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Department of Political and Social Sciences

One week at Sciences Po: EUI Professor Filip Kostelka on his CIVICA Short Visit

Filip Kostelka, Professor at the EUI Department of Political and Social Sciences, shares insights on his experience while visiting the CIVICA partner university.

07 May 2024 | Research

CIVICA Short Visit_SPS Professor Filip Kostelka

Filip Kostelka, Professor at the EUI Department of Political and Social Sciences (SPS), spent one week at Sciences Po, thanks to the CIVICA Faculty Short Visit Scheme. The European university alliance CIVICA involves ten leading universities in Europe, including the EUI and Sciences Po.

Professor Kostelka, could you please tell us about your CIVICA faculty visit? Why did you want to go to Sciences Po and what did you work on during the visit?

It was amazing. Sciences Po is a fantastic institution and I already had some collaborations with researchers and professors from the university. We usually work remotely, but this was an opportunity to work together in Paris, which is more productive and stimulating. It’s also easier to make decisions and to understand each other when you are in the same room.

I took this CIVICA Short Visit as an opportunity to consolidate these existing collaborations, to progress on our research projects, and potentially start new research endeavours. For instance, with Professor Jan Rovny (Sciences Po) we conducted a large cross-national survey in Central and Eastern Europe, and based on that survey we will write a number of papers on elections and voting behaviour in the region. The time at Sciences Po was a great opportunity to progress on these papers. There is also another collaboration with Professor Nonna Mayer (Sciences Po), with whom we work on the gender gap and voter turnout in French elections.

Besides these projects, I have also presented a piece of research in a key-themed seminar series at the Centre for European Studies and Comparative Politics, where I received very useful feedback which enabled me to submit it, and it is now under review in a leading political science journal.

Last but not least, I led a session with doctoral researchers from Sciences Po, where I shared my insights on their dissertations, publishing, and the academic job market.

Could you please tell us more about the research projects you are working on?

One of the projects is based on the survey that we conducted last year, in which we tried to understand the motivation of voting behaviour in presidential elections.

We presented respondents with presidential candidate characteristics which varied randomly, so we could then tease out what drives vote choice. We conducted this kind of survey in five countries in Central and Eastern Europe, as well as in France, with the objective of analysing what drives vote choice especially in Central and Eastern Europe, and see to what extent the communist past still matters, if a candidate was previously involved in a communist party or not, to what extent his or her foreign policy orientations matter, support for Russia and China vs support for Western structures, NATO, the EU, and so on, and a range of other characteristics. This hasn't been done yet, so we are quite interested in seeing the results because we believe it is important. This CIVICA Short Visit was a great opportunity to progress on this project.

Thanks to the time we spent together during my stay at Sciences Po, it was possible to brainstorm and start a new research project. This new project delves into the meaning of 'left' and 'right' identification in the Central and East European region, especially focusing on the historical dimensions – to what extent one's vision of the past is reflected in one's self-identification with the left and the right. During that week, we were able to conduct a first version of a paper and to execute a first round of analysis, and we were surprised to learn to what extend this historical dimension stands out and matters much more than current policy preferences for redistribution or preferences to cultural dimensions, for example when it comes to migration or minorities, and so on.

What is the added value of CIVICA?
Research progresses thanks to cross fertilisation of ideas, and this is exactly what CIVICA allows us and enables us to do. It gives researchers and young emerging scholars the resources and opportunities to collaborate and engage with some of the best scholars in our research fields, and this is terrific.


The CIVICA Faculty Short Visits Scheme is organised in the framework of CIVICA – The European University of Social Sciences, funded by the European Union. The Faculty Short Visit Scheme – which is open for applications (the deadline is 31 January 2024, 23:59pm CET) – allow faculty and postdoctoral researchers in CIVICA universities to do short 2–5-day visits at another CIVICA partner university.

CIVICA brings together ten leading European higher education institutions in the social sciences, humanities, business management and public policy, with a total of 72,000 students and 13,000 faculty members. Together, they build on an ever-stronger combination of teaching research and innovation to mobilise and share knowledge as a public good and to facilitate civic responsibility in Europe and beyond.

Last update: 07 May 2024

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