Professor Kevin Featherstone was on sabbatical leave in 2012-13. For the first part of his leave, he was a visiting scholar at the Center for European Studies at Harvard University. He prepared a new book manuscript on the problems of weak central control and coordination within Greek government. This is to be co-authored with Professor Dimitris Papadimitriou of the University of Manchester and published by Oxford University Press in 2014. A journal article on the same project, entitled ‘The Emperor Has No Clothes! Power and Resources within the Greek Core Executive’ has been published in 2013 in the journal, Governance, [Vol. 26: pp. 523–545]. He is taking this research further by examining the trajectory of administrative reform in Greece.
Kevin Featherstone also gave lectures/seminars at Harvard, Yale, Boston University, Tufts and presentations in Athens for the Hellenic Entrepreneurs’ Association (EENE) and the Friedrich Naumann Foundation for Freedom.
In the last year Dr Spyros Economides research was mainly concentrated on the Western Balkans and their international context with a special focus on Kosovo. The relationship between the EU and the Western Balkans was examined in Spyros Economides, ‘The “European pull” in the Balkans’, in James Mayall, and Ricardo Soares De Oliveira (eds.) The New Protectorates: international tutelage and the making of liberal states. (New York: Columbia University Press, 2012). While his interest in the case of Kosovo produced among others, Ker-Lindsay, James and Economides, Spyros (2012) ‘Standards before status before accession: Kosovo's European perspective’, Journal of Balkan and Near Eastern studies, (Vol, 14, No 1, 2012), and ‘The making of a failed state: the case of Kosovo’. European view (Vol.10, No. 2, 2012).
More specifically on Greece, he continued to pursue his interest in Greek foreign and security policy. The current crisis has led to a growing concern over the changing nature of the challenges to Greek foreign and security policy and how they fit into an ever evolving European and broader international context. As a result part of his research has centred on the rather neglected aspect of the EU and Greece in a foreign policy context. One of the ‘outputs’ in this regard has been a chapter entitled, ‘The Relevance of “Europe” to Greek Foreign Policy’ in Kevin Featherstone (ed.), Europe in Modern Greek History (London: Hurst and Co., forthcoming November 2013). The other is a more narrowly focused contribution Greece in the context of an extremely deep and braod study of Strategic Culture across the EU 27 (‘Greece’, in Bastian Giegerich (et. al.), Strategic Cultures in Europe (Springer Verlag, 2013).
As in previous years, the Greek crisis has occupied a large part of Dr Vassilis Monastiriotis research activities. Since the beginning of 2013 he has been working on a number of papers on the impact of the crisis on the Greek labour market and on labour market adjustment. As part of this, he is continuing his collaboration with former HO Fellow Dr Christopoulou, examining the impact of the public sector pay cuts on the public- and private-sector wage distributions and reward structures (their first paper on the topic was published at the British Journal of Industrial Relations – DOI: 10.1111/bjir.12023). At the same time, he extended his focus to the geographical dimension, looking in particular at differential responses across the regional labour markets of Greece in terms of inactivity, unemployment risk and returns to education. A couple of conference papers have already been produced on this, complementing other work published in the last year on Greece (a paper on public investment in Greece, published at the European Urban and Regional Studies in late 2012) and on Eastern and Southeast Europe (two book chapters published in 2013, as well as a co-edited volume on ‘Decentralization and Development in Southeast Europe’). Further areas of research concern the ‘Local labour market impact of public-sector employment’ (with LSEE Fellow Jelena Lausev) and the issue of ‘Employment polarisation in Southeast Europe’ (based on the ‘Labour Markets in SEE Research Programme’ at LSEE).
Separately, through his involvement at the EU-funded FP7 project ‘SEARCH’, he has been working on a paper examining the impact of European and non-European FDI (at the national, sectoral, and regional levels) in the countries of Southeastern and Eastern European Neighbourhood, which he presented at the summer Congress of the European Regional Science Association. Work also continued on my British Academy project on ‘Spatial Association and Economic Connectedness’, which was concluded in Spring 2013, and on two other papers (on Employment flexibility and inter-regional adjustment’ and on ‘Inter-municipal competition in Serbia’), which are currently under review (‘revise & resubmit’) in scientific journals.
More recently, he has started working on a more theoretical piece of research, looking at the all-important question of “When does austerity work”. He has already given a few presentations on the topic (University of Illinois, CTLS-Georgetown, Roskilde University) and he is currently developing a macro-economic model that makes fiscal sustainability (and thus the impact of austerity) endogenous to domestic-policy characteristics – which brings him back to the issue of the Greek crisis... A related article was published in January 2013 in the journal Intereconomics.