Dr Simona Guerra

Associate Professor in Politics

Simona Guerra

BA (Pisa), MA (Siena, Kraków, Strasbourg), MSc (Sussex), DPhil (Sussex)

Contact details

  • Tel: +44 (0)116 252 5771
  • Fax: +44 (0)116 252 5082
  • Office: Attenborough 903
  • Feedback and support times: Teaching weeks: 11.30-13.30 on Mondays. Please email me to agree on an alternative if you cannot at these times. Reading week: Monday 24 February, from 11.30 to 12.30 and from 13.30 to 15 (Office: ATT 903)

Simona is a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy (HEA), and joined the LEAP programme at the University of Leicester as Academic Tutor in 2015.

Visiting Professor at the College of Europe (Bruges)

Co-Chief Editor, with Alexandra Segerberg (Uppsala University) of the new ECPR Gold Open Access journal, Political Research Exchange (PRX).


Personal details

BA, MA, MSc, DPhil

I joined the University of Leicester in May 2012, previously holding a Research Associate position at Cardiff University (2008), Teaching Fellowship at the University of Nottingham (2008-2010), and I was awarded my DPhil in Politics and Contemporary European Studies at the University of Sussex (January 2009). I also worked as Lecturer in Politics (permanent position) at Loughborough University (2010-2012).

Elsewhere, I held research visiting positions at the European University Institute, Fiesole (2006), Boston University (2010), Unitelma La Sapienza University, Rome (2014), Senior Research Fellowship at the University of Sussex (2015-16), Visiting Senior Fellowship at the LSEE Research on South Eastern Europe (European Institute, LSE) (May 2017-December 2017), at the Faculty of Political Science, University of Zagreb (July 2018), and at the Department of Social Sciences, Universidad Carlos III Madrid (May-June 2019).

I have recently been awarded a Chair Internationale at the ULB, Brussels - for a four-week research visiting position (academic year 2019-20).

I have been guest lecturer for the MA in European Studies 'The process of building Europe' at CRIE (Centre of Research in European Studies), University of Siena (2009-2012), the project MYEULINK, University of Nottingham, Malaysia Campus (2010), the Jean Monnet CRONEM Summer School 'Europe between Integration and Disintegration', University of Surrey (2015), MA modules at Maastricht University (2012), Free University of Brussels (ULB) (2015 and 2016), and for the Centre International de Formation Européene (CIFE) Summer School (2016).

Teaching 2019/20

First semester

PL3146/3346 Corruption, Informality & Scandals

PL7093 Governance and Corruption

PL7593 Governance and Corruption (DL module)

Contribution to:

PL1119 Case studies in Politics, Power and Ethics - Democracy, Populism & the People

PL2029 Politics of the Global South: Corruption & Corruption and Developing Democracies

Europeans, Contested Politics in the EU, and Emotions (module offered at the College of Europe, Bruges)

Second semester

PL3136/3336 Democracy and EU Membership in Post-Communist Europe

PL7587 Enlargement and Democratic Consolidation in Post-Communist Europe (DL Module)

Nominated as Best Personal Tutor, Best Lecturer, Best Support Staff, Best practice in inclusive learning and teaching, 2019/20 Superstar Award, December 2019.

Nominated for the award as Best Lecturer, Best Practice in Inclusive Learning & Teaching, and Best Implementer of Student Feedback, University of Leicester Students' Union, May 2018.

Overall winner of the Best Implementer of Student Feedback, 2018.

Nominated for a Discovering Excellence Award in the category of Inspiring Leader, Discovery Excellence Awards Team, University of Leicester, 2018.



2018: What is Euroscepticism? Unleashing emotion in contemporary contentious politics, Cheltenham: Edward Elgar New Horizons in European Politics series.

Forthcoming: Religion and Euroscepticism in Post-Communist Europe, Abingdon: Routledge.

2017Euroscepticism, Democracy, and the Media. Communicating Europe, Contesting Europe, Basingstoke: Palgrave Studies in European Political Sociology (with Manuela Caiani), 978-1-137-59642-0

Simona Guerra: Central and Eastern European Attitudes in the Face of Union book cover 2013: Central and Eastern European Attitudes in the Face of Union. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan.

Edited volumes

2013: 'Confronting Euroscepticism', Journal of Common Market Studies, Special Issue, January (with Simon Usherwood and Nick Startin).

Refereed journals

2020: 'Veridiction and leadership in transnational populism: The case of DiEM25', Politics and Governance, Vol. 8, No. 1, DOI: 10.17645 (with E. Fanoulis)

2019: "'Immigration, that’s what everyone’s thinking about …" The 2016 British EU referendum seen in the eyes of the beholder", Journal of Language and Politics, Vol. 18, No. 5, pp. 651-670, DOI: https://doi.org/10.1075/jlp.19022.gue

2018: 'Gender, Ownership and Engagement during the EU referendum: Gendered Frames and the Reproduction of Binaries', European Journal of Politics and Gender (with R. Guerrina and T. Exadaktylos), DOI: https://doi.org/10.1332/251510818X15395099987095

2017: 'Anger and protest: referenda and opposition to the EU in Greece and the UK', Cambridge Review of International Affairs, Vol. 30, No. 4, pp. 305-324 (with E. Fanoulis), published online: 11 February 2018. DOI: 10.1080/09557571.2018.1431766

2017:  'Without losing my religion: The dilemmas of EU integration in Poland'Culture and Society: Journal of Social Research, Vol. 8, No. 2, pp. 51-68 DOI: 10.7220/2335-8777.8.2.3

2016: 'Distrust Unbound: What next after joining the EU', The Journal of Communist and Post-Communist Studies, Vol. 49, No. 3, pp. 233-241 DOI: 10.1016/j.postcomstud.2

2013: ‘Does familiarity breed contempt? Determinants of public support for European integration and opposition to it before and after accession’, Journal of Common Market Studies, Vol. 51, No. 1, pp. 38-50

2010: ‘Not Just Europeanization, Not Necessarily Populism: Potential factors underlying the mobilization of populism in Ireland and Poland’, Perspectives on European Politics and Society, Vol. 11, No. 3, pp. 273-291 (co-authored with John FitzGibbon),

2009: ‘The League of Polish Families between East and West, past and present’, The Journal of Communist and Post-Communist Studies, Vol. 42, No. 4, pp. 527-549 (with Sarah de Lange),

2009: ‘Election or Referendum?: The 2007 Polish Parliamentary Election’, Representation, Vol. 45, No. 1, pp. 75-85 (with Monika Bil),

Book chapters

2019: 'Citizens and Public Opinion in the European Union' in M. Cini and N. Pérez Solórzano (eds) European Union Politics, Oxford: Oxford University Press, 6th ed. (with H. J. Trenz).

2019: 'Poland and the EU: The historical roots of resilient forms of Euroscepticism among public Euroenthusiasm', in M. Gilbert and D. Pasquinucci (eds) The Historical Roots of Euroscepticism', Amsterdam: Brill, European Studies Series.

2018: 'Young People and the EU: It's about Life Expectations' in N. Startin, S. Usherwood and B. Leruth (eds) The Routledge Handbook of Euroscepticism, Abingdon: Routledge.

2018: 'Barone' and 'Bustarella' in The Global Encyclopaedia of Informality (ed. by Alena V. Ledeneva), London: UCL Press.

2018: ‘Earthquake or Hurricane? The Rise and Fall of Populist Parties in Poland’, in S. B. Wolinetz and A. Zaslove (eds) Absorbing the Blow? Populist Parties and Their Impact on Party Systems, Colchester: ECPR Press (with Fernando Casal Bértoa)

2017: 'El populismo en Polonia', in J. del Palacio, A. Rivero and J. Zarzalejos (eds) Geografía del populismo: Un viaje por el universo del populismo desde sus orígenes hasta Trump, Ciencía Politica, Madrid: Tecnos (with Fernando Casal Bértoa).

2016: 'Public Opinion and the EU' in Michelle Cini and Nieves Pérez Solórzano (eds) European Union Politics, Oxford: Oxford University Press, 5th ed. (with Lauren McLaren).

2016: 'Religion and the EU: A Commitment under Stress' in J. FitzGibbon, B. Leruth and N. Startin (eds) Euroscepticism as a Transnational and Pan-European Phenomenon: The Emergence of a New Sphere of Opposition, Abingdon: Routledge.

2014: ‘Identity and Economic Rationality: Explaining Attitudes towards the EU in a Time of Crisis’ in B. Stefanova (ed) The European Union beyond the Crisis: Evolving Governance, Contested Policies, Disenchanted Publics, Lanham, MD: Lexington Books, Rowman & Littlefield (with Fabio Serricchio).

2013: ‘Public Opinion and the EU’ in Michelle Cini and Nieves Pérez-Solórzano (eds) European Union Politics, Oxford: Oxford University Press, 4th ed. (with Lauren McLaren).

2012: 'Poles in the EU: Prior to and After Accession' in Agata Dziewulska and Anna M. Ostrowska (eds) New neighbours - on the diversity of migrants' political involvement, Centre for Europe, University of Warsaw.

2012: 'Le cinque stelle e il populismo' ('Five Stars and Populism') in G. Civati (ed) La rivendicazione della politica. Cinque stelle, mille domande e qualche risposta (Politics' claim. Five Stars, thousands questions and a few answers) with Simona Guerra and Francesco Astore, Arezzo: Libera Stampa.

2012: 'Communicating with the Polish community in the UK? The VAA at the 2011 UK local elections' in Agata Dziewulska and Anna M. Ostrowska (eds) Europeisation of political rights: Voter Advice Application and migrant mobilisation in 2011 UK elections, Centre for Europe, University of Warsaw (with Anna Figarska).

2012: ‘Eurosceptic Allies or Euroenthusiast Friends? The Political Discourse of the Roman Catholic Church in Poland’, in Lucian Leustean (ed) Does God Matter? Representing Religion in the European Union, London: Routledge, Series on Religion and Politics.

2010: ‘The League of Polish Families between East and West, Past and Present’ in Michael Minkenberg (ed.) Historical Legacies and the Radical Right in Post-Cold War Central and Eastern Europe, afterword by Sabrina P. Ramet, Stuttgart: Ibidem Verlag, Soviet and Post-Soviet Politics & Society Series, pp. 123-155 (with Sarah de Lange).

2008: ‘Euroentusiasmo e voto euroscettico: la Polonia dopo l'ingresso nell'Unione europea’ ‘Euroenthusiasm and Eurosceptic Voting: Poland after Accession’), in Europa vicina e lontana, edited by F. Di Sarcina, L. Grazi e L. Scichilone, Franco Angeli Editore, Roma.

2007: ‘Public opinion before and after accession: the case of Poland’, in L. Gatnar and D. Lane (eds) Popular Opposition and Support for Different Types of the EU, Brno: Tribun EU, selected papers after the conference ‘Elites and the EU Enlargement’.

2006: ‘I referenda europei in Polonia: opinione pubblica e partiti politici’ (‘The European Referenda in Poland: Public Opinion and Political Parties’), in F. Di Sarcina, L. Grazi and L. Scichilone (eds) Europa in progress. Idee, istituzioni e politiche nel processo di integrazione europea, Franco Angeli Editore, Roma.

Working papers, electoral briefings, professional journals, analyses and contributions

2019: 'The Affective Understanding of Post-Brexit European Integration', Brexit Institute News, DCU Brexit Institute, 20 February.

2018: 'Europe (and immigration) among the new Eurosceptics in the 2018 Italian Elections', SPERI (Sheffield Political Economy Research Institute, University of Sheffield) and PSA Italian Politics SG, 21 February.

2018: What Euroscepticism looks like in Central and Eastern Europe, LSE Brexit blog, 4 January.

2017: 'Akademička, ktorá skúma euroskepsu: Potrebujeme, aby ľudia Európu zažili',  Euractiv Slovakia, 27 December.

2017: What is public Euroscepticism?, UoL Think, 20 December.

2017: 'Poder, Sexo y Testosterona', La Razón, 5 November.

2017: Euroscepticism has taken hold across the EU - but it has many different roots, LSE Brexit blog, 19 July (also available here).

2017: Public Euroscepticism after the British referendum EPERN blog, University of Sussex (with T. Exadaktylos and R. Guerrina), 17 July .

2017: 'Un Reino Unido in blanco y nigro', La Razón, 8 June, available in English and Spanish here.

2017: 'Una cortina de humo hasta la legislativas', La Razón, 22 May.

2017: 'Post-Referendum Britain: Hopeful or Uncertain?', (with T. Exadaktylos and R. Guerrina), The Policy Space, University of Canberra and Institute for Governance and Policy Analysis, 10 April.

2017: 'The Ventotene Manifesto and the European Union at sixty', The UK in a Changing Europe, 27 March.

2016: 'When Catholicism meets the EU: it's not always Euroenthusiasm', Politologia, Cardinal Stefan Wyszyński University, Warsaw, DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.21697/p.2016.1.02.

2016: 'Divided Kingdom', BBC Radio Leicester Breakfast Show (at 8am), 27 June, available till 26 July.

2016: 'What Europe must do...'The Conversation, 27 June.

2016: 'First person: Euro Immigration and the Brexit Debate', Leicester Mercury, 13 June.

2016: 'Academics bring expertise to Brexit debate' , 23 May.

2016: 'The Polish Catholic Church has become intertwined with Euroscepticism and the promotion of conservative "national values"'The Democratic Audit UK, 28 April and LSE EUROPP blog, 2 May.

2016: 'Europe wades into debate over Poland's constitutional crisis'The Conversation, 27 January (with Fernando Casal Bértoa)

2016: '2015: The year in elections. Poland: right turn'The Conversation, 1 January (with Fernando Casal Bértoa)

2015: 'How Poland's political landscape was redrawn overnight'The Conversation, 27 October (with Fernando Casal Bértoa).

2015: 'Surprise election loss for Polish president spells trouble for governing party', The Conversation, 26 May.

2015: 'Keep your distance: on the relationship between European integration and religion'The Democratic Audit UK, 13 May.

2014: 'Politicians fiddling while Rome burns?'The Conversation, 10 December.

2014: 'Angry Young Europeans?: Croatian Attitudes towards the EU in comparative perspective', The European Parties Elections and Referendums Network (EPERN) blog.

2014: 'Le elezioni politiche "Viste da fuori", Osservatorio politiche 2013, CSSM and Officina della Storia (with Doriana Floris).

2013: 'The rise of Euroscepticism in Croatia'Ballots and Bullets, School of Politics and International Relations, University of Nottingham.

2011: ‘Euroscepticism ‘endemic’ across religious organisations?’Public Service Europe, 14 September

2011: ‘The Legacy of the communist past and the process of democratization: the case of Poland'Officina della Storia, Storia italiana e integrazione europea, 6 July

2010: ‘Le elezioni europee in Polonia e Repubblica Ceca’ (‘The 2009 Polish and Czech European parliament elections’) in Officina della storia, Storia italiana e integrazione europea, 2/2009.

2009: ‘Diversity and the European Public Sphere: Towards a Citizens’ Europe. The Case of United Kingdom’, Report written for the Eurosphere FP6 integrated project (with K. Wahl-Jorgensen, S. Cushion, I. Garcia-Blanco, D. Tsagalas).

2008: ‘The Italian Parliamentary Elections of April 2008’EPERN Election Briefing No. 41, Sussex European Institute, University of Sussex, Brighton (with Emanuele Massetti).

2006: ‘The Italian Parliamentary Elections of April 2006’EPERN Election BriefingNo. 25, Sussex European Institute, University of Sussex, Brighton (with Emanuele Massetti).

2002: ‘La Polonia e l’allargamento ad Est dell’Unione europea: le posizioni della Francia e della Germania’ (‘Poland and the Eastward Enlargement of the European Union: the French and German Positions’), Paper No. 1, European Studies Papers, edited by Ariane Landuyt, C.R.I.E., Università degli Studi di Siena.

Book reviews

2017: 'Beppe Grillo’s Five Star Movement. Organisation, Communication and Ideology', by F. Tronconi (ed) (2015), Abingdon: Routledge. Party Politics.

2012: ‘Democratic Elections in Poland, 1991-2007’ by F. Millard (2010) BASEES/Routledge Series on Russian and East European Studies, Abingdon, Oxon and New York, 2010. xvi + 218 pp., Slavonic & East European Review, Vol. 90, No. 1, pp. 183-185.

2010: ‘European Elections and Domestic Politics. Lessons from the Past and Scenarios for the Future’ by W. van der Brug and C. van der Eijk (eds) (2007) Notre Dame, IN: University of Notre Dame Press, Party Politics, Vol. 16, No. 3, pp. 418-420.


Selected recent invited talks

2018: '"Immigration, that’s what everyone’s thinking about, whether they say so or not …Immigration is the first thing that seems to get mentioned." The 2016 British EU referendum in the eyes of the beholder'. International Symposium ‘Un-Civility, Racism and Populism: Interactive Practices and Discourses in Europe, USA & Beyond’, Uppsala University, 6-7 December.

2018: 'Democracy, illiberal democracy or neo-authoritarianism? Political Parties and party systems. The view from Europe', Cardinal Stefan Wyszynski University, Warsaw, 29 November.

2018: Roundtable on the 2018 Italian Elections, The York Politics Society, University of York, 8 November.

2018: 'Integration and Identity Politics in Post-Brexit Britain', Dialogue Society Leicester, Loughborough University, 7 November.

2018: 'Why has the reconciliation process in the Balkans taken a back seat?', KU Leuven, 17 October.

2018: 'Public Euroscepticism or lack of salience?: Brexit at home and in the EU', University of Portsmouth, 14 March.

2018: 'Public Euroscepticism after the 2016 British referendum: Unleashing emotion', Istituto Carlo Alberto, Turin, 1 February.

2017: Keynote Speech, 'Public Euroscepticism after Brexit', Comenius University, Bratislava, 15 December (CODES project).

2017: 'Democratization, European Integration, and Identity: Attitudes towards the EU across member states and the Western Balkans', LSEE Research on South Eastern Europe Public Lecture, 20 November.

2017: 'Public Euroscepticism after the 2016 British referendum: Unleashing emotion', Jean Monnet Lecture, Central European University, Budapest, 2 November.

2017: 'When populism meets Euroscepticism: the European case', Cambridge Baltic Conference, University of Cambridge, 28 October.

2017: Keynote Speech on my forthcoming book, Religion and Euroscepticism in Post-Communist Europe, Conference of European Churches, Paris, 20-22 September.

2017: 'Identity, Economic Rationality or Political Cues: The Case of Poland', Workshop organized by the Institute for German Studies as part of the launch of C. Galpin's book, The Euro Crisis and European Identities: Political and Media Discourse in Germany, Ireland and Poland, University of Birmingham, 13 June.

2017: 'Why Britain Voted to Leave the EU', Wolfson Theatre, LSE, 27 April.

2017: 'Euroscepticism: Beyond Party Systems and Across Civil Society', Workshop on Euroscepticism, University of Portsmouth, 15 February.

2017: 'Anger, Anxiety, Disappointment, and Uncertainty: Euroscepticism and its Emotions',  University of Aberdeen, 18 January.

2016: 'Young people and the EU: It's about Life Expectations!', Free University of Brussels (ULB), 1 December.

2016: 'Public opinion and the British referendum', Scuola Normale Superiore, Firenze, 4 October.

2016: 'Poles in Britain 12 years on: a win-win-situation?', The UK and the EU: Unravelling the complexities of the referendum debate, University of Bath, 8 June.

2016: 'Poland and religious Euroscepticism', Round Table on Euroscepticism and Populism in Contemporary Europe, University of Portsmouth, 10 February.

2015: 'Euroscepticism and how we can measure it', Symposium on Contesting Europe, HIS Vienna, 30 April.

2015: 'Keep the faith: Religion and Attitudes towards the EU in the Post-Communist Region', Free University of Brussels (ULB), 22 April.

2015: 'The Path towards Democracy and EU Membership: Attitudes towards the EU prior to accession and after joining', ECPR General Conference Round Table 'Transition to Democracy and the Quality of Democracy, Warsaw, 30 March.

2015: 'The media and Euroscepticism', University of Siena, 26 March.

2015: Keynote speech on Young People and the European Union, Aston University, 26 February.

2014: 'EU Support in Time of Crisis: About Economics and Life Expectations', Political Science Research Colloquium, John Cabot University, Rome, 11 November.

2014: 'Euroscepticism and the reputation of the EU institutions', Mid-Norway European Office, Brussels, 14 February.

2013: 'The reputation of the EU institutions and citizens' perception of the EU', Annual European Conference on Public Communication', EU Committee of the Regions and European Parliament, with the European Commission and Council, Brussels, 16-17 October.


My research interests are split into three main topics that are inter-related to my doctoral research, on attitudes towards European integration in Central and Eastern Europe, as follows:

Euroscepticism and populism

My main research interest is in attitudes towards European integration and citizens' perceptions of the EU and its institutions, in particular in candidate countries in the post-Communist region and Western Balkans. I further examine these themes in the European Parties Election & Referendums Network.

Attitudes towards the EU and how these change are studied in my first monograph, Central and Eastern European Attitudes in the Face of Union (Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, 2013); and are the main theme of a special issue of the Journal of Common Market Studies, co-edited with Simon Usherwood and Nick Startin, ‘Confronting Euroscepticism.’ (2013). More recently I have worked on Euroscepticsm and the media, and published the book 'Euroscepticism, Democracy and The Media. Communicating Europe, Contesting Europe', (eds. with Manuela Caiani) (Palgrave Studies in European Political Sociology) and I am now examining Euroscepticism and emotions.

This further develops in the analysis of the process of secularisation and religion as a social and political actor. In my analysis I investigate the role of the Church in the public life and answer 'if', 'when' and 'how' it strategically chooses to become a Eurosceptic political actor. The comparative perspective on Central and Eastern European countries offers a contribution to the literature on the politics of the Catholic Churches in post-communist Europe, and Euroscepticism. The relationship between religion and Euroscepticism is analysed in my second monograph, Religion and Euroscepticism in Post-Communist Europe, Abingdon: Routledge (forthcoming). I teach on these themes in my final year module 'Contentious Politics in EUrope'.

Democratization and Everyday Europe

Following on the funded UACES collaborative research network EUEve, with Jelena Obradović-Wochnik (Aston University) and Soeren Keil and Paul Anderson (Canterbury Christ Church University), I examine the process of democratization in the Western Balkans and in particular the case study of the War Childhood Museum in Sarajevo (B&H). I explore how this experience intersects with broader understandings of political practices, policies and structures. This would help understand post-conflict grassroots activism and mobilization and use of heritage within its local context and culture. The study of the complexities of histories, societies, cultures and polities would illustrate how power relations have developed, are developing and can be reconfigured. This would also inform how democracy, justice and reconciliation can be embedded through sensitivity and alternative democratic actors. In all these experience the focus is childhood and living under siege, and how communities can reconcile through sensitivity. I teach on these themes in my module on 'Democratization and EU Enlargement in Post-Communist Europe'.

Governance and corruption

Following the award of the Loughborough University SPG Seedcorn Grant 2011 (Activity title: Governance, Corruption and Anti-Corruption Policies: The EU and members states, candidate and third countries.), I have examined how the EU frames its policies in relation to corruption in current member states, candidate and third countries. Recently I have developed a research interest focusing on informal network practices in the academia and I I have contributed to the The Global Encyclopaedia of Informality (ed. by Alena V. Ledeneva). I teach on these themes in my new final year module 'Corruption, Informality & Scandals', and in my MA module 'Governance and Corruption'.

Research grants

Up to the academic year 2017/18 I have obtained, as both PI and Co-I, an overall amount, of 1,485,773.66 Euros from funded research grants.

2018: AlterDem: Alternative Democratic actors in the Western Balkans (CDF) (June-July, £ 3,490.00)

2018: Euroscepticism and emotion in contemporary contentious politics – A study on Europe as the Other in post-2016 referendum Britain (School Fund) (May-July, £1,110.00)

2017: Sustainable governance: Re-assessing the process of Europeanization and democratization in the Western Balkans (RDP Fund) (April-July, £ 1,720.00)

2016: Brexit or Bremain: Britain and the 2016 Referendum, with Roberta Guerrina and Theofanis Exadaktylos (University of Surrey) (June-July, £ 10,000)

2016-19: (With Jelena Obradović-Wochnik, Aston University, and Soeren Keil, Canterbury Christ Church University) UACES CRN (Collaborative Research Network) 'EUEve, Europe and the Everyday: Grassroots, EU and the Politics of Crisis’,  (36 months, starting: April 2016, £ 5,000)

2014-17: CoI (UK Team) for the project, ‘Pathways to Power: The Political Representation of Citizens of Immigrant Origin in Seven European Democracies’ (ESRC ORA grant) (36 months, starting in May 2014).

2014: Recipient of the Montalcini Programme Award 2012 (MIUR, Italian Ministry for Education, University and Research) for the International Promotion of Young Researchers to temporarily recruit outstanding post-docs working abroad. Research project on public Euroscepticism, 'Eurosceptic, Euroneutral, Euroenthusiast: Towards a framework of analysis' (36 months, 191, 273.66 EUR, Declined).

2010-12: PI (UK Team), European Commission DG Justice Action Grant, ‘Voting in the UK: Voting Advice Application for Polish and Lithuanian Immigrants’, project led by the University of Warsaw, (24 months, 331,462.33 EUR).

Further small grants

UACES Small Event Grant, ‘Sacred and Secular: Researching the Role of Religion in Contemporary Europe’ workshop, with Dr Ben Clements, £ 962.00.

PI: SPG Seedcorn Research Fund Award, Loughborough University, on ‘Governance, Corruption and Anti-Corruption Policies: The EU and members states, candidate and third countries’ (November 2011-May 2012) with Dr Ed Brown, £ 1,500.00.

Teaching & Learning, Student Learning Experience Grants and Awards

2017: 'Enhancing Student Learning Experience: Assessment & Feedback, and Skills Confidence', College of Social Sciences, Arts and Humanities Teaching Development (CSSAH TD) Fund, with the support and collaboration from Alex Mitchell, University of Leicester Student Union, Jan Ball, Leicester Learning Institute, and Helen Williams, University of Nottingham, January-June 2017.

‘Politics-2-Raise’, Widening Participation Project, to work with and for UG students coming from a lower socio-economic household (NS-SEC 4-8) and being the first in the family to come from higher education. The project seeks to: (i) improve student retention and academic performance amongst students from underrepresented groups and (ii) improve progression amongst students from underrepresented groups to graduate employment or postgraduate education.

‘Alumni Mentoring Scheme’ Project (awarded and funded by the Career Development Service and the College of Social Science) 2013-14 and 2014-15. This project focuses on building relationship between alumni and current students via a mentoring scheme. A new graduate, appointed in September 2013 as coordinator, has promoted the benefits of involvement in the scheme to both alumni and current students. The coordinator has responsibility for pairing suitable alumni with current students based on employment position of the alumni and employment plans of the current student. Please, see the website (£ 14,520.00).

Teaching awards

2018: Nominated for the award as Best Lecturer, Best practice in inclusive Learning & Teaching, and Best implementer of student feedback, University of Leicester Students' Union, May.

2013: Superstar Award, teaching award, University of Leicester Students’ Union, July.

2012: Loughborough University PHIR Students Society Award, Memorable Mention, 'Approachable; Friendly; An asset to the department; Great feedback; Always prompt at answering queries; Encourages participation in class; Very high response from the students; Speaking as one of your students you did always go above and beyond for us!', 2011-2012 (and short-listed as best lecturer of the year, for the ‘Loughborough Experience Awards 2012’, Loughborough University, May).

2010: The University of Nottingham Politics Society 2009/2010 Award for Best Module in its year to Introduction to European Politics - as convenor and teacher.

Published students' essays, on E-IR

Matthew Ellis (2017) on Social Media in the U. S. Presidential Elections (MA).

Matthew Broadbent (2014) on Marine Le Pen and the Populist Radical Right (3rd yr).

Andrew Clarke (2012) on the EU as superpower (2nd yr).

Jamie Sanders (2012) on Euroscepticism in Austria (3rd yr).

Laisve Linkute (2012) on lustration (3rd yr).

Billy Marsh (2012) on the legacy of Communism in CEE (3rd yr).


Simona is available for supervision of PhD students in all areas of her research interests.

From 2014 I have joined the AHRC-funded Midlands3Cities Doctoral Training Partnership group. The partnership provides combined research expertise for the personal and professional development of the next generation of arts and humanities doctoral researchers.

Current PhDs

'The role of Syrian refugees in Turkish Politics' (2016-present)


'The Syrian refugee crisis in Lebanon: Social cohesion and economic opportunities' (FT, 2018- present)

'Normative Power Europe: From an Ideal Type to a Foreign Policy Strategy' (PT, 2014-present)

'Corruption and Transparency' (PT, 2013-present)

Past PhDs

The Politics of Information. Eurostat's Role in Informing the European Union of Social Inclusion and Migration' (2010-2015) - now Project Manager at Centrum für Hochschulentwicklung, Berlin, Germany.

'Fighting Political Corruption: The Case of Kurdistan' (2012-2016) - now Lecturer in Political Science, Faculty of Law and International Relations, Soran University, Erbil, Iraq.

'How Protest Matter for Representation: Linking Party Types and Protest' (2012-2016) - now Senior Researcher, University of Zurich, Zurich, Switzerland.

Learn more and apply for research degrees in Politics and International Relations.


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