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The 10th HO PhD Symposium on Contemporary Greece and Cyprus

26 May 2023

The Hellenic Observatory hosted its 10th Biennial PhD Symposium on Contemporary Greece and Cyprus on Friday 26 May 2023. In line with the Hellenic Observatory’s mission, the core objective of the PhD symposium is to facilitate the exchange of knowledge between young researchers and to promote innovative and cutting-edge research on political, social and economic issues in Greece and Cyprus.

The Call for submission of abstracts attracted a large number of applications and the successful papers were presented in our one day event. The detailed programme, photos of the day, as well as the keynote lecture video are now available.

The PhD Symposium brought together international PhD research from across the globe covering a broad range of fields within the social sciences. Students whose research is linked by the regional and national thematic focus on contemporary Greece and Cyprus presented their work and received critiques and feedback from an interdisciplinary audience comprising peers and experts.

The 10th Hellenic Observatory PhD Symposium became possible with the generous financial support of the A.G. Leventis Foundation.

Application & Selection Process

The Hellenic Observatory welcomed contributions from research students (current and recent) across any field of the social sciences whose PhD focuses on contemporary Greece and Cyprus. 

*The Call for submission of abstracts closed on 27 February 2023. Students were invited to submit proposals for presentations related to current or recent PhD research, displaying its originality.

The proposal would be in the form of an academic abstract (up to 500 words) and will be reviewed by a panel of academic experts comprising Hellenic Observatory scholars. Successful applicants will be notified by 16 March 2023 and will be invited to submit a longer paper of up to 8000 words by 30 April 2023, outlining in detail their proposed presentation.

To apply for participation in the 10th Hellenic Observatory PhD Symposium please complete the Abstract Submission Form and the CV Template Form and return them via e-mail to hellenicobservatory.phd@lse.ac.uk

Symposium Format

The Symposium will be organised into parallel panel discussions based on disciplinary focus. Each panel will bring together 3 or 4 presentations linked together by thematic relevance. The panels will be chaired by a senior academic expert with extensive research and supervising experience at PhD level.

Students will be allocated to panels based on the topic of their research and will be invited to give presentations lasting approximately 10-15 minutes. The presentations will be followed by a discussion with the chair and a Q&A with the participants. Presenters will receive feedback from peers and academics whilst being exposed to new concepts, methods and content brought by the other participants.

The symposium will also feature two plenary sessions that will seek to address broader themes relating to Greece or Cyprus, or indeed questions of methodology and planning in the delivery of a PhD thesis. This will allow students the opportunity to gain new tools and fresh ideas which can be carried forward into their remaining years of study.

This year the plenary sessions will be delivered by Professor Kevin Featherstone, Hellenic Observatory Director, Eleftherios Venizelos Professor of Contemporary Greek Studies & Professor of European Politics, and Professor Stathis Kalyvas, Gladstone Professor of Government, All Souls College, University of Oxford.

Updates to the day’s proceedings will be added to the website as the Programme develops and nearer to the actual event date. The detailed programme of the PhD Symposium will be announced in May 2023. The opportunity to register for the Plenary Sessions will also be made available in due course. 

Plenary Sessions

The 10th Hellenic Observatory PhD Symposium on contemporary Greece and Cyprus features two outstanding plenary sessions. The Keynote Plenary Session in this Symposium explores interpersonal and institutional trust, a fundamental component of democratic societies and, indeed, a research and policy question with significant relevance for both Greece and Cyprus. The PhD Research Plenary Session explores questions of methodology and planning in the delivery of a PhD thesis, with specific reference to social science research on Greece & Cyprus.

While an integral part of the day’s proceedings, the PhD symposium plenary sessions are Public Events, and we welcome participation by members of the public and interested researchers and students who are not presenters at the Symposium.  More information about the venue, time and registration for the plenary sessions will be announced in March.  

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The Paradox of Trust in a “Low Trust” Society. Insights from a Greek Study

Stathis Kalyvas, Gladstone Professor of Government, All Souls College, University of Oxford

Widely used measures of trust rank Greece as one of Europe’s least trusting societies. Yet, when we undertook an ethnographic research project in a region of Northern Greece, we were surprised to find that individuals behaved in a way that is inconsistent with this characterization: they displayed high levels of trust in their personal interactions. The paper unpacks, explores, and explains this paradox.

You can watch the video here.

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How to write a PhD (on Greece & Cyprus)

Kevin Featherstone, Eleftherios Venizelos Professor in Contemporary Greek Studies & Professor in European Politics; Hellenic Observatory Director

In this hallmark PhD symposium lecture, Prof Featherstone shares knowledge and insights from his long experience of supervising a significant number of successful PhD students. Speaking from the position of both supervisor and researcher, Prof Featherstone offers valuable advice and guidance on both the generic issues of developing, designing, and writing a PhD, as well as the specific challenges of conducting social science research on Greece or Cyprus.  



Symposium Academic Organisers

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Professor Kevin Featherstone 

Hellenic Observatory Director; Eleftherios Venizelos Professor of Contemporary Greek Studies and Professor of European Politics

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Dr Spyros Economides

Hellenic Observatory Deputy Director; Associate Professor of International Relations and European Politics, LSE

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Dr Vassilis Monastiriotis

Associate Professor of Political Economy, LSE; Director of LSE Research on South Eastern Europe (LSEE)


Symposium Contibutors

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Othon Anastasakis is the Director of the European Studies Centre in Oxford; Director of South East European Studies at Oxford (SEESOX); Senior Research Fellow at St Antony’s College and Senior Research Fellow at the Oxford School of Global and Area Studies (OSGA). He is currently the Principal Investigator of two research projects: “Greek Diaspora Project at SEESOX”; and the OX/BER funded “Migration Diplomacy and Turkey-EU relations”. His latest books include Diaspora engagement in times of severe economic crisis; Greece and beyond  (2022) and The Greek Military Dictatorship: Revisiting a contested past (2021).

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Marilena Anastasopoulou is a Lecturer in History at Pembroke College, Faculty of History, University of Oxford, a Research Associate of South East European Studies at Oxford (SEESOX), St Antony’s College, and a Postdoctoral Researcher for the Greek Diaspora Project at the School of Anthropology and Museum Ethnography (SAME), University of Oxford. Her doctoral research is a comparative – intergenerational and interregional – history of memories and identities of forced displacement that examines the multilayered relationship between contemporary attitudes and refugee past.

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Theodoros Arvanitopoulos is an economist interested in energy economics, economic growth, and applied econometrics. He holds a PhD in Energy Economics from UCL, and a MSc in Economics from the University of Nottingham. Theodoros has engaged in research projects for the OECD, the European Commission, the UK Government, and the UK Climate Change Committee. He has held teaching roles at the King’s Business School, and UCL.

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Athanasia Chalari is currently a Senior Visiting Fellow at HO, LSE and Associate Lecturer at Open University, UK. Previously, she has worked as Head of Sociology at the University of Northampton, Lecturer at Manchester University, Post-Doctoral researcher at LSE and as Supervisor at Cambridge University. She has conducted empirical research as Visiting Researcher at Tokyo University, Toronto University and Harvard University. Her publications relate with Social Theory and the empirical study of modern Greek society, culture, change and youth identity.

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Ilias Danatzis is an Assistant Professor (Lecturer) of Marketing Analytics at King's College London, UK. His main research interests revolve around services marketing, with an emphasis on networked service delivery, dysfunctional service encounters, customer misbehavior, and value creation through digital platforms. His award-winning research has been published in leading academic outlets such as the Journal of Service Research and Industrial Marketing Management. Prior to his academic career, Ilias worked as a management consultant in Germany. 

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Manolis Galenianos is Professor of Economics at Royal Holloway, University of London. His research focuses on macroeconomics and labour economics. He is a member of the expert committee that advises the Greek Ministry of Labour on the minimum wage and was a co-author of the “Pissarides Report” on the Greek economy and of the collective volume “Beyond Austerity”. He was previously Assistant Professor of Economics at the Pennsylvania State University and Visiting Professor at New York University, Yale University and University College London.

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Kira Gartzou-Katsouyanni is a postdoctoral researcher at the LSE’s Hellenic Observatory. Her research focuses on the political economy of place. She is interested in the institutional underpinnings and the political consequences of different local growth trajectories. Her work has been published in Politics & Society and Governance, and she is also a co-author of “The Greco-German Affair in the Euro Crisis: Mutual Recognition Lost? (Palgrave Pivot, 2018). She has studied at LSE (PhD), Johns Hopkins SAIS (MA), and Oxford (BA).

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Alex Georgakopoulou is Professor of Discourse Analysis & Sociolinguistics & Co-Director of the Centre for Language, Discourse & Communication, King’s College London. She has developed small stories research, a paradigm for studying identities in everyday life stories, in a range of contexts, including on social media. Her work has been translated into numerous languages, incl. Chinese, Japanese, Portuguese, etc. She is the (Co)-Editor of the Routledge Research in Narrative, Interaction & Discourse Series.

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Vassilis Hajivassiliou is Associate Professor in the LSE Department of Economics and an FMG Research Associate since 1996. Earned his Ph.D. from M.I.T. in 1985, supervised by the 2000 Nobel laureate Professor Daniel McFadden. Economics professor at Yale University until 1996, when he moved to the LSE. Visiting professor at Columbia, Toulouse, and Paris SciencesPo. Research focussed on theoretical, applied, and computational econometrics. Authored articles in leading econometrics journals, and chapters in the Handbooks of Econometrics and Statistics.

Dr Panos Kanavos

Panos Kanavos is Associate Professor of International Health Policy in the Department of Health Policy, LSE; Deputy Director at LSE Health and Programme Director of the Medical Technology Research Group (MTRG). He is an economist by training, and teaches health economics, pharmaceutical economics and policy, health care financing, health care negotiations, and principles of health technology assessment. He leads the activities of MTRG, a research group that concentrates on interdisciplinary and comparative policy research on medical technologies.

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Maria Kaparou is an academic in the UG and PGT programmes at Southampton Education School and she currently holds the Employability Leadership role. She supervises PhD students’ research within the UK and international contexts (Asia, Persian Gulf, Arab states) and she is the winner of the prestigious BELMAS Best Thesis Award 2015. Maria is researching leadership and school improvement in high-performing schools, schools in challenging contexts as well as within Multi-academy Trusts (MATs) in England.


Philipp Katsinas is an urban geographer and his work broadly focuses on the transformations of housing systems, including the social and spatial impacts of the increasing role of finance and tourism on urban economies. Philipp has held teaching roles at King’s College London, Birkbeck, University of London, and Queen Mary University of London. He is part of the City Collective for the journal City

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Ploutarchos Kourtidis is a postdoctoral researcher in the Department of Psychological & Behavioural Science at the London School of Economics, currently working on an interdisciplinary project related to policy responses to health crises. He studied Psychology in Greece, and Cognitive and Decision Science in the UK. He recently obtained his PhD in Medical Decision Making from Imperial College London. Ploutarchos’ research interests lie broadly in Behavioural Science, Experimental Psychology, and Judgement and Decision Making. 

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George Kyris is an Associate Professor at the University of Birmingham, UK. Previous affiliations include the University of Warwick, the LSE HO and the University of Manchester. His main research interest are statehood conflicts, the role of international organisations in them, and sovereignty debates, also in relation to the Cyprus conflict. He has published extensively for academic and non-academic outlets and he is the co-founder (with Vera Axyonova) of the ECPR Research Network on Statehood, Sovereignty and Conflict.

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Stella Ladi is a Reader at Queen Mary University of London and an Associate Professor at Panteion University in Athens.  She is research fellow at the Hellenic Foundation for European and Foreign Policy (ELIAMEP) and Research Associate at the Hellenic Observatory, LSE. Her research interests include crisis management, the Eurozone crisis, public policy and public administration reforms, Europeanization, global public policy and transnational administration and the role of experts in public policy. 


Konstantina Maragkou is a Contemporary Historian with a particular interest in the political and diplomatic aspects of the Cold War, on which she has taught extensively at Yale University and the LSE. Following studies at Cambridge University, she held fellowships at LSE, NYU, Princeton, and Yale during which she wrote several articles and turned her largely extended thesis on Anglo-Greek relations during the Greek Colonels’ regime into a book published by Hurst & Co / Oxford University Press.

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George Melios is an applied economist working as a Research Fellow at the Department of Psychological & Behavioural Science at the London School of Economics. He is also a Research Advisor to Gallup Organisation & a Senior Research Fellow at IGP - University College London. His research interests lie in the intersection of political economy, political behaviour, and public economics. His work focuses on how identities form and how they affect economic and political behaviour.

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Roula Nezi is Senior Lecturer (Associate Professor) in Political Science at the University of Surrey and a Senior Fellow of the Higher Education Academy. Her research examines developments in public opinion and political attitudes, political parties and party systems, and electoral behaviour. Her research has been published in the British Journal of Polit-ical ScienceParty Politics,the Journal of European Social Policy,and Electoral Studies among others.

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Dimitris Papadimitriou is Professor of Politics at the University of Manchester and Director of the Manchester Jean Monnet Centre of Excellence. He has held visiting posts at Princeton University, LSE and Yale University. He is a leading scholar of Greek politics and public policy. His last book, Prime Ministers in Greece: The Paradox of Power (with Kevin Featherstone) was published by Oxford University Press in 2015. He has also published widely on political leadership, policy narratives, European political economy and the EU’s external relations.

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Eleni Papadonikolaki is an Associate Professor in Digital Innovation and Management at University College London (UCL) and management consultant. Combining her engineering background and management experience, she is researching the interfaces between digital technologies and engineering work. Her current research is funded by the Royal Academy of Engineering (RAEng) Leverhulme Trust, the Project Management Institute (PMI) and European Horizon. She is the Founding and Past-Immediate Director of the MSc Digital Engineering Management at UCL developing the new generation of leaders in digital transformation.

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Nikos Skoutaris is an Associate Professor in EU Law at the University of East Anglia, UK. His research lies in the intersection between EU law, comparative constitutional law and conflict resolution theory. Its main focus has been on analysing how the EU constitutional order recognises and accommodates the right to self-determination.  He has acted as an adviser to the European Parliament’s GUE/NGL Parliamentary Group for Brexit-related issues. His website focuses on Secessions, Constitutions and EU law.

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Gerasimos Tsourapas is a Senior Lecturer in International Relations at the University of Glasgow. His research focuses on the interplay of foreign policy and migration, with a particular focus on the Middle East and the broader Global South. He is currently the Chair of the Ethnicity, Nationalism, and Migration Studies Section of the International Studies Association, and he is the PI of a five-year ERC project on migration diplomacy.

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Sotirios Zartaloudis is Associate Professor in Comparative European Politics in the Department of Political Science and International Studies at University of Birmingham. He holds a PhD in European Studies and an MSc in European Politics and Governance from the London School of Economics and Political Science and a BA in Sociology from University of Crete, Greece. His research interests include comparative European politics, the Eurozone crisis, discourse, migration, and comparative social policy. 


Symposium Bursary

Successful students will receive a PhD symposium bursary as contribution to travel and accommodations expenses. The amount of the bursary will depend on the geographical location of the applicant’s university. More information can be found here.

About the Hellenic Observatory PhD Symposia

The Hellenic Observatory PhD Symposium has been organised biennially since 2003 for students pursuing social sciences research on Greece and Cyprus. The aims of the symposia are to promote the exchange of knowledge between young researchers and to offer students a first opportunity to present their work and gain valuable feedback and critiques from an international audience comprising peers and experts.  Over the years the Symposium has become an established educational forum, and we are proud that many of its participants who went on to pursue successful careers consider their experience from the Symposium an important milestone in their development.

The PhD Symposia offer students a unique opportunity to test their ideas and findings with a wider international audience, and to establish new collaborative links across disciplines. Additionally, it enables young researchers to engage with the academic community of the LSE, and several other distinguished scholars who participate as discussants at the Symposium. The Hellenic Observatory PhD symposia are unique in their thematic focus on Greece and Cyprus which allows the exploration of research questions from several social science field perspectives. They provide an exceptional foundation for the development of innovative ideas.  

Nicos Mouzelis Award for Best Paper


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The proceedings of the Symposium concluded with the announcement of the Nicos Mouzelis Award for Best Paper, which was offered to Karmen Misiou, Researcher at the European University Institute, who presented her paper “Never on Sunday! The impact of public holiday legislation on non-core groups’ status & identity”, examining how an ethnoreligious outsider, the Sephardi community of Salonica in the 1920s, responded to a particular policy of national homogenisation: the Sunday closing law.

About the Award

The Nicos Mouzelis Award for Best Paper was inaugurated in 2017 at the 8th Hellenic Observatory PhD Symposium. The Award was established in recognition of Professor Mouzelis’ contribution to the education and development of young researchers and to the study of contemporary Greece. Professor Nicos Mouzelis has long established links with the Hellenic Observatory and was one its founding members. During the 90’s he campaigned along with other LSE academics for the establishment of an LSE research unit that would devote itself to the furtherment of research on Greek political, social, and economic issues the promotion of international academic collaborations. The Hellenic Observatory was established as a result of these efforts and Professor Nicos Mouzelis served as a member of its Advisory Board until 2015 contributing invaluably to its development as a premier research centre on contemporary Greece and Cyprus.

Today, Nicos Mouzelis is Emeritus Professor of Sociology at the London School of Economics and continues to write and publish, adding to his already rich record of contributions to the fields of sociology, sociology of organizations, sociology of development and social theory (visit his personal website for a full list of publications). Professor Mouzelis remains a close friend and supporter of the Hellenic Observatory. The Nikos Mouzelis Award for Best Paper is offered to one of the PhD students presenting at the Symposium, in recognition of outstanding research potential and in honour of Professor Mouzelis’ long standing academic contribution and support of the Hellenic Observatory.  


Symposium Programme and Booklet

Photos and Video

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Check out photos from the Symposium here.

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You can watch the Keynote Lecture with Professor Kalyvas here.



Symposium Papers and Presentations