Allan Sikk  
  University College London >>
School of Slavonic and East European Studies >>
a.sikk@ucl.ac.uk

tel +44 (0) 20 7679 4872
fax +44 (0) 20 7679 8777
16 Taviton Street
London WC1H 0BW
United Kingdom

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My research mostly concerns political parties and elections, particularly new parties and party system change.  My contributions to the field include:

  • developing the concept of genuinely new parties to distinguish them from mergers, splinters and coalitions with strong connections to past parliamentary parties;
  • demonstrating that new parties can become successful based on a project of newness and are not necessarily products of social cleavages or compete on specific policy issues.
  • with Dr Sean Hanley (UCL SSEES) using QCA (Qualitative Comparative Analysis) demonstrated that the success of new anti-establishment reform parties is associated with increased perception of corruption but not necessarily with economic downturns;
  • developing a new approach to party newness and conceptualizing it as a multidimensional continuous variable;
  • with Prof Rein Taagepera establishing a link between country size and party systems as well as cabinet duration.

I joined the UCL SSEES in 2007, after receiving my PhD from Tartu University and working as the head of Estonian parliament’s research service. At UCL, much of my research has focussed on Central and Eastern Europe, but I am interested in using a common analytical lens for the study of democracies old and new. I believe that the study of politics can and should be equally informed by classic models of comparative politics, largely based on Western Europe, and often more idiosyncratic insights from new democracies.

My research interests are currently expanding to political careers, political corruption and EU politics. I have recently finished compiling a dataset on electoral candidates in Central and Eastern Europe (about 200,000 records) with Philipp Köker that we are planning to extend to other democracies. For managing and analysing the dataset, I have developed extensive code in R that includes innovative elements of machine learning.

At UCL SSEES, I have been actively involved in academic programme management, particularly in 2010-14, when I was the programme coordinator of a unique International Masters programme in Economy, States and Society (IMESS) based on a consortium of eight European universities. I have participated in collaborative research projects including ANTICORRP (EU’s FP7 programme) and inter-disciplinary ESRC seminar series “The Nordic and Baltic States in the European Political Imagination”. I am regularly involved in knowledge exchange including briefings for outgoing UK diplomats, regular briefings to the media (including the Economist, BBC, Reuters, France24 etc) and organizing the biannual Baltic Symposia at UCL.

At UCL, I have supervised three PhD dissertations (Olga Cara, Philipp Köker and Licia Cianetti) to successful completion as the primary or joint supervisor. I am currently supervising three PhD students. I particularly welcome PhD and MRes proposals of quantitative or comparative nature related to the following topics:

  • political elites (particularly candidates, MPs, cabinet members and presidents);
  • political and social impacts of country size;
  • new political parties;
  • party system change and party change;
  • politics and society in the Baltic states;
  • post-material attitudes and party politics;
  • democracy and the internet (e.g. internet voting);
  • methodological issues in comparative and quantitative research (particularly visual methods).
Professional experience
  • Current:
    Senior Lecturer in Comparative Politics, University College London, School of Slavonic and East European Studies.
  • 2007-13: University College London, School of Slavonic and East European Studies: Lecturer in Baltic politics.
  • 2006-7: Department of Economic and Social Information, Chancellery of the Riigikogu (Estonian Parliament): Adviser, Head of Department
  • 2001-6: University of Tartu, Department of Political Science: Research Fellow Responsibilities included teaching, coordination of Estonian National Election Surveys and research activities within the framework of Targeted Financing Grant of the Estonian Science Foundation;
  • 1998-9: Ministry of Transport and Communications, Department of Foreign Relations: principal specialist;
  • 1997: University of Tartu, Department of Political Science: research assistant.
Main publications
  • Sikk, Allan (forthcoming). Political Parties. Chapter requested for the Routledge Handbook of East European Politics, Adam Fagan and Petr Kopecky, eds. Expected 2016.
  • Ibenskas, Raimondas & Sikk, Allan (forthcoming) Patterns of party change in Central and Eastern Europe 1990-2015, Party Politics.
  • Hanley, Sean & Sikk, Allan (2016) Economy, corruption or floating voters? Explaining the breakthroughs of Anti-Establishment Reform Parties in Eastern Europe, Party Politics 22(4): 522-33.<abstract> <supplementary materials>
  • Sikk, Allan & Philipp Köker (2015). Replacing the rascals? Corruption and candidate turnover in Central and Eastern Europe. In ECPR Joint Sessions of Workshops. Warsaw, 29 March. <link>
  • Sikk, Allan & Philipp Köker (2015). Candidate Turnover and Party System Change in Central and Eastern Europe. In Party System Stability and Electoral Volatility: Its Measurement and Implications. Nottingham, 26 February. <abstract>
  • Sikk, Allan & Licia Cianetti. (2015). Political mechanics of smallness: The Baltic States as small states in the European Parliament. In M. Keating & H. Baldersheim (Eds.), Small States in the Modern World: Vulnerabilities and Opportunities. Edward Elgar. <publisher's website>
  • Sikk, Allan & Rein Taagepera (2014). How Population Size Affects Party Systems and Cabinet Duration, Party Politics, 20(4): 591-603.<abstract>
  • Hanley, Sean & Sikk, Allan (2013) 'Economy, corruption or floating voters? Explaining the breakthroughs of Anti-Establishment Reform Parties in Eastern Europe, COMPASSS Working Paper 2013-75.<link>
  • Sikk, Allan (2012). Newness as a Winning Formula for New Political Parties, Party Politics, 18(4): 465-486.<abstract> <draft manuscript at UCL Eprints>
  • Sikk, Allan (2010). 'Parties and Populism', Centre for European Politics, Security and Integration (CEPSI) Working Paper No.1, London.
  • Sikk, Allan & Rune Holmgaard Andersen (2010). Without a Tinge of Red: The Fall and Rise of Estonian Greens, 1987-2007 in David Galbreath (ed) Contemporary Environmentalism in the Baltic States, London: Routledge.
  • Sikk, Allan (2010). Force Mineure? The Effects of the EU on Party Politics in a Small Country: The Case of Estonia, in Tim Haughton (ed.), Does EU Membership Matter? Party Politics in Central and Eastern Europe, London: Routledge.
  • Taagepera, Rein & Allan Sikk (2010). Parsimonius Model for Predicting Mean Cabinet Duration on the Basis of Electoral System, Party Politics, 16(2): 261-81. <abstract> <draft manuscript at UCL Eprints>
  • Sikk, Allan (2010). Estonia, in Dieter Nohlen & Philip Stöver (eds) Elections in Europe, Baden-Baden: Nomos, pp. 565-592.
  • Sikk, Allan (2009). Force Mineure? The Effects of the EU on Party Politics in a Small Country: The Case of Estonia, Journal of Communist Studies and Transition Politics, 25(4): 468-490. <abstract> <draft manuscript at UCL Eprints>
  • Sikk, Allan & Rune Holmgaard Andersen (2009).Without a Tinge of Red: The Fall and Rise of Estonian Greens, 1987-2007, Journal of Baltic Studies, 40(3): 349-373 <abstract> <draft manuscript at UCL Eprints>
  • Sikk, Allan (2009). The 2009 European Elections in Estonia, European Parliament Election Briefing No 41, EPERN: European Parties, Election and Referendums Network.
  • Sikk, Allan & Riho Kangur (2008). Estonia: The Increasing Costs and Weak Oversight of Party Finance, in Steven D. Roper & Janis Ikstens (eds) Public Finance and Post-Communist Party Development , Aldershot: Ashgate. <draft manuscript at UCL Eprints>
  • Sikk, Allan (2007). From Private Organizations to Democratic Infrastructure: Political Parties and the State in Estonia, in Petr Kopecky (ed) Political Parties and the State in Post-Communist Europe, London: Routledge, pp. 91-111.
  • Sikk, Allan (2006). Highways to power: new party success in three young democracies, Dissertationes rerum politicarum Universitatis Tartuensis 1,Tartu: Tartu University Press, 2006 <draft manuscript at UCL Eprints>
  • Sikk, Allan (2006). From ‘Sexy Men’ to ‘Socialists gone Nuts’: The European Union and Estonian Party Politics, in Paul G. Lewis & Zdenka Mansfeldova (eds) The European Union  and Party Politics in Central Eastern Europe, Basingstoke: Palgrave (2006), pp. 40-63.
  • Sikk, Allan (2006). From Private Organizations to Democratic Infrastructure: Political Parties and the State in Estonia, Journal of Communist Studies and Transition Politics, 22(3): 341–361. <abstract> <draft manuscript at UCL Eprints>
  • Sikk, Allan (2005). How Unstable? Volatility and the Genuinely New Parties in Eastern Europe, European Journal of Political Research, 44(1): 391-412 <abstract> <draft manuscript at UCL Eprints>
  • Sikk, Allan & Piret Ehin (2005) Voting Behaviour in the Estonian EU Referendum, in Vello Pettai & Piret Ehin (eds) Deciding on Europe: The EU Referendum in Estonia, Tartu: Tartu University Press, pp. 22-39.
  • Berg, Eiki & Allan Sikk (2004). Ethnic Claims and Secessionist Logic without Significant Political Mobilization: Local Politics in Estonia’s Northeast, in Risto Alapuro, Ilkka Liikanen & Markku Lonkila (eds) Post-Soviet Transition. Micro Perspectives on Challenge and Survival in Russia and Estonia, Helsinki: Kikimora Publications, pp. 165-187.
  • Paas,Tiiu, Marit Rõõm, Allan Sikk, Reilika Liiv, Christopher Schumann & Orsolya Szirko (2003). Social and Political Dimensions of the Eurozone Enlargement in the case of the Baltic States, Ezoneplus Working Paper No. 13A.
Book reviews
  • "The European Union and the Baltic States: Changing forms of governance". Bengt Jacobsson (ed). Routledge. 2010, LSE Review of Books
  • "Party Systems in Post-Soviet Countries: A Comparative Study of Political Institutionalization in the Baltic States, Russia, and Ukraine", Andrey A. Meleshevich", Party Politics 16(4) (2010), pp. 553-554.
  • "Rebuilding Leviathan: Party Competition and State Exploitation in Post-Communist Democracies, Anna Grzymala-Busse", Journal of Baltic Studies , 40(3) (2009), pp 440-443.
Main conference presentations
  • Sikk, A & Koeker, P. (2016). Electoral candidates as Difficult Political Data.First Annual Conference of the Political Methodology Group of the Political Studies Association, University College London, 27 June. (link to slides)
  • Sikk, A & Koeker, P. (2016). Rejuvenation or renomination? Corruption and candidate turnover in Central and Eastern Europe. Political Science Association, Brighton, 21-23 March. (link to paper)
  • Sikk, A. & Koeker. P. (2015). Candidate Turnover and Party System Change in Central and Eastern Europe. ECPR General Conference. Montreal, 26-29 August. (link to paper)
  • Ibenskas, R. & Sikk, A. (2015). Party Instability in Central and Eastern Europe. Paper to be presented at the ECPR General Conference, Montreal 26 - 29 August. (link to paper)
  • Sikk, A. & Koeker. P. (2015). Replacing the rascals? Corruption and candidate turnover in Central and Eastern Europe. ECPR Joint Sessions of Workshops. Warsaw, 29 March - 2 April.
  • Sikk, A. & Koeker. P. (2015). Candidate Turnover and Party System Change in Central and Eastern Europe. Party System Stability and Electoral Volatility: Its Measurement and Implications. Nottingham, 26 February.
  • Hanley, S. L. & Sikk, A. (2014). Economy, corruption or floating voters? Explaining the breakthroughs of anti-establishment reform parties in Eastern Europe. ECPR General Conference. Glasgow, 3-6 September.
  • Hanley, S. L., Sikk, A. (2013) "Economy, corruption or promiscuous voters? Explaining the success of Anti-Establishment Reform Parties in Eastern Europe", paper prepared for the ECPR General Conference, Bordeaux, 5-7 September (http://bit.ly/1dW8yPq).
  • Sikk, A. (2013). Electoral Congruence and Novelty: Accounting for Partially New Parties. In ECPR Joint Sessions, workshop Party System Dynamics: New Tools for the Study of Party System Change and Party Transformation. Mainz, 11 March.
  • Hanley, S. L., Sikk, A. (2012). "Paths to 'Centrist Populism'? Explaining the Emergence of Anti-Establishment Reform Parties", IPSA World Congress, Madrid, 8-12 July.
  • Hanley, S., Sikk, A. (2011). "The Rise of 'Liberal Populism' in Central and Eastern Europe? Using QCA to understand the Emergence of Anti-Establishment Reform Parties", ECPR General Conference, Reykjavik, 25-27 August.
  • Sikk, Allan & Daniel Bochsler (2008). “Party nationalisation in the Baltic states: A mirror of ethnicity or of electoral rules?” ECPR Joint Sessions of Workshops, IEP Rennes, France, 10-16 April 2008 (with Daniel Bochsler).
  • Sikk, Allan & Rune Holmgaard Andersen (2008). “Green Politics in a Changing Country: Estonia 1987-2007,” paper presented at the British Association for Slavonic and East European Studies (BASEES) conference, Cambridge, 29-31 March 2008.
  • Taagepera, Rein & Allan Sikk (2007). “Predicting Mean Cabinet Duration on the Basis of Electoral System,” paper presented at the 4th ECPR General Conference, Pisa, 6-8 September 2007.
  • Sikk, Allan (2007). “Content, Competition, Constraints: The Effects of the EU on Estonian Party Politics,” paper presented at the 4th ECPR General Conference, Pisa, 6-8 September.
  • Sikk, Allan (2005). “Newness as a Project: Successful New Parties in the Baltic States,” paper presented at the ECPR General Conference, Budapest, 8-10 September 2005.
  • Sikk, Allan (2005). “Programmatic Profiles of  New Parties in the Baltic States,” The VII World Congress of the International Council for Central and East European Studies, Berlin, 25.-30.7.2005.
  • Sikk, Allan (2004). “Party Financing Regimes and Emergence of New Parties in Latvia and Estonia,” paper presented at the ECPR Joint Sessions of Workshops, Uppsala, 13-18 April 2004.
  • Sikk, Allan (2004). “Successful New Parties in the Baltic States: Similar or Different?” paper presented at the conference The Baltic States: New Europe or Old? University of Glasgow, 22-23 January 2004.
  • Sikk, Allan (2003). “Cartel Party System in a Post-Communist Country? The Case of Estonia,” paper presented at the ECPR General Conference, Marburg, 18-21 September 2003.
Reviewer
  • American Journal of Political Science, American Political Science Review, Acta Politica, British Journal of Political Science, Central Europe, Comparative European Politics, Comparative Political Studies, Democratization, East European Politics, East European Politics & Societies and Cultures, Electoral Studies, European Journal of Political Research, Government and Opposition, International Studies Quarterly, Journal of Baltic Studies, Journal of Communist Studies and Transition Politics, Journal of Public Policy, Party Politics, Politics, Public Choice, Slovo, West European Politics, World Politics.
  • Ashgate, Oxford University Press, Routledge, Sage.
  • Czech Science Foundation, Economic and Social Research Council (UK), Estonian Science Foundation, Latvian Science Foundation, National Science Foundation (USA).
PhD Supervision
  • 2010-2015: Philipp Köker (primary supervisor). Veto et Peto: patterns of presidential activism in Central and Eastern Europe. Awarded UCL SSEES Foundation Scholarship.
  • 2011-2015: Licia Cianetti (primary supervisor) The Quality of Divided Democracies: The Representation of the Russian-speaking Minorities in Estonia and Latvia. Awarded ESRC Doctoral Training Centre grant.
  • 2009-2012: Olga Cara (joint supervisor). Acculturation strategies and ethnic identification: A study of adolescents in Russian-language schools in Riga
  • 2013-present: Eva Kagan (joint supervisor). The determinants of public debt: The political economy of public debt in Central and Eastern Europe.
  • 2014-present: Cosimo Stahl (joint supervisor). Cleavage politics and Europeanisation-induced transformation of the national political space - The Czech and Slovak republics compared
  • 2009-2014: Mustafa Aslan (second supervisor). Party Based Euro-scepticism in the European Union Candidate Countries since 2000
  • 2011-present: Pavlos-Ioannis-Pyrros Chaidos (second supervisor). e-Voting Security and Acceptance. Doctoral student at the UCL SECReT (Security Science Doctoral Research Training Centre of Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council), UCL Department of Computer Science.
  • Examiner: University of Gothenburg (2015), UCL (2014)
Teaching
  • Advanced Quantitative Methods (postgraduate);
  • Comparative Politics (undergraduate);
  • Democratic Institutions and Theories (undergraduate);
  • Development and Modernisation (undergraduate);
  • East European Societies and Politics (undergraduate)
  • Electoral Behaviour (undergraduate);
  • Electoral Studies (postgraduate);
  • Essay Writing Skills Workshop (undergraduate);
  • International Political Economy (undergraduate);
  • Quantitative Methods (postgraduate);
  • Introduction to Politics / Political Science (undergraduate);
  • Political Science Methodology (postgraduate);
  • Politics and Economy (undergraduate);
  • Politics and Society in Central and Eastern Europe (undergraduate);
  • Politics of Change in the Baltic States (postgraduate)
  • Transition in Central and Eastern Europe (undergraduate);
  • Undergraduate Research Seminar (undergraduate).
  • Understanding and Analysing data (postgraduate).
Professional organisations & administration
  • East European Politics - member of editorial board
  • UCL Admission Requirements Panel
  • Member of Executive Committee, British Association for Slavonic and East European Studies (BASEES), 2011-15.
  • Organising committee, 7th Baltic Symposium, UCL SSEES (2014)
  • IMESS (International Masters in Economy, State and Society), Programme Director 2011-14
  • Organising committee, 6th Baltic Symposium, UCL SSEES (2012)
  • Convenor: "Politics of Environment and Energy in the Nordic and Baltic States" (ESRC seminar series "The Nordic and Baltic States in the European Political Imagination"), UCL 30 September 2011.
  • Co-convenor, "Novelty and Endurance: Understanding Change and Stability in Central and East European Party Politics", Centre for East European Language Based Area Studies (CEELBAS) workshop, UCL 29 June 2011.
  • Estonian Educational Trust UK, Trustee.
  • Admissions tutor, UCL SSEES Politics programmes (2008-12).
  • Convenor: "Nordic and Baltic Economies: Problems and Prospects" (ESRC seminar series "The Nordic and Baltic States in the European Political Imagination"), UCL 29 April 2010.
  • Organising committee, 5th Baltic Symposium, UCL SSEES (2010)
  • Organising committee, UCL Nordi-Baltic Study Day, 2008.
  • Organising committee, symposium “Baltic Futures”, UCL SSEES (2008).
  • Organising committee of European Conference of Presidents of Parliaments, Tallinn, 30 - 31 May 2006.
  • Erasmus programme coordinator, Department of Political Science, University of Tartu (2001–2005)
  • Member: APSA, PSA, BASEES, British Estonian Society, British Lithuanian Society
Main projects, grants and awards
  • 2012-17 EU Framework Programme 7: ANTICORRP.
  • 2010 SSEES Research Policy and Funding Committee (RPFC) grant
  • 2009-11 ESRC Research Seminars "The Nordic and Baltic States in the European Political Imagination" (with Richard Mole, Mary Hilson and Titus Hjelm) £6,700 (2009-11).
  • 2009 “Assessing Electoral Democracy in the EU: European Parliament Elections 2009”, research project financed by the Estonian Science Foundation (principal performer; principal investigator Dr Piret Ehin, University of Tartu) £9,500 (2009-12).
  • 2005-8 EU-Consent (EU FP-6 network).
  • 2005 Kristjan Jaak Mobility Grant (Estonian Archimedes Foundation) for conducting interviews in Latvia and Lithuania;
  • 2003 EuroFaculty scholarship for studies in the University of Southern Denmark (Odense, spring 2003);
  • 2000 Danish Government scholarship studies at the University of Aarhus, Denmark (autumn 2000);
Education
  • 2006 PhD (political science), University of Tartu
  • 2001 MA (political science), University of Tartu
  • 1999 BA (political science), University of Tartu
Languages
  • Estonian – native;
  • English – fluent;
  • Danish – good;
  • Finnish, Russian – good comprehension, limited oral skills;
  • Norwegian, Swedish – fair comprehension of written texts.
 
Noticeboard


Office hours 2016/17
Term 2: Tuesdays 10.30-12.30
Please register in advance on https://allansikk.youcanbook.me/

Data


Anti-establishment reform parties:
Supplementary materials for Hanley & Sikk (2016) 'Economy, corruption or floating voters? Explaining the breakthroughs of Anti-Establishment Reform Parties in Eastern Europe'

Baltic states:
Elections 1992-2014
Governments 1991-
Latvian parties (2011)


Genuinely new parties:
CEE 1992-2001 & Western Europe


Events

ESRC Nordic-Baltic Seminar Series 2009-11