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

 

Tel: +44 (0)20 7955 6066
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Research

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.

My research extends across three disciplinary areas – economics, geography / regional science, and international political economy – covering a very diverse set of topics such as FDI productivity spillovers, regional labour market adjustment and performance, wage formation and wage returns, over-education, unemployment disparities and unemployment probabilities, labour market informality, regional growth and convergence, the EU Cohesion Policy, public investment, (trade) integration and growth, austerity and growth, current account sustainability, EU conditionality and accession, the political economy of reforms, employment flexibility, and others.

Among my recent publications are papers in Regional Studies, Environment and Planning C, Oxford Economic Papers, Region et Developpement, European Urban and Regional Studies, British Journal of Industrial Relations, Cyprus Economic Policy Review, and Spatial Economic Analysis.

Methodologically, much of my work draws on applied econometrics (micro, spatial, time-series and panel data econometrics) and on spatial techniques (ESDA, GIS), although some of my work is more analytical and/or qualitative. Geographically, my research focuses on Greece, the European Union, the UK, and countries in Southeast Europe and the Southern Mediterranean.

I participate regularly in major conferences in the fields of Labour Economics and Regional Science and I have given presentations in various policy fora, including at the Hans Boeckler Stiftung / ETUI European Dialogue, the Woodraw Wilson Center, and the Bank of Greece.

 

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