Photo of Dr Athanassios Gouglas

Dr Athanassios Gouglas



I am a lecturer (assistant professor) in politics and public policy. My research and teaching interests include comparative politics, comparative public policy, European and global governance. I teach the only fully dedicated module on political advisers in the world at both undergraduate and postgraduate level and I am the founding director of the MSc Global Governance at Exeter. 

My research interests include political elites, legislative / parliamentary studies, political and policy advice and policy advisory systems. My approach is internationally comparative. I cover mainly, but not exclusively, Europe and the European Union. I have also conducted research on Australia and I am currently building a project on Asian and African legislative elites. One question I am particularly interested in is the circulation of legislators in parliaments, the extent to which it happens and the reasons why, as well as its effects on policy outcomes. In addition, I also study political advisers, in particular their policy roles and their interactions with public servants and ministers, in order to understand the way they shape public policy. I have a book manuscript in contract with Edward Elgar with the provisional title 'Political Advisers: A Global Introduction'. Finally, I am also interested in knowledge utilisation, in particular the use of policy relevant information by public servants and policy makers in the core executive. 

I am also an external research fellow at KU Leuven, Belgium, as well as Associate Director for International Partnerships for the International Comparative Policy Analysis Forum (ICPA) linked to the Journal of Comparative Policy Analysis: Research and Practice (JCPA).   

Research supervision

I am happy to supervise PhD students on the following general topics

  • Political elites (social circulation/transformation and legislative turnover) outside of the OECD consolidated democracies
  • Political advisors (longitudinal large N approaches within OECD countries, or free topic outside of the OECD)
  • Legislative turnover and policy outcomes
  • Knowledge utilization and policy advice utilization in any setting
  • Global governance from a global public policy perspective

Research students

I am currently co-supervising two PhD students who are based at the KU Leuven Public Governance Institute in Belgium. Their topics are on political advisers and ministerial offices in Westminster and Napoleonic systems. They are employed by two separate research projects, the head of which is Prof. Dr. Marleen Brans.  

  • FWO, G079619N
  • C14/18/020, BOF C14

External impact and engagement

My research and research informed opinion has figured in numerous media and user organization outlets. 

Gouglas, A. Maddens, B., Brans, M. (2019). Het ledenverloop in de Belgische Kamer van Volksvertegenwoordigers (1945-2014). Een analyse vanuit vergelijkend perspectief. VIVES BRIEFING 2019/04. Leuven: KU Leuven. Online  Cited in De Standaard and many Belgian print and online media. 

Gouglas, A. (2019). The fractionalisation of Parliament is a source of deadlock. Go to the people. The UK in a Changing World. Online

Gouglas, a. (2019). Like Greece, Brexit negotiations leave the UK a rule taker from the EU. The Conversation. Online

Gouglas, A., Brans, M. (2016). UK Extended Ministerial Offices: on the road to cabinetisation. University College London, Constitution Unit. Online

Gouglas, A., Maddens, B. (2015). Membership change in the Dutch Tweede Kamer 1946-2012. Montesquieu Institute, the Hague.


I studied at the University of Cambridge (UK), the National Kapodistrian University of Athens (Greece) and KU Leuven (Belgium). I received my PhD from KU Leuven in 2017. My doctoral research was funded by Research Foundation Flanders (FWO). I was a visiting doctoral research fellow at the University of Vienna, Bern, Leiden, Siena, University College London and SciencesPo-Paris. As a recipient of an additional FWO long-stay abroad grant I also conducted research at the Australian National University.  

I am currently a lecturer in politics: public policy in the Department of Politics at the University of Exeter, as well as an external research fellow at the KU Leuven Public Governance Institute.

Previously, I worked as a civil servant in the Hellenic Civil Service and as political and policy adviser in two ministerial cabinets in Greece. I also worked as scientific assistant to a Member of the Hellenic Parliament, and adviser to a Member of the European Parliament.

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