Dr Theofanis Exadaktylos

Reader in European Politics
PhD in Politics (Exeter), MSc in European Political Economy: Integration (LSE), BA International Relations (Europe & former USSR) and Economics (Tufts)
+44 (0)1483 683125
29B AP 01

Academic and research departments

Department of Politics.


University roles and responsibilities

  • Deputy Head of Department
  • Director for Learning and Teaching
  • Postgraduate Taught Programmes Director


    Research interests

    My teaching

    Courses I teach on


    Postgraduate taught

    My publications


    This thesis analyses the political discourse on immigration control in Britain between 1997 and 2017 and examines why and how the articulations of policies displayed patterns of rupture and continuity between the Conservative-led and the New Labour governments. In particular, it highlights the significance of the critical engagement with both the structure and organization of the articulations within and across texts and their variability and contingency over time. The thesis adopts a multi-perspective framework: Laclau and Mouffe’s (1985, 1987) discourse analysis underpins all the analytical work in this thesis, supplemented by models of securitization, risk and governmentality. The analysis of political discourses reveals that the Conservative-led governments’ articulations displayed patterns of rupture rather than continuity with those of the preceding New Labour governments. The empirical data reveals that while the articulated discourses were used in a variety of ways simultaneously, the articulation by the first and second New Labour governments was generally exemplified by the evolution of a discourse of opportunity, informed by an opportunity-linked risk logic which clearly and consistently embodied values and beliefs consistent with liberal orientations. The discourse of problematization which was articulated by the third New Labour government hovered between opportunity and threat and brought them together as two dependencies that offered a reconfigured discourse which modified the two discourses as opposite forces through strategic readjustment of the heterogeneous elements. The Conservative-led governments articulated a discourse of threat which was often used to frame quite specific fears as a way to generate constructed meanings in which threat-linked logic informed the articulations. The findings highlight the variability and contingency of the articulations in which the discourses evolved, became intertwined and replaced one another. Moreover, the thesis interrogates the claim that threat and problematization-linked logics represent the unique rationalities of these articulations and puts forward an alternative conceptualization of an advanced understanding of risk.
    Theofanis Exadaktylos, CM Radaelli (2012)Research Design in European Studies Palgrave MacMillan
    Informed by epistemological pluralism and state-of-the-art debate on research design in the social sciences, this volume combines conceptual elaboration with substantive research puzzles. Research Design in European Studies investigates different notions of causality and relates them to methods and techniques. Designed for use either in a course on European Union politics or in preparing projects on Europeanization, the book offers an applied perspective on research methods in specific areas of qualitative approaches to causality, as well as chapters introducing quantitative, critical realist, and discursive strategies. Substantively, the contributors tackle research issues in the domains of compliance, EU external relations, foreign policy, health care, party politics and urban governance.
    T Exadaktylos, N Zahariadis (2014)Quid pro Quo: Political trust and policy implementation in Greece during the age of austerity, In: Politics and Policy42(1)pp. 160-183
    Why do national governments fail to implement deep reforms in light of strong international and European pressures? Building on the top-down implementation framework by Mazmanian and Sabatier, we argue that political trust underpins the government's implementation track record. We investigate this argument by looking at the failure of the Greek government to implement bailout reforms between 2010 and 2012 in two areas: tax and duty collection and liberalization of taxi licenses. Lower levels of trust decrease administrative capacity and widen problem intractability, creating a vicious cycle of noncooperation and economic recession. Our findings have policy implications for administrative reforms and offer amendments to theories of implementation and institutional rational choice. © The Policy Studies Organization.
    Theofanis Exadaktylos, T Capelos (2015)The good, the bad and the ugly: stereotypes, prejudices and emotions on Greek media representation of the EU financial crisis, In: The Politics of Extreme Austerity Greece in the Eurozone Crisis(3) Palgrave Macmillan
    In late 2009, Greece found itself in the global spotlight as the country struggled to remain solvent and in the Eurozone. The Greek debt crisis became the subject of world summits, international news headlines and intense market activity. In the four years that followed, the Greek government implemented a series of radical austerity measures, while receiving bailouts and loans of unprecedented magnitude. The situation in Greece revealed structural deficiencies in the European integration project and threatened the existence of the Eurozone itself. This volume investigates the framing, policies and politics of extreme austerity during those crucial four years. It also puts the Greek case into a global context by comparing it to the situation in countries that have faced similar challenges, such as Spain, Ireland, Argentina and Turkey. Featuring multidisciplinary contributions from leading social scientists and an exclusive interview with George Papandreou – the former Greek Prime Minister who handled the crisis from 2009 to 2011 – this is the first comprehensive account of the economic crisis at the heart of Europe. This volume investigates the framing, policies and politics of extreme austerity during those crucial four years.
    Theofanis Exadaktylos, CM Radaelli (2015)Europeanization, In: Research Methods in European Union Studies(13) Palgrave Macmillan
    Research on the European Union over the past few years has been strongly implicated in the crises that currently grip Europe with a failure to ask the pertinent questions as well as a perceived weakness in the methods and evidence used by researchers providing the basis for these allegations. This volume moves the study of EU research strategies beyond the dichotomies of the past towards a new agenda for research on Europe through a rich diversity of problem-solving based research. This new agenda acknowledges the weaknesses of the past and moves beyond them towards greater openness and awareness of the importance of research strategies, designs and methods. The 20 chapters in this collection range from micro-level analyses of identities, single policy studies and European discourse, through meso-level analysis of agenda setting, bargaining, implementation and Europeanisation, to macro-level analyses of the EU as a global actor, European integration and globalisation as well as hard and soft governance, elections and party groups, attitude formation, and new-regionalism. As such, it provides a comprehensive and accessible guide to conducting research on the European Union today.
    Theofanis Exadaktylos, CM Radaelli (2009)Research Design in European Studies: The Case of Europeanization, In: Journal of Common Market Studies47(3)pp. 507-530 WILEY-BLACKWELL PUBLISHING, INC
    In this article, we contribute to the debate on research design and causal analysis in European integration studies by considering the sub-field of Europeanization. First, we examine the awareness of research design issues in the literature on Europeanization through a review of the debate on causality, concept formation and methods. Second, we analyse how much of the discussion of the trade-offs in causal analysis in mainstream political science has percolated into Europeanization studies. We therefore construct a sample of the Europeanization literature, comparing it to a control group of highly cited articles on European integration. This enables us to control if some patterns are specific to the Europeanization literature or reflect a more general trend in European integration. We then look at trade-offs in the Europeanization sample and in the control group. Our findings indicate that awareness of research design is still low. Europeanization articles differ from the control group in the focus on mechanisms (rather than variables) and the qualitative aspects of time in politics. Complex notions of causality prevail in Europeanization but not in the control group and the cause-of effects approach is preferred to effects-of-causes in the control group but not in Europeanization – in both cases, however, the difference is slight. We conclude by explaining differences and similarities and make proposals for future research.
    Theofanis Exadaktylos (2015)Policy Paradigms, In: The Sage Handbook of European Foreign Policy(34) Sage Publications Limited
    During the last two decades the study of European foreign policy has experienced remarkable growth, presumably reflecting a more significant international role of the European Union. The Union has significantly expanded its policy portfolio and though empty symbolic politics still exists, the Union’s international relations have become more substantial and its foreign policy more focused. European foreign policy has become a dynamic policy area, being adapted to changing challenges and environments, such as the Arab Spring, new emerging economies/powers; the crisis of multilateralism and much more. The SAGE Handbook of European Foreign Policy, Two-Volume set, is a major reference work for Foreign Policy Programmes around the world.
    T Exadaktylos (2008)Europe's Troubled Region: Economic Development, Institutional Reform and Social Welfare in the Western Balkans, In: JCMS-J COMMON MARK S46(5)pp. 1101-1102 BLACKWELL PUBLISHING
    Roberta Guerrina, Theofanis Exadaktylos, Simona Guerra (2018)Gender, ownership and engagement during the European Union referendum: gendered frames and the reproduction of binaries, In: European Journal of Politics & Gender1(3)pp. pp 387-404 Bristol University Press
    The European Union referendum was supposed to be a significant moment for political engagement and ownership in the UK. This article looks at how the two official European Union referendum campaigns (Vote Leave and Remain) framed discussions about the UK’s membership of the European Union, as well as the impact of the campaign on women’s political activation. Using data from a survey questionnaire conducted two weeks after the European Union referendum (in July 2016), we analyse women’s sense of political efficacy and engagement with European politics. We project those findings on a frame analysis, where we assess the footprint of each campaign in terms of issue coverage and the salience of gender as a campaign issue. Our findings shed light on the way in which issue framing and confidence affect the quality of political engagement among ‘weak publics’.
    Theofanis Exadaktylos (2007)Whither Southeastern Europe? The course of market economy in the post-communist Balkans (in Greek), In: Βαλκανικά Σύμμεικτα (Valkanika Symmeikta)14-15
    In the early 1990s, the countries of the Eastern Bloc faced the collapse of existing socialism and the loss of important commercial ties with the Soviet Union. The transition from the socialist regime to liberal democracy brought about the transition from a centrally planned economy to the free market. The purpose of this article is to study the two proposed economic transition methods and to examine the reasons why there were different economic outcomes in the countries of Southeastern Europe. The first section analyzes the basic theoretical methods on economic transition. The second section traces the common factors present in the Balkan countries and the third, the possible causes that affected the smooth transition to a market economy based on these common factors. Finally, the article combines these factors with other country specific circumstances. The article comes to the conclusion that for Southeastern Europe their relative failure is not due to the choice of method but rather, due to the specific factors present in the Balkans: low levels of industrialization at the onset of communism, low incomes at the start of the post-communist era, geographic location, and, failure to achieve a clear breakup with their past economic and political system.
    Theofanis Exadaktylos (2014)Remapping political trust in the Greek crisis: where has it gone wrong?, In: Remapping 'Crisis' A Guide to Athens(14) Zero Books
    A taste of austerity, the limits of democracy and the overlooked, untold stories of a country in "crisis"
    Theofanis Exadaktylos, N Zahariadis (2014)Explaining institutional change during Europe's financial crisis 2008-2012, In: Regionalizing Global Crises The Financial Crisis and New Frontiers in Regional Governance(4) Palgrave Macmillan
    This edited volume brings together a range of examples illustrating the development and importance of regional actors in the global governance of the political economy.
    Theofanis Exadaktylos, N Zahariadis (2012)Policy implementation and political trust: Greece in the age of austerity, In: GreeSE Papers65
    Theofanis Exadaktylos, Tereza Capelos (2016)Feeling the pulse of the Greek Debt Crisis: affect on the web of blame., In: National Identitiespp. 1-18 Taylor & Francis
    This article examines the affective content of Greek media representations of the debt crisis, from 2009 to 2012. We analyze the content of opinion pieces from journalists, experts and public intellectuals published in Greek newspapers, and identify their affective content tone towards political actors and institutions. We focus on anger, fear and hope, and identify blame attribution frames, which underpin the public’s trust and confidence in domestic and EU institutions. This article contributes to the systematic understanding of the impact of the debt crisis as a traumatic event on public opinion, and considers its implications for attitudes towards European integration.
    Theofanis Exadaktylos (2014)Remapping democracy in the EU: The euro crisis and the EP elections, In: Problems of Representative Democracy in Europe A Challenge for Progressives(4) Van Geneep Amsterdam
    This is all the more alarming since the origins of democracy can be found in our continent. The changes have an (negative) impact on the European integration process as such and on support for EU enlargement.
    T Exadaktylos (2012)Europeanization of Foreign Policy beyond the Common Foreign and Security Policy, In: Research Design in European Studies: Establishing Causality in Europeanizationpp. 195-220 Palgrave/Macmillan
    Laura Chappell, Theofanis Exadaktylos, Petar Petrov (2019)A more capable EU? Assessing the role of the EU’s institutions in defence capability development, In: Journal of European Integrationpp. 1-18
    Are EU institutions able to perform their preferred role within defence capability development? Highlighting increased demands for a stronger EU role in security, we explore how EU institutions have promoted their role within CSDP. Using role theory, we investigate the European Commission, the EDA, the EEAS and the European Parliament’s ability to promote pooled and shared defence resources in European capability development. We argue that this depends on the combination of the alignment of their original role treaty/design-based mandate with the role they perceive having; the role expectations of the big three Member States (Germany, France, UK); and the changing international environment, which may alter both role perceptions and role expectations. We find that the Commission and the EEAS have managed on occasion to promote pooled and shared defence resources overcoming Member State objections, showing autonomy in creating increased defence capability independently of MS leading to more integration within CSDP.
    N Zahariadis, T Exadaktylos (2016)Policies that Succeed and Programs that Fail: Ambiguity, Conflict, and Crisis in Greek Higher Education, In: POLICY STUDIES JOURNAL44(1)pp. 59-82 WILEY-BLACKWELL
    S Vasilopoulou, D Halikiopoulou, T Exadaktylos (2014)Greece in Crisis: Austerity, Populism and the Politics of Blame, In: JCMS-JOURNAL OF COMMON MARKET STUDIES52(2)pp. 388-402 WILEY-BLACKWELL
    T Exadaktylos, CM Radaelli (2012)Looking for Causality in the Literature on Europeanization, In: Research Design in European Studies: Establishing Causality in Europeanizationpp. 17-43 Palgrave/Macmillan
    T Exadaktylos (2012)Greece-Argentina 0-2: On political trust, In: Evropaiki Ekfrasi
    Theofanis Exadaktylos, CM Radaelli (2010)Causal Explanation in Studies of Europeanisation, In: Political Methodology. IPSA Committee on Concepts and Methods. Working Paper Series.28pp. 1-29 C&M: The IPSA Committee on Concepts and Methods
    Theofanis Exadaktylos argues that it remains to be seen whether Greece’s new government will manage to keep up with the rest of Europe’s expectations and show that it is credit-worthy, and that their proposed changes to the memorandum will yield concrete results, or if it will continue its entanglement in Greek politics’ never-ending spiral and succumb to social, economic and political interests and agendas.
    CM Radaelli, Theofanis Exadaktylos (2010)New directions in Europeanization Research, In: Research agendas in EU studies. Stalking the elephant(Nine)pp. 189-215 Palgrave MacMillan
    Leading scholars explore the complex questions arising from the ongoing transformation of Europe through the deepening and widening effects of European integration. Based on authoritative analyses, the book takes account of the many national, transnational and international processes and contexts in which European integration has become embedded.
    Tereza Capelos, Theofanis Exadaktylos, Stavroula Chrona, Maria Pouloupoulou (2018)News Media and the Emotional Public Sphere/The Emotional Economy of the European Financial Crisis in the UK Press, In: International Journal of Communication12pp. 2088-2113 University of Southern California, Annenberg School for Communication & Journalism
    This article examines the individual, collective and social emotions embedded in media discussions of the financial crisis. Emotional experiences towards crises and the political institutions associated with them serve as valuable tools in understanding how citizens think and feel in the public sphere. We highlight over-time links between individual, collective and social emotionality as we analyze the content of UK media representations of the European financial crisis, from 2009 to 2012. We code editorials from journalists, and commentaries from experts, public figures and opinion leaders published in four UK newspapers, and identify the valence and affective tone of individual, collective and social expressions of anger, fear, disappointment, hope, pride, and compassion. We also examine how these interlinked levels of emotional talk underpin the public’s blame attributions. This article contributes to the systematic understanding of the impact of the financial crisis on public opinion, and considers its contribution towards European integration attitudes in the period marked by the introduction of Brexit as term in the public sphere.
    This thesis explores the tensions between the underpinnings of Normative Power Europe (NPE) and the use of the military as a way of norm diffusion, with a focus on Somalia. It is specifically concerned with the impact of the European External Action Service (EEAS), as part of the EU’s Common Security and Defence Policy (CSDP), on the evolution of the EU as a ‘normative power’. By focusing on this particular interrelation of normative and military power, this project will illustrate the importance of actorness as a constructive element of the EU’s normative identity in its external action. This thesis’ contribution stems from critiques of NPE, particularly with reference to its discursive nature. Simultaneously, it emphasises symbolic manifestation as key in addressing the tension between “military” and “normative” power. Whilst it contributes to the literature on CSDP, this thesis is concerned with demonstrating the catalytic role of the establishment of the EEAS in the evolution of the EU’s normative identity. Through the exploration of the EU’s military operations in Somalia - EUTM and EUNAVFOR - this research establishes the compatibility between normative power and military means. This is achieved through content analysis and subsequent critical frame analysis of official EU documentation. The critical frames of ‘comprehensive approach’, ‘effective multilateralism’ and ‘partnership-ownership’ are applied to the strategic documentation, sub-strategies and EU documents relating to Somalia and the Horn of Africa in order to demonstrate the normative elements of the EU’s external action as well as how they have altered since the establishment of the EEAS. By examining the consistent operationalisation of the EU’s demonstrated intents and subsequent impact in Somalia, this thesis ultimately provides an evaluation of the Union’s overall power in normative terms. Most importantly, it makes the case for NPE’s pertinence in the study of external action.

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