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The following topics are open for supervision by the respective advisors.

Note: These are suggested topics only; we encourage applicants to discuss their own ideas regarding the doctoral thesis with potential advisors. 

Stanislav Balík

  • Anti-communism in the Czech Republic 
  • Changes in the forms and political functions of local representative bodies
  • Cleavages on the local level

Vlastimil Havlík

  • Anti-politics and anti-partyism in the Czech Republic
    • The thesis will focus on how the media and selected political actors build the image of politics and political parties. It may also deal with the image of politics among the broader public. 
  • Personality and politics in the Czech Republic
    • The thesis will focus on the personal characteristics of politicians (or alternatively voters) and the impact of these characteristics on selected aspects of politics. 
  • New political parties and the quality of democracy
    • The thesis will analyse how the rise of new political parties impacts the quality of democracy. The suggested genre is either case study or comparative study.
  • Populism, framing, cueing and their links to attitudes towards democracy
    • The thesis will focus on how framing shapes perceptions of democracy, especially in the Czech Republic. A comparative study of a larger number of cases is also an option. 
  • Populism and electoral behaviour:  Comparative analysis
    • The thesis will analyse populist attitudes in the public sphere, their determinants and political consequences. This shall be a comparative study. 
  • Nostalgia and politics in the Czech Republic
    • The thesis will focus on various types of impact of nostalgic sentiments on current politics in the Czech Republic.  
  • European Union in political and media discourses
    • The thesis will focus on how the media and selected political actors build the image of the European Union. It may also deal with public attitudes towards the EU. 

Jan Holzer

  • Modern authoritarian regimes and contemporary research on non-democracies
  • Current conservatism as a political doctrine
  • Contemporary Russian opposition: A case study of a specific actor in a non-democratic regime

Roman Chytilek 

  • Experimental research on political decision-making (selected topics)
  • Experimental research on security (selected topics)
  • The relationship between electorate polarisation and the type/functioning of party systems

Lubomír Kopeček

  • Political entrepreneur parties (in a selected country or region)
  • Selected aspects of Czech, Slovak and Polish politics: parties and party competition, constitutional political institutions, political personalities, etc. 

Miroslav Mareš

  • Conceptualisation of terrorism in Ukraine
  • Disputes over the concept of extremism in the Czech Republic
  • Internal security policy in Austria

Michal Pink

  • Elections, electoral support, and regionalisation
    • The thesis will focus on regional specifics in the distribution of electoral support, as well as on the regionalisation of elections themselves.
  • Personal characteristics – who are the elected deputies and councillors
    • Analysis of selected characteristics of elected representatives and members of executive bodies; traits of multi-level politicians and their social positions before and after political careers 

Andrew Roberts

  • Billionaires in Politics
    • It is commonly believed that the richest citizens have an enormous influence on politics, but little research describes the political views of billionaires or how they influence politics. Students consider the opinions or influence of the very rich in the Czech Republic or elsewhere.
  • Biography and Politics
    • What effect do biographical traits have on political behavior? Do female politicians behave differently than male ones? Does higher education help politicians to be more successful? Are experienced politicians more effective than newcomers? Students can investigate these questions in the Czech Republic or other countries.

Marek Rybář

  • Institutional Performance in New European Democracies
    • What are the effects of state institutions on political processes and policy performance in democracies of Central and Eastern Europe? While most of the academic literature treats institutions in the region as dependent variables, i.e. attempts to explain their emergence and changes, it is time to assess the extent to which they produce predictable patterns of effects. At an empirical level, it is important to identify configurations of state institutions and their impact on various political as well as policy outputs. At a theoretical level, we need to identify and reconstruct causal mechanisms that link institutional variation to policy outputs. Systematic comparisons of Central and East European cases are especially encouraged.
  • Determinants and Consequences of Elite Recruitment in New Democracies
    • While we know a great deal about macropolitical factors such as party manifestos, policy platforms, campaign strategies, and subsequent government outputs, much less is known about individual background and careers on positions and decision-making of political elites. Dissertations in this area may focus on the executives (ministerial level), legislatures (MPs) or both. One of the possible avenues for research in this area is the so-called sequential analysis: We first collect data on previous personal, educational, party and parliamentary (etc.) careers, particular “sequences” (career patterns) are identified, and these are then linked to activities of political elites (preferences, activities, communication styles etc.). Possible topics include explaining incidence of non-party technocratic ministers in party-based coalition governments, differences in management style of ministers with specialised (e.g. managerial) background and the generalist (career politician) ministers; determinants of voting of members of parliament in issues with no party line; career patterns of regional chief executives (Czech hejtman, Polish marszalek, Slovak predseda VÚC) etc.
  • Impact of conservative social movements on political parties
    • In recent years, we have seen the rise of conservative social initiatives in various European countries aiming at halting, or preventing the adoption of, measures advocated by the LGBT transnational movement. While the conditions under which the LGBT movements emerge and operate are relatively well explored, much less is known about their opponents. Under what conditions and with what consequences do socially conservative initiatives emerge? What is their tactical positioning, what are their organizational strategies and repertoires of activities? And, perhaps crucially, what is their relationship with, and impact upon, existing and emerging political parties? Recent referenda on same sex marriages in Croatia, Slovenia and Slovakia, as well as citizens’ petitions in Finland and Romania, to cite just a few examples, provide rich empirical material for exploration. Possible dissertation topics include (but are not limited to) explorations of how conservative social movements impact upon inter-party competition and cooperation, and how established and emerging parties benefit (or are hurt) by the new conservative political agenda. Exploring the impact of these movements on parties in the context of migration crisis in Europe is also a suitable topic.

Peter Spáč

  • Pork Barrel Politics

The thesis will focus on the issue and constitutive aspects of the distribution of public resources in the context of extant political interests. 

  • The Relationship between Public Administration and Society

This topic invites research on state administration (civil service) – its functioning, outputs, and relationship with the society. Several topics can be covered with respect to administration/civil service, such as information openness, transparency, or the impact of individual policies on citizens’ behaviour (as conceptualised by the “nudge” theory)

  • Elections and Referenda

The thesis shall focus on elections or referenda. This general topic covers a wide array of more specific issues, such as electoral reforms, real-world use of referenda, or electoral behaviour. Both single case studies and comparative research are acceptable. 

Věra Stojarová

  • Extremism and radicalism in Europe
  • Research on security and/or politics in the area of Western Balkans 
  • Conflict studies
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