Book Launch – Public Debate: The Depoliticisation of Greece’s Public Revenue Administration: Radical Change and the Limits of Conditionality

Location: Cultural Centre of the Municipality of Athens, 50 Akadimias Street, Athens, Greece,

Date and Time: 17 February, 2020, 6pm

This is a launch event of the new book (published in English by Springer) authored by Dr Dionyssis G. Dimitrakopoulos and Dr Passas Argyris. The book analyses the process of depoliticization of Greece’s public revenue administration promoted by its international lenders under the successive bailout agreements put in place since 2010. This is a key theme in public administration studies and beyond. This book helps readers understand the response to the eurozone crisis (especially, the conditionality of funding), Greece’s reform capacity with a focus on its tax administration, and the expansion of the scope of non-majoritarian institutions in Western democracies.

Keynotes and Participants

Dr Dionyssis G. Dimitrakopoulos, Senior Lecturer of Politics, Birkbeck University of London, and Member of Centre for Political Economy and Institutional Studies, Birkbeck University of London

Mr George Pitsilis, Governor of The Greek Independent Authority for Public Revenue, Greece

Ms. Georgette Lalis, Former top official of the European Commission

Dr Franciskos Koutentakis, Lecturer in Economics, University of Crete and Head of the Greek Parliament’s Budget Office

Prof Calliope Spanou, Professor of Administrative Science, University of Athens, Greece

Call for Abstract – Corporate Behaviour and Institutional Constraints: Multidisciplinary Perspectives on Institutional Dysfunctions and Firm Behaviour – Abstract Deadline 22 April 2018

One-day Workshop on

Location and Date: King’s College, London, UK, 4th July, 2018  

Organisers: Department of International Development (King’s College, London); Centre for Political Economy and Institutional Studies (Birkbeck University of London) and Centre for Comparative Studies of Emerging Economies (University College London)

Sponsor: King’s College “King’s Together Fund”, Department of International Development

Workshop Agenda (.pdf)


This one-day workshop aims to bring together researchers from different disciplines to improve our theoretical, empirical and methodological understanding of institutional dysfunctions as well as their relationship with corporate behaviour under various perspectives and aspects. We focus on a specific manifestation of institutional dysfunctionality – wrong-doing by corporate actors, encompassing acts of corruption, fraud, tax evasion, as well as abuses of human rights and environmental damage, but we are also interested in related issues around responses to institutional void.

We welcome works that derive from different academic disciplines (including, but not limited to, political science, economics, development studies, law, sociology and organisational studies), use different units of analysis (individual, firms and organisations, regional, country, cross-country level) and different methodologies and techniques (theoretical, empirical, qualitative and quantitative)

We invite submissions of papers from any relevant discipline addressing issues including but not limited to:

  • Corruption and rent-seeking behaviour, bribe payment
  • Corporate fraud, tax evasion and tax morale
  • Illegal lobbying or unlawful interference in legal and judiciary processes
  • Trust, informal institutions and institutional voids
  • Human right abuses
  • Labour right abuses
  • Involvement in armed conflict
  • Environmental damage

Application Deadline  

Submit a structured abstract (max. 500 words) by 22 April 2018 to

Structured abstracts: Submitted abstracts need to explicitly follow the following structure:

Research Type: Conceptual, Theoretical, Empirical or Review (select one)

Research Question/Issue: 1 or 2 sentences presenting the focus of the paper

Method: 1 or 2 sentences clarifying the methodological approach chosen, and data source, if the paper is conceptual/theoretical state the main framework your research builds on.

Key Findings/Insights: 1 to 3 sentences explaining the findings or insights derived from your study. This section should highlight the contribution of your work to the broader literature.

Implications: in this section, please state the broader implications of your findings for researchers and/or policy-makers, as appropriate.

Authors of accepted abstract will be notified by 4 May 2018.

Workshop Fees

There is no fee for attending the workshop. Participants will be offered lunch, coffee and snacks during breaks, and are invited to a closing reception with wine and nibbles.

Participants are however expected to cover for their travel and accommodation costs, as required.

Note that a small budget is available to cover travel and accommodation expenses for some of the participants. If you would like to apply for your expenses to be covered, please do write it explicitly on your abstract and provide an indicative budget. Successful applicant for travel and accommodation grant will be notified on the 4th of May.

 Structure of Presentations:

Every paper presentation will be assigned a discussant. It is thus important that full papers are submitted two weeks before the workshop.

Convenors and Queries

For any queries please contact any of the workshop convenors: Dr Luciano Ciravegna (, Dr Luca Andriani ( and Dr Elodie Douarin (

Call for Abstract – Social Capital, Public Participation and Democracy – Deadline 15 March

9th International Conference in Political Economy,

“The State of Capitalism and the State of Political Economy”,

University of Pula, Pula, Croatia,

September 12-14, 2018.

Call for Papers – Social Capital, Public Participation and Democracy

 Panel organised by Social Capital Working Group


Asimina Christoforou, Athens University of Economics and Business
Luca Andriani, Birkbeck, University of London

Current economic crises are deeply rooted in an institutional crisis, in a social and democratic deficit.  Nowadays we often question the ability of economic and political institutions to translate people’s needs into social welfare: austerity policies have led to poverty and inequality; public goods and services in crucial areas of health, education and the environment are in decline; decisions in parliaments, elections and referenda are being challenged; human rights, especially those of immigrants and workers, are being violated; outspoken scholars and activists are being persecuted; extremist groups are spreading fear and violence; and civil conflicts and international disputes are spurring threats of war and human extinction.

In light of these developments, we invite proposals for papers to be presented in the Social Capital Working Group’s panels at the 9th International Conference in Political Economy, that examine the potential of social capital to restore democracy by cultivating norms and networks of citizen involvement and public participation. Many studies have pointed to the critical role of social capital in creating values and institutions of democracy and social welfare, by appealing to the work of Tocqueville, Dewey and Putnam. Yet some argue that the prevalence of particularised interests and powerful economic and political elites may foster hierarchical relations, clientelism and corruption and thus hinder broader participation, development and welfare. These are hypotheses that need to be further theorised and empirically tested in order to uncover the relationship between social capital and democracy.

We also encourage contributions that generally address the topic of social capital. We welcome works that derive from various social science disciplines and use different units of analysis (individual, regional, country or cross-country level), methodologies and techniques (theoretical, empirical, qualitative and quantitative).

Please submit your proposal by March 15, 2018.

To submit a proposal, please go to the Electronic Proposal Form (EPF), and carefully follow the instructions. You will need to select the Working Group “Social Capital”. You can find this form by following this link 
For general information about IIPPE, Working Groups, and the Conference:

For queries and suggestions, you may contact Asimina Christoforou, Coordinator of the Social Capital Working Group:


Workshop: Creating an Interdisciplinary Research Environment – 20 March, London

When: 20 March 2018, 13:00 — 17:00
Venue: Room 101, 30 Russell Square, Birkbeck College, University of London, WC1B 5DT
Booking details: Free entry; booking recommended

The most complex economic challenges of our time – such as ageing population, climate change, the effects of automation and globalisation – result from interlinked scientific, technical, social and individual processes, a comprehensive understanding and addressing of which require interdisciplinary approaches. Besides addressing complex challenges, interdisciplinary research is also particularly likely to produce radically novel outcomes that create innovation opportunities. Policymakers advocate greater interdisciplinarity within academia, calling for more interdisciplinary research centres, for greater funding of interdisciplinary research, and for better ways to map and measure interdisciplinary engagement and outputs.

However, universities are historically not well equipped to support interdisciplinary research, and the incentive systems that underpin most academic activities – including funding, evaluation, academic communication, publishing and career progression – militate against it. Institutions that wish to encourage more interdisciplinarity need to implement adequate initiatives to support it. This workshop intends to bring together experts engaged in the practice, study and evaluation of interdisciplinary research, in order to uncover challenges and best practices in supporting interdisciplinarity within academia.

Tickets can be booked through Eventbrite

For more information please contact either Dr Federica Rossi ( or Dr Luca Andriani (

Workshop programme:

1.00-1.30: Sandwich lunch

1:30-1:45 Introduction, prof. Julian Swann, Pro-Vice Master for Research, Birkbeck

1.45-2.45: Panel 1: Running an interdisciplinary research centre: advantages and challenges

Catherine Griffiths, Programme and Research Development Manager, Birkbeck, and Birkbeck Institute for Data Analytics

Prof Susan Michie, Director, Centre for Behavioural Change, UCL

Prof Jacqueline Rose, Co-Director, Birkbeck Institute for the Humanities

Chair: Dr Luca Andriani (Centre for Political Economy and Institutional Studies)

2.45-3.45: Panel 2: What does good interdisciplinary research look like? Views from research evaluators

Dr Lisa Mooney, Pro-Vice Chancellor for Research and Knowledge Exchange, University of East London, and REF Interdisciplinary Research Advisory panel

Prof. Andrew Pettigrew, OBE, Birkbeck, University of London and University of Oxford

Dr Rachael Kiddey, Assistant editor, Independent Social Research Foundation

Chair: Dr Federica Rossi (Centre for Innovation Management Research)

3:45-4:00 Coffee break

4.00-5.00: Concluding session: Implications for research centres

Dr Sappho Xenakis, Assistant Dean for Research, Birkbeck School of Law

Prof Alex Poulovassilis, Deputy Dean for Research Enhancement, Birkbeck School of Business, Economics and Informatics

Dr Peter Zusi, Director, FRINGE Centre, UCL


From Corporate Killing to Social Murder: 1 March 2018

Birkbeck Criminology Seminar Series: From Corporate Killing to Social Murder

18:00-19:30, Thursday 1 March 2018

Speaker: Professor Steve Tombs (Department of Social Policy & Criminology, Open University)

Corporations kill in a variety of ways across diverse sites and spheres of activity. Such killing is ubiquitous, routine and widespread – notwithstanding formal attempts by states to prevent and respond to such deaths. Focusing on a sub-set of such deaths in the UK, and state attempts to regulate these, this paper argues that these should be understood as state-corporate violence, best captured by the term ‘social murder’.

Grenfell Tower has come to represent many things to many people since the tragic fire on 14th June. Prior to that date, the Tower was a home to hundreds of residents – if not, according to some of them, a particularly pleasant one. The aim of this presentation is two-fold: first, to understand the reach of states and corporations into what is often represented as a private sphere, namely the home; and, second, to better understand the mass killing at Grenfell Tower, and the ripples of harms subsequently engendered, as phenomena produced by state-corporate policy and practices.

To register for this event, please see here.

About the Criminology Seminar Series

In line with the School of Law, Birkbeck’s research and teaching ethos, the Criminology Seminar Series aims to provide a platform for critical and interdisciplinary research, showcasing prominent and path-breaking research on crime, criminal justice and related themes by scholars from within and beyond Birkbeck. The series is convened by Dr Sappho Xenakis, School of Law, Birkbeck.

Picture credit: Image is by Fernando Botero: Abu Ghraib #67 (2005). University of California, Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive Gift of the Artist, 2009.12.42 Photographed for the UC Berkeley Art Museum by Benjamin Blackwell.

Workshop on International Economic Law: 6 October 2017

The School of Law, Birkbeck are pleased to hold a workshop to exchange perspectives on the interaction of critical legal theory and political economy in relation to international economic law.

The workshop is aimed at academic colleagues, especially those with expertise in international economic law; Birkbeck PhD students (especially in Law and Politics); and students enrolled on our LLM in International Economic Law, Justice and Development.

We hope the workshop will promote our research and teaching in international economic law, foster internal and external collaborations; and stimulate the development of a distinct research group or research cluster around political economy.

This event takes place on Friday 6 October 2017, commencing at 10am, in Birkbeck’s Keynes Library.

The event is free and lunch and refreshments are provided. Registration is required.

Report on Centre for Political Economy and Institutional Studies launch

From left to right: – Dr Luca Adriani, Dr Dermot Hodson, Prof. Ron Smith and Dr Sappho Xenakis

The need for rigorous interdisciplinary research on institutions emerged as the overarching theme of a half-day workshop on 15 June to launch Birkbeck’s new Centre for Political Economy and Institutional Studies. After a welcome from Prof. Sarah Hart (Assistant Dean, Department of Economics, Mathematics and Statistics) and Prof. Philip Powell (Dean of Business, Economics and Informatics and Vice-Master), Enterprise & Innovation, three distinguished guest speakers from the fields of economics, politics and criminology talked about the importance of institutions and political economy for their research.

Prof. Stephen Farrell (University of Sheffield) presented preliminary results from an ESRC funded project The Long-Term Impacts of Thatcherism. His evidence showed the scope and limits of historical institutionalism in explaining the Thatcher and Major governments’ shift towards more punitive approaches to crime.

Dr Waltraud Schelkle (London School of Economics) presented some of the key findings of her new book, The Political Economy of European Monetary Solidarity. The interplay between domestic and EU institutions rather than economic ideas, she argued, explains why the EU embraced regressive austerity policies in response to the global financial crisis.

Prof. Geoffrey Hodgson (University of Hertfordshire) argued for the importance of institutions in understanding international economic performance. Drawing on a range of examples from the economics literature, he discussed, the institutional drivers of China’s remarkable growth rates since the 1970s and the divergent growth trajectories of economies in Asia.

The audience brought together students and faculty from three Birkbeck schools with academics from other London universities and political economy practitioners.

To conclude the event, the co-directors of the Centre for Political Economy and Institutional Studies – Dr Luca Adriani (Department of Management), Dr Dermot Hodson (Department of Politics) Prof. Ron Smith (Department of Economics, Mathematics and Statistics), Dr Sappho Xenakis (Department of Criminology) – led a roundtable discussion about the origins and aims of the Centre and future activities and events.

This discussion covered the importance of political economy for Birkbeck’s 200th anniversary and the scope for cross-disciplinary teaching on political economy and institutions. The importance of the Centre for Birkbeck’s research environment was discussed along with the demand from government and private sector economists for a deeper understanding of institutions.

The event was sponsored by Birkbeck’s School of Business, Economics and Informatics and the School of Law.

Why Political Economy and Institutional Studies? CPEIS Launch Event

A half-day conference on “Why Political Economy and Institutional Studies?” will be taking place on Thursday 15 June at Birkbeck University of London to mark the launch of the Centre for Political Economy and Institutional Studies. With contributions from leading scholars from universities across the UK, the event will be a unique opportunity for reflection on the significance of political economy and institutions. Further details of the event are available here.

We very much hope you will be able to join us and look forward to seeing you there!