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Contact info

[email protected]

[+39] 055 4685 483


Villa Sanfelice, SF018

Administrative contact

Jennifer Rose Dari

Working languages

Greek, English, Italian, Spanish

Curriculum vitae

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Elias Dinas holds the Swiss Chair in Federalism, Democracy and International Governance. He holds a PhD in Political Science from the European University Institute (2010) and his research interests include the dynamics of political socialization, the downstream effects of institutional interventions and the legacy of authoritarian rule on the ideological predispositions of citizens in new democracies. He has also a keen interest in research methodology. His work has been published, among others, in the American Political Science Review, the American Journal of Political Science, the Journal of Politics, and Political Analysis and mentioned in The Economist, the Atlantic and the New York Times.

Additional responsibilities

Mentor for

Recent research output

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Additional information

As part of my Chair, I have active collaboration with the Graduate Institute in Geneva. This collaboration has thus far taken the following forms:

  1. An annual 10-credit seminar on European politics
  2. An annual graduate conference, that takes place in Florence, connecting PhD students from the EUI, the Graduate Institute, and Oxford
  3. Research collaboration with members of Geneva and other Swiss institutions
  4. A series of methodological workshops, implemented via zoom, offered in common to students of the EUI and the Graduate Institute

Together with colleagues in History and Law, I am coordinating the cluster on Democracy in the 21st century, which organises events and seminars on a variety of topics about democracy, its prospects and its challenges.

  • 2019 Family History and Attitudes Toward Outgroups: Evidence from the European Refugee Crisis (with Vasiliki Fouka and Alain Schläpfer), Journal of Politics, Forthcoming, Media Coverage: Kathimerini.
  • 2019 Does exposure to the refugee crisis make natives more hostile? (with Dominik Hangartner, Konstantinos Matakos and Dimitrios Xefteris), American Political Science Review, 113(2): 442-55. Winner of the Michael Wallerstein Award for the best published article in political economy.
  • 2019 Waking Up to a Golden Dawn: How Exposure to the Refugee Crisis Shapes Political Behavior (with Dominik Hangartner, Konstantinos Matakos and Dimitrios Xefteris), Political Analysis, 27(2): 244-54.
  • Thinking Fast and Furious: Emotional Intensity and Opinion Polarization in Online Media (with David Asker), Public Opinion Quarterly, 83(3): 487-509.
  • The Ideological Shadow of Authoritarianism (with Ksenia-Northmore Ball), Comparative Political Studies, Online View: 7 July, 2019.

I am currently supervising 14 students working on topics of memory, intergroup relations, norm change, conflict, gender and culture. I am particularly interested in supervising topics on how political stigmas emerge and change. One example is the stigmatization of authoritarian ideology and symbols, after successful democratic transitions. How do such bias affect political attitudes and how do such biases change over time? Here is an example of a paper that tries to address these questions. In general, I am very much interested in how context and space can shape or constrain expressed political preferences.

Political Attitudes and Party Preferences
This is a study that looks into how ideology and party preferences are interlinked, with an emphasis on questions about political affect. We are interested in how people feel about the major political parties of their country. Additionally, we are interested in the difference between young and old voters. We examine three countries, Greece, Romania, and Spain.


  • Prof. Elias Dinas, EUI
  • Dr Ksenia Northmore-Ball, QMUL
  • Mr. Haoyu Zhai, EUI (research associate)


German Political Identity
This is a study of attitudes among the German public on a range of cultural, economic, and political topics. We are interested in how attitudes have shifted across generations and age-cohorts. Additionally, we are interested in differences between eastern and western Germany.


  • Prof. Elias Dinas, EUI
  • Prof. Vasiliki Fouka, Stanford
  • Prof. Daniel Ziblatt, Harvard & WZB


Elite Cues and Norm Change
A growing literature looks at how the electoral success of anti-systemic politicias can lead to the erosion of established political norms, such those related to outgroup attitudes or democratic beliefs. Less is known about the role of mainstream politicians in this process. We look at the case of the mainstream right in Germany, the CDU, to see how references against immigrants can change beliefs about the appropriateness of public expressing anti-immigrant attitudes. The project builds on two survey experiments to test the role of elite cues on norm erosion and change in Germany.


  • Mr. John Chua, Oxford
  • Prof. Elias Dinas, EUI
  • Dr. Vicente Valentim, Oxford
  • Prof. Daniel Ziblatt, Harvard & WZB


Number of Parties and Quality of Democracy
Is the quality of democracy undermined or enhanced by party-system fragmentation? Addressing this question would help us better assess normative claims about electoral reforms. Yet, doing so is difficult because of endogeneity issues: party systems are endogenous to many other dynamics in a polity. We overcome this problem by putting forward an instrument for the number of parties in a system, based on the level of fragmentation added by parties that narrowly make it to parliament. We then test the effect of party-system fragmentation on the quality of democracy, drawing upon a large battery of outcomes. Running against previous literature, we find that a higher number of parties leads to more fractionalized gov- ernments, but has no impact on other democratic outcomes. Subsample analyses do suggest that fragmentation may have some effect in contexts of very high polarization, but we find no effect in other theoretically mean- ingful subsamples. Our results suggest that party-system fragmentation may have less normative implications than previously assumed.


  • Prof. Elias Dinas, EUI
  • Dr. Vicente Valentim, Oxford


Interrupted Continuities: Local History and Support for the Radical Right
A common, if implicit, assumption in the literature of historical legacies is that these follow a consistent pattern, either remaining constant or decaying over time. We propose an alternative, non-monotone, trajec- tory, whereby exogenous shocks can re-activate the signalling capacity of local history. We apply this theory of ‘interrupted continuities’ to explain the time-varying legacy of the Greek civil-war on the vote for the radical right. We argue that in contributing to the disintegration of the settled party structure, the 2009 economic crisis allowed past trauma to escape the fringes of local memory and regain political salience. Employing a within-province, cross-village research design, we show that anti-communism rooted in the civil-war predicts radical right support after, but not before, the crisis. In showing that a trauma’s political decay is not evidence of its healing, this study underlines the need for more robust justification when researchers select the historical timepoints under scrutiny.


  • Prof. Elias Dinas, EUI
  • Mrs. Elli Palaiologou, Oxford
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