Department of Comparative Politics
New colleagues

New faces at Sampol

Meet Paulina, Sergiu and Bilal - three new colleagues at the department

Portrett av Sergiu, Paulina og Bilal
The three researchers - Sergiu, Paulina and Bilal
Anna Polster

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Paulina Salek-Lipcean joined the department as a Postdoctoral Research Fellow in January 2023 and is affiliated with the project “Party Instability in Parliaments: INSTAPARTY”, led by Raimondas Ibenskas. Before joining Sampol, she was a Research Assistant at UCL School of Slavonic and East European Studies (SSEES).

Paulina received her PhD in Political and Social Sciences from the European University Institute in Florence. In her research project, she investigated the trajectories of party and party system development in two post-Soviet republics, Georgia and Moldova, focusing on the impact of formal-legal and institutional factors on these processes. She obtained her BA and MA degrees at the University for Foreigners in Perugia and earned another MA at the College of Europe.

Paulina’s research focuses on two main areas. The first concerns post-Soviet party and electoral politics, state-building, institutional engineering and politics of transition from Soviet rule. The second includes the relationship between political elites’ dynamics and party and party system change in European democracies. At Sampol, Paulina will work on mapping out instances of parliamentary party switching with a primary focus on Central and Eastern Europe and Italy. She will also investigate the patterns, causes and consequences of diverse forms of party instability in parliaments by applying quantitative and qualitative research methods.

Paulina looks forward to continuing her research as a postdoc at the department.

Sergiu Lipcean joined the department as a research fellow in the CONSULTATIONEFFECTS project led by Adriana Bunea. Before joining Sampol, he was a Marie Curie postdoctoral fellow at Dublin City University. Sergiu received his PhD in Political and Social Sciences from the European University Institute in Florence (2019) and has an MA in East European and Eurasian Studies from the University of Bologna (2013).

Sergiu’s research focuses on the relationship between money and politics with a specific focus on post-communist regimes. He investigates the effect of party and campaign funding regulations on political corruption and party competition, with particular emphasis on the impact of direct public funding of political parties from a comparative perspective.

Additionally, he is interested in studying the forces shaping the content of political financing regulations, particularly those affecting parties’ willingness to subject themselves to more restrictive financing rules. Sergiu is particularly keen on improving existing political financing and party-related corruption measures beyond dichotomous indicators or aggregate regulatory indexes used in comparative research. Methodologically, he combines panel data models and case studies to understand the long-term developments of political financing regimes on democratic governance. 

He is delighted to join Sampol and looks forward to contributing with his expertise on comparative, cross-national research designs and data collection, and advanced quantitative research methods to the CONSULTATIONEFFECTS project.

Bilal Hassan joined the department as a postdoc candidate associated with the LEGITIMULT project in December 2022. He previously worked as a Researcher at the Centre for Discretion and Paternalism (DIPA; 2021-2022). Bilal received his PhD in Political Science from Sciences Po Paris (2021) and MA in Comparative Politics from the University of Montpellier (2016).  

As a part of the LEGITIMULT team, Bilal is keenly involved in understanding how the European regional governments responded to the Covid-19 crisis. At the same time, building on his past experiences as a doctoral candidate and researcher at the DIPA, he is interested in understanding the origins of institutional legitimacy from a comparative perspective and through the lens of public opinion data.