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Vicente Valentim wins the 2022 Jean Blondel PhD Prize

We extend our congratulations to Vicente Valentim of Nuffield College, University of Oxford, on winning our 2022 Jean Blondel PhD Prize for his doctoral thesis Social Norms and Stigmatized Political Behavior.

Introduced in 2003, the annual Jean Blondel PhD Prize honours the best thesis in politics, broadly conceived to include international relations, political theory and public administration.

Vicente's thesis was nominated by Ellen Immergut, Head of the Department of Political and Social Sciences at the European University Institute, with the support of Vicente’s thesis supervisor – Elias Dinas.

In her nomination, Ellen remarks that the thesis 'opens new frontiers for future research… [and is] bound to inspire future work on norms and their role of political behaviour and party competition'.

To celebrate Vicente’s award we have curated a short video featuring the winner, Ellen and our Jury Chair, Hana Kubátová.

About our winner

Vicente Valentim is a Postdoctoral Prize Research Fellow at Nuffield College, University of Oxford. He earned his PhD from the European University Institute in 2021. 

Vicente studies how democracies generate norms against behaviour associated with authoritarianism, how those norms are sustained, and how they erode. He also has a keen interest in political methodology–especially causal inference methods. 

Vicente’s work has been published or accepted in the Journal of Politics, the British Journal of Political Science, and Comparative Political Studies, among other outlets. He has won the 2022 GESIS Klingemann Prize for Best CSES Scholarship and the 2022 EUI Linz-Rokkan Prize for best thesis in Political Sociology. 

He tweets @ValentimVicente

About the thesis

In his thesis, Social Norms and Stigmatized Political Behavior, Vicente investigates whether and how norms related to politics change. He takes norms related to two major stigmas in advanced democracies – radical-right ideology and behaviour associated with previous authoritarian regimes – as his point of departure.

What are the mechanisms by which these norms change? What behaviour attests to a change in preferences, and what speaks to a change in social norms? Can norm-breaching political actors normalize behaviour? Do they?

These are only some of the questions Vicente raises. His thesis pushes our understanding of how attitudes and behaviour are conditional on perceptions of what others think is appropriate.


In his own words

'I am thrilled to have been awarded the Jean Blondel Prize and humbled to join a list of winners whose work is so inspiring.

I want to thank everyone who discussed my ideas with me during my PhD and who supported me through it: my supervisor, committee members, family and friends. This prize is as much mine as it is theirs.’

Our Jury's verdict

‘Jury members appreciate the innovative character of this thesis and its methodological rigour. Vicente uses a variety of empirical approaches, and complements his quantitative tests with qualitative analysis. He collects original datasets to investigate the process in which previously stigmatised expressions are, in time, normalised.

The Jury applauds this thesis, and we believe it deserves to be read widely. As Vicente shows convincingly, only by understanding the root of the change can we know its direction – let alone identify effective interventions.'

Read full laudation

Our Jury

  • Hana Kubátová Charles University (Chair)
  • Manuela Caiani Scuola Normale Superiore
  • Nils Metternich University College London
  • Philipp Köker Leibniz University Hannover
­Honourable mention

Our Jury also wishes to extend an honourable mention to Florence Ecormier-Nocca of the University of Vienna for her PhD thesis Intra-Party Ideological Diversity: A Comparative Approach in France and Spain (2016–2019) which she completed at Sciences Po Paris in 2021.


27 February 2023
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