Eleftheria (Thenia) Vagionaki
Postdoctoral Research Fellow in Hellenic Studies, funded by the Paul Sarbanes ’54 Fund for Hellenism and Public Service, 2023-2024
- DegreePh.D., Political Science, University of Lausanne, Switzerland, 2020DissertationThe Open Method of Co-Ordination in a World of Neglect: Obstacles to Policy Learning in GreeceResearch ProjectThe Role of Expertise in Greek Contemporary Policymaking. Insights from Innovation Policy and Public Administration Digitalization Reforms
Thenia Vagionaki is a political scientist, specializing in policy learning, the use of expertise in contemporary policymaking, and EU studies. She holds a B.A. from the University of Sussex (UK) in International Relations, an M.A. from the University of Reading (UK) in International Studies and a PhD from the University of Lausanne (Switzerland) in Political Science. Her doctoral research explored policy learning in Greece and other Southern European countries with respect to EU soft law instruments. For her doctoral thesis Thenia received an award of excellence from the Faculty of Social and Political Sciences of the University of Lausanne. She received funding from the Société Academic Vaudoise, the Bureau de l’Égalité of the University of Lausanne, and the Swiss National Science Foundation (SNSF), amongst other fellowships. Before coming to Princeton, Thenia was a SNSF Senior Researcher at the University of Lausanne working on a project regarding the role of national Data Protection Authorities in the EU. Her work has been published in peer-reviewed journals such as the Journal of European Public Policy, the International Review of Public Policy, Political Studies Review, West European Politics and Policy & Politics. Prior to her PhD Thenia worked during several years as a civil servant for the Greek government. Her current book project (under contract) explores the presence of policy learning in Greece and Southern Europe via EU soft law, prior to as well as during the post-Euro-crisis period.
About the Research Project
The Role of Expertise in Greek Contemporary Policymaking. Insights from Innovation Policy and Public Administration Digitalization Reforms
Closely related to the topic of my book, this project explores the role which expertise plays within contemporary Greek policymaking. Specifically, it focuses on how Greek policymakers use expert knowledge for decision making on national policy programs and reforms. The project explores this topic in the context of two policy fields: public sector digitalization and innovation policy. The research focuses on the period after the Memoranda of Understanding (MoUs) imposed in Greece by the European Union, the European Central Bank, and the International Monetary Fund (post-2018 until present). By focusing on the post-2018 period, the project aims at deepening our understanding of the role of expertise in Greek policymaking in technically complex policy areas. This research particularly helps to understand the degree of politicization of expertise in policy change. Furthermore, the project will also offer insights into the implementation and use of technological innovation in policy practice.