Abel Bojar (Hungary)
Abel Bojar’s thesis was titled ‘Public Budgeting and Electoral Dynamics after the Golden Age: Essays on Political Budget Cycles, Electoral Behavior and Welfare Retrenchment in Hard Times’. Abel Bojar completed his PhD in the European Institute at the LSE in 2014. Before his completion, Abel had been appointed as LSE Teaching Fellow in the same department for the academic years of 2013/14 and 2014/15. Before this appointment, Abel had taught at the Department of Methodology and also contributed to the teaching activities of his own department for the Political Economy of Transition and Emerging Markets (EU449) course. For the latter, Abel was awarded the Best Teaching Prize of the department.
Abel’s research addresses a number of ongoing dilemmas on one of the most topical questions of our times: how do governments strike the subtle balance between political representation on one hand, and fiscal adjustment involving severe cuts in welfare programmes, on the other. His research ties into various strands of political economy literature, including fiscal policy, electoral behavior and welfare state design. Abel’s most recent work in progress analyses the electoral repercussions of fiscal adjustment efforts in OECD countries.
Abel says about his time at LSE:'Working on my PhD at the European Institute during the first truly existential crisis of the European project was a transformative experience. Constant exposure to scholarly work at one of the most prestigious departments in EU studies on the continent fundamentally shaped the way I think about the challenges that Europe is facing today'
Tim Vlandas (France)
Tim Vlandas’ thesis was titled ‘Essays on Labour Market Dualisation in Western Europe: Active Labour Market Policies, Temporary Work Regulation and Inequality’. Tim Vlandas completed his PhD in European Political Economy at the European Institute in LSE in September 2013 and in the same month, he was appointed Lecturer in Politics at the University of Reading, specialising in comparative political economy. Before joining the University of Reading, he worked as a research officer at the LSE Government Department, where he also received a Class Teacher Prize in 2012.
His research analyses the political and institutional determinants of economic policy and outcomes, with a particular focus on labour markets in Europe. His work has appeared in the Journal of European Social Policy, Politics & Society and French Politics. Tim is also working on a research project (jointly with Professor Mark Thatcher at the LSE) analysing the policy strategy that Western governments adopt towards Sovereign Wealth Funds' investments.
Tim says about his time at LSE: ‘Doing a PhD at the LSE was both a very challenging and rewarding experience. The program trains you to the highest standards of research and leaves you well-prepared for the job market!’
Andreas Kornelakis (Greece)
Andreas Kornelakis’ thesis was entitled ‘Mediating EU Liberalisation and Negotiating Flexibility: A Coalitional Approach to Wage Bargaining Change’. It won the 2010 best paper award of the Work Employment & Society conference, and was also runner up for the 2012 Best Dissertation Award by Labor History journal. Andreas’ supervisors at the European Institute were Prof Kevin Featherstone, Dr Christa van Wijnbergen and Dr Vassilis Monastiriotis.
Andreas says: 'My thesis combined my interests and expertise, adopting a comparative political economy approach. It examined the effects of EU liberalization on national labour market institutions and workplace practices'.
In parallel with the PhD, Andreas had the opportunity to work jointly with colleagues on EU-funded research project ‘Reconciling work and welfare in Europe’ under the guidance of Dr Waltraud Schelkle.
‘The EI provided me with numerous opportunities to develop as an academic. The programme was grounded on solid foundations through a structured programme of seminars on research methods and political economy. These seminars helped also to create a friendly community of Phd students, who could exchange ideas as their theses evolved. At the same time the EI organized an impressive number of internal and external seminars and lectures that offered fertile ground for stimulating intellectual discussions and linking theory-development with current practice’.
Andreas now works as a Lecturer at the School of Business Management & Economics, University of Sussex, in Brighton, UK. Among other things, he teaches a postgraduate module on ‘The Business Context in Europe’ that looks how the EU policies shape the business environment in Europe.
‘Being part of the European Institute at the LSE was a truly remarkable experience. The Institute may pride itself for an exceptional cast of scholars who shape contemporary thinking on Europe’.
Alison Johnston (USA)
Alison Johnston’s thesis on ‘European Monetary Union and Institutional Change: The Perverse Effects of Supranational Macroeconomic Regimes on Wage Inflation’ won the UACES best thesis award 2012. Dr Waltraud Schelkle wrote about Alison’s thesis:
‘Alison's thesis analyses the wage dynamics that could be observed in some EMU member states since the late 1990s. She finds a strong rise of wages in the public or sheltered sectors and moderate wage increases in the sectors exposed to trade competition. The explanation is sought in the removal of the monetary policy constraint under the EMS and the weakening of the conditionality of the Maastricht process. Her findings are highly relevant in that they can help us to understand why inflation rates started to diverge after the onset of EMU, one of the unanticipated phenomena that can help to explain the crisis through which we live now. The jury praised her innovative and focused take on a well-known topic, namely wage developments in EMU, as well as her methodological pluralism, combining econometrics with qualitative country comparisons.’
Alison's supervisor at the European Institute was Dr Bob Hancké. More information about the award can be found on the UACES website.
Alison now works as an Assistant Professor of Comparative Political Economy at Oregon State University, USA.
Simona Milio (Italy)
"LSE is recognised worldwide as a leading university. Being part of such a challenging institution has been my main inspiration. Similarly, the European Institute is a leading international centre for the study of contemporary Europe. I have just completed a PhD in European Studies. This programme has allowed me not only to broaden my knowledge in the area of European issues, but also to undertake numerous research skills workshops and gained considerable knowledge of research techniques, statistical analysis and information technology. Studying at LSE is the most amazing experience one could possibly wish for. Being at LSE makes you realise that you are in the centre not only of London but also of the world. The diversity of students and academics keeps you updated with everything that happens around the globe. Studying at LSE has challenged me both mentally and socially. Since being at LSE I have joined different associations and societies, and I have been involved in the organisation of various events, which ultimately has raised my self-confidence and awareness of my capability, not only as a student but also as an individual. After my PhD I intend to further my academic career. Being at LSE has boosted my interest and passion towards performing research activities. I have realised the added value of such a career in terms of contributing to the social, political and economic development of the world we live in."
Simona Milio is now the Associate Director of Social & Cohesion policy Unit at LSE Enterprise.