Dr James Ker-Lindsay has completed a work on ‘Pre-Europeanisation Accession: the EU and the Serbia-Kosovo Relationship’ which is under review for publication. Similarly, again with Dr Ker-Lindsay, Spyros Economides is completing an article on the advantages and disadvantages the EU faces when it imposes conditions on candidate states that are subject to review by external parties.

There are four research agendas that Dr Vassilis Monastiriotis’ research has focused on in the last academic year.

The first concerns regional growth in the process of EU integration, focusing on the CEE, SEE and ENP regions. A paper on ‘Regional growth and national development’, which examined the process of regional convergence and the regional Kuznets hypothesis, came out in Spatial Economic Analysis (vol.9.2) in March 2014. Two other papers, on ‘The regional impact of EU association agreements: lessons for the ENP from the CEE experience’ and on ‘The geography of intra-industry spillovers in the EU neighbourhood’, are currently under consideration for publication in two international academic journals.

The second agenda concerns the analysis of labour market issues in the Western Balkans, with a focus on Serbia. A paper on ‘Determinants and paths to informality in Serbia’ (with A. Martelli) was presented in two international conferences in early 2014 and is currently being prepared for a journal submission; while also at the writing-up stage is work on ‘Public sector employment and private sector wages’ (with J. Lau-sev). The other two research agendas are focused on Greece. One uses micro-econometric data to examine aspects of wage and unemployment adjustment in Greece during the crisis: it includes a number of papers, some co-authored (with R. Christopoulou; with A. Martelli; and with E. Lopez-Bazo and E. Motellón), some of which are already under consideration for publication in international journals and two of which were published as discussion papers (HO GreeSE Paper No.80 and ELIAMEP Crisis Observatory Research Paper No.9). The last strand concerns some more macro-economic work on debt sustainability and fiscal austerity – a paper on this was published in the Cyprus Economic Policy Review in June 2014 (vol.8.1) – and on new industrial policy and the developmental state.