Philipp Köker wins this year's Blondel Prize


The 2016 Jean Blondel PhD Prize for the best thesis in politics has been awarded to Philipp Köker (Canterbury Christ Church University) for Veto et Peto: Patterns of Presidential Activism in Central and Eastern Europe.

Köker's thesis maps patterns in the activism of democratic presidents in nine European democracies, from 1990–2010. His original data set includes semi-structured elite-interviews on the use of presidents' legislative powers. With these data and an innovative approach, Köker provides impressive cross-country empirical analyses of presidents' reactive powers.

Ultimately, Köker shows that popular presidential elections, cohabitation between president and government and a low seat share of the government are the most important predictors of presidential activism.

Find out more on Philipp's blog
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The Judging Panel

Ferdinand Müller-Rommel Leuphana University Lüneberg
Petra Meier University of Antwerp
Christoph Scherrer University of Kassel
Birgit Sauer University of Vienna (Chair of the Judging Panel, and ECPR Executive Committee member)

The Panel judged that Philipp's thesis '....makes an important contribution to studies of presidential activism, it suggests an innovative research approach to explain this activism and, moreover, it is elegantly constructed and a pleasure to read.'

2016 Jean Blondel PhD Prize shortlist

Ruth Dassonville University of Leuven 
Stability and Change in Voting Behaviour: Macro and Micro Determinants of Electoral Volatility
Elin Hafsteindottir Stockholm University
The Art of Making Democratic Trouble: Four Art Events and Radical Democratic Theory
Sofia Tipaldou Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona
Russia's Nationalist-Patriotic Opposition: The Shifting Politics of Right-Wing Contention During Post-Communist Transition

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