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On my doctoral research

Here is the abstract of my thesis.

Given the uncertain gains and risks of an indirect intervention and the changing complexity of foreign policy, why do states engage in proxy war towards achieving political aims? The conflict in Syria quickly
escalated into a complex and prolonged civil war where states outside the conflict fuelled rebel groups to fight. This PhD thesis argues that states wage proxy wars so they can avoid becoming directly involved in the conflict and thus having to bear the costs of a war. Prior empirical research has shown that the presence of external actors in civil wars means that a conflict can last longer, cost more lives and negotiations for a settlement can become harder. So, why do states choose to form a relationship with a proxy group to fight a rival, instead of intervening directly? Why invest money and military power in a third party that could lead to a prolonged conflict? This thesis contributes to the literature in two ways: first by providing a careful conceptualization of proxy war, examining the range of variations on the types of support and on the proxies. Furthermore, it develops a theory of the motivations of states to engage in proxy war and the effect of proxy war strategy under different conditions of conflict. 

On research projects conducted at the EUI and the Robert Schumann Center

Apart from my own research project, I have actively participated in various other research projects during my time at EUI.  In the first project, named “Debt Narratives” and led by prof. Dorothee Bohle, I collected primary data from Greek newspapers in the capacity of country expert and wrote detailed and comprehensive reports on debt narratives that Greece and other countries in the EU adopted during the economic crisis. In the second project, I co-led a team of five researchers working on the biggest European Voting Advice Application, euandi2019.  For the third project, Integrating Diversity in the European Union (InDivEU), I was the country expert for Greece. In this project on differentiated integration my job was to collect and analyze data and articulate the results in a report. All in all, my participation in these projects
offered me instrumental experience on structuring different stages of a research project. I have learned to be adaptable on the administrative aspects of the project, consistent on the research aspects and resourceful on the challenges that might arise.