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Dr Athanassios Gouglas



I am a lecturer in politics and public policy. My research and teaching falls within the fields of comparative politics, comparative public policy, European and global governance. I teach the only, fully dedicated course on political advisers in the world at Exeter and I am the Convenor of the new MSc in Global Governance

My research focuses on political elites, legislative studies, political and policy advice and policy advisory systems. My approach is internationally comparative, the main areas of coverage being mainly, but not exclusively, Europe and the European Union. 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. 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, Membership & Media for the Journal of Comparative Policy Analysis: Research and Practice (JCPA).  

Research supervision

 I am happy to supervise PhD students on the following two broad groups of topics

  • Political elites (social circulation/transformation and legislative turnover) outside of the OECD
  • Political advisors (longitudinal large N approaches within OECD countries, or free topic outside of the OECD)
  • Political elites and policy outcomes/change


Research students

 I am currently co-supervising two PhD students who are based at the KU Leuven Public Governance Institute in Leuven, 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



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: and 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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