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Photo of Professor Nicole Bolleyer

Professor Nicole Bolleyer

(PhD 2007, European University Institute, Florence)

Professor of Comparative Politics


01392 722051

Amory A236E

Nicole studied at the University of Mannheim (Germany) and the Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore (USA) and received her PhD from the European University Institute in Florence (Italy). Her dissertation on intergovernmental relations in federal systems was published by Oxford University Press in 2009. Her second monograph 'New Parties in Old Party Systems' (also OUP) came out in 2013.

Nicole's research interests include institutional and organizational theory, party politics, the study of voluntary organizations, comparative federalism and multilevel governance as well as theories of legitimacy. Nicole has been involved in various research projects. She ran - together with Kris Deschouwer (VUB) - a four-year project on 'The Persistence and Decline of New Parties in Advanced Democracies' funded by the Flemish Science Foundation and was the scientist in charge of a two-year EU Marie Curie Intra-European Fellowship (IEF) titled ‘Unstable Party Supply in Established and New Democracies’ (2014-15). She recently completed a BA/Leverhulme-funded grant on 'Democratic Self-Defence Before and After 9/11' that she has run together with Anika Gauja (University of Sydney). Last year Nicole completed a five-year research project on Regulating Civil Society: A Comparative Study of Parties, Interest Groups and Welfare-Providing Organisations funded by the European Research Council.

This ERC project underpins Nicole's third research monograph 'The State and Civil Society: Regulating Interest Groups, Parties and Public-Benefit Organisations in Contemporary Democracies' (Oxford University Press, see for reviews Perspectives on Politics, Public Administration) and she is currently working on another book based on project data.

Nicole is the Director of the Centre for Elections, Media and Participation (CEMaP), a member of the steering committee of the ECPR Standing Group on Political Parties and a member of the ODIHR Core Group of Experts on Political Parties.

Research interests

- Voluntary Organisations in Advanced Democracies

- The Regulation of Political Parties, Interest Groups and Voluntary Sector Organisations

- Theories of Party Organisation and Party Change

- Comparative Political Finance

- Multilevel Governance

- Comparative Federalism and Devolution


Research supervision

- Party Politics and Party Organisation

- Comparative Federalism and Multilevel Governance

- Voluntary Organisations (e.g. Charities, Interest Groups, Movements)

- The Legal Regulation of Civil Society Organisations

- Institutional and Organizational Theory

- Coalition Theory and Governance

- Conceptions of Legitimacy


Research students

Postdoctoral Researchers

Dr. Paricia Correa Vila, Associate Research Fellow on ERC-funded Project Regulating Civil Society? (2015-present)


Current PhD Researchers

Milka Ivanovska: How Voluntary Organizations Adapt: Regulatory Constraints and Organizational Trade-offs between Advocacy and Service Provision in the UK and the Netherlands (First Supervisor, September 2015-present)

Torill Stavenes: Minor Parties in Italy and Norway: Navigating between State Funding and Regulation (First Supervisor, September 2015-present)

Nicholas Dickinson: MP Expenses and Party Discipline in Westminster Democracies (First Supervisor, Septemer 2015-present)

Robert Stewart: The Organizational Survival of the Ennahdha Party in Tunisia: From Persecution to Power (First Supervisor, September 2013-present; part-time)


Former PhD Researchers and Postdocs

Dr. Felix-Christopher von Nostitz, Teaching Fellow, University of Lille, France: The Merits and Perils of Intra-Party Democracy: Assessing the Effects of Party Reform in Germany, France and the UK (First Supervisor, September 2013-December 2016)

Dr. Raimondas Ibenskas, Lecturer in Politics, University of Southampton: Postdoctoral Research on Unstable Party Supply in Established and New Democracies: Causes and Electoral Consequences (Marie Curie Intra-European Fellowship Project (IEF), 2014-2015)

Dr. Mariana Skirmuntt, Senior Researcher at Great Place to Work Institute, London, UK: Associate Research Fellow on ERC-funded Project Regulating Civil Society? (2014-15)

Dr. Stefanie Beyens, Postdoctoral Researcher at the Utrecht University School of Governance, Netherlands: The Persistence and Decline of New Parties in Advanced Democracies (International Co-supervisor, with Kris Deschouwer as Supervisor, home institution VUB Brussels, January 2011-April 2016)

Dr. Serik Beimenbetov, Senior Lecturer at the Kazakh-German University in Almaty, Kazakhstan: Phd on A Comparative Analysis of 'Defensive Democracy' in Advanced Democracies (First Supervisor, January 2012- March 2015)

Dr. Jan Pieter Beetz, Postdoctoral Researcher at VU Amsterdam, Netherlands: PhD on The People and the Legitimation of EU Rule (Co-supervisor, with Dario Castiglione as Supervisor, September 2010- March 2015)

Dr. Alexandra Boehme, Associate at EMEA Centre for Regulatory Strategy, London, UK: PhD on The Multidimensional Sovereignty of the European Constitution (Co-supervisor, with Dario Castiglione as Supervisor, September 2010 - June 2014)

Dr. Siim Trumm, Lecturer in Politics, University of Nottingham, UK: PhD on Voting Behaviour in the European Parliament after Enlargement (Second Supervisor, with Susan Banducci as Supervisor, September 2009 - January 2013)



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