Postgraduate supervision

KEPRU welcomes applications from students wishing to pursue postgraduate study in the field of European party politics.

The areas of expertise on which supervision can be offered include but are not limited to the following:

  • Party organization;
  • Political parties and Europeanization;
  • Transnational party federations;
  • Party competition;
  • Party policy;
  • Right-wing radical/extremist parties;
  • Social-democratic parties;
  • Elections and electoral institutions.

KEPRU's area specializations include Austria, France, United Kingdom as well as the European Union.

PhD Studentships at Keele

Keele's Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences regularly offers funding for PhD Studentships. These are usually announced in about February and commence in September of the same year. Details on the next round of Studentships will be posted when these become available. However, those interested in European party politics are welcome to conteact KEPRU at any time to discuss their projects and potential supervisors. Enquiries in the first instance be addressed to the Convenor, Professor Dr. Kurt Richard Luther, at

Current Research Students

Alkistis Ntai - PhD thesis: Democratization and Europeanization in Albania (supervised by Dr Robert Ladrech)

Past Research Students

Dr Kostas Gemenis - University of Twente

Background and Research Interests:

I completed by PhD in 2010 under the supervision of Dr. Robert Ladrech, entitled 'The impact of the European Union on political parties' environmental policy positions'. My thesis focused on the impact of the EU on the way political parties emphasise and frame environmental issues in their election manifestos. The thesis adopted a 'mixed methods' research design which combined quantitative and qualitative methods. In the quantitative part, the hypotheses were tested by using data from the manifestos of 54 parties in 19 West European party systems, whereas the qualitative part focussed on causal mechanisms with empirical evidence which were collected through extensive archival research in several countries.

My main research interests lie within the field of comparative politics and political methodology and I am currently an Assistant Professor of Research Methods at the University of Twente (The Netherlands).

Dr Gemma Loomes - University of Birmingham

Background and Research Interests:

I completed by PhD in 2008 under the supervision of Professor Kurt Richard Luther, entitled "Established parties' strategies and party system continuity: an empirical study of 17 western European countries between 1950 and 2006". My thesis focused on the role that political parties can play in the process of party system change and looked explicitly at the strategies and tactics that established parties employed in order to try to preserve their positions at the heart of western European party systems. This study involved assessing access to the media, party finance, electoral systems and electoral laws in order to determine how parties could affect the institutional and electoral environment in which they compete and with what results.

My main research interests lie within the field of comparative western European politics, political parties and party systems, and I am keen to develop my research interests in these fields in the future. My wider research interests include political parties and democracy, electoral systems and institutional engineering, and most notably, the role that political parties can play in shaping their environment.

I have previously been employed as a temporary Lecturer in Politics at the University of Sussex (2007-08), and I am presently employed as a Teaching Fellow in Comparative Politics at the University of Birmingham.