Skip to content
Department of Political and Social Sciences

SPS theses of the month: May

The Department of Political and Social Sciences is delighted to announce that during the month of May Kyriaki Kourra has successfully defended her dissertation.

27 May 2024 | Research


Congratulations to Kyriaki Kourra from the Department of Political and Social Sciences, for receiving her doctorate in May 2024, after unanimous decisions from the jury.

Kyriaki Kourra’s dissertation, Reform Success and Failure in the Wake of Scandals.Three Tales of Regulatory Conflict in the Private Military and Security Arena, represents high‐quality research on the timely, important, and tragic topic of scandals associated with US‐based Private Military and Security Companies (PMSCs) active in the Iraque war and in Afghanistan. Two strengths shine through the dissertation. In the first place, theoretically, Kyriaki Kourra integrates an actor‐centred institutionalist perspective, with an argumentative twist. Second, empirically, this perspective allows for an open‐ended research agenda with a focus on (argumentative) interaction of multiple actors that are admitted to (changing) actor‐constellations to voice their input on regulatory change in the aftermath of said scandals. As such, different regulatory outcomes are associated with different actor constellations and substantive arguments tabled during the hearings. For instance, family members participating in the Fallujah hearings, tabling emotional arguments, thereby appealing ‘public consent’ sentiments, were most effective in terms of regulatory change. Both theoretically and empirically, highlighting argument and persuasion to changing regulation, the dissertation is groundbreaking.

Read Kyriaki Kourra's thesis in Cadmus.

Last update: 27 May 2024

Go back to top of the page