(BSc, MSc, PhD)
I am a pioneer interdisciplinary researcher, having researched and written up a variety of topics using a variety of methods and approaches drawing on distinct disciplines: politics, law, international relations, and sociology. My expertise is in transnational public policy making and its interaction with domestic institutions (viz., courts and parliaments) and supranational regimes (especially the Council of Europe, and the EU). I adhere to the realist tradition in science: – my research is rooted in empirical reality before abstract theorisation. Fieldwork that gives insight into how reality works have been the mainspring of my academic career. A hallmark of my work is the care I take to consider all the perspectives that matter to whomever, not just the ones that matter to me. I am wide open to carrying on inquiry into any subject that attracts my interest, as witness my analysis of public policies made in varying countries and contexts, as well as the behaviour and motivation of political actors making decisions on topics as varied as the environment, European elections, new constitutions, and judiciary revisions. I am noted for innovating the conversion of research methods to questions or puzzles that lie outside the field of their origin. I delight in finding most interesting, often counterintuitive insights that are ‘invisible’ to the usual methods, and regardless of the sources of data which inspired them.
My most recent research project has focused on the evolution and design of institutions in light of the influence of transnational elite networks, and their implications for the power relations between majoritarian and non-majoritarian institutions, the judiciary in particular. This research is about how and why ideas about the judiciarys role and relation to society have filtered into Europe from the US and are becoming the norm throughout Europe and beyond. My previous research, under a British Academy Postdoctoral Fellowship, concerned judicial independence in selected countries. I have also researched the influence of Europeanization on State-civil society relations in Eastern Europe after the fall of Communism, yielding publications for one of which I won West European Politics Vincent Wright Prize for significant contribution to comparative European politics.
British Journal of Interdisciplinary Studies
The British Academy, The Economic and Social Research Council, European Journal of Political Science, West European Politics, Comparative Politics, Comparative Political Studies, Administrative Sciences, Problems of Post-Communism, Studies in Ethnicity and Nationalism, East European Politics, South European Society and Politics, Europe-Asia Studies.
The power of non-majoritarian institutions
Judiciaries and their relationship with elected representatives
Transnational networks and elites
Comparative Government (PPE)
ECJ and European Integration (MPhil in European Politics)
Judicialization of Politics in Europe (MPhil in European Politics)
2019 Parau, Cristina E. Transnational Networks and Elite Self-Empowerment: The Making of Judiciary in Contemporary Europe and Beyond, Oxford University Press
2013 Parau, Cristina E. and Bellamy, Richard (eds.) Courts and Representative Democracy. Special Issue of Representation - The Journal of Representative Democracy, 49 (3)
2015 Parau, Cristina E. ‘Explaining Judiciary Governance in Central and Eastern Europe: External Incentives, Transnational Elites and Parliament Inaction’, Europe-Asia Studies (former Soviet Studies), 67(3) (accepted for publication in Dec 2012). Read article
2014 Parau, Cristina E. ‘The 2014 European Elections in Britain: The Counter-revolt of the Masses?’ Studia Politica, XIV(3), pp. 333-365. Read Article.
2013 Parau, Cristina E. Introduction: Democracy, Courts and The Dilemmas of Representation, Representation - The Journal of Representative Democracy, 49 (3) (with Richard Bellamy). Read article.
2013 Parau, Cristina E. The Dormancy of Parliaments: The Invisible Cause of Judiciary Empowerment in Central and Eastern Europe, Representation - The Journal of Representative Democracy, 49 (3). Read Article.
2013 Parau, Cristina E. Constitutional Designs: Lessons We Can Learn From The Early American Republic, Romanian Journal of Comparative Law, 2, pp. 348-382. Read Article.
2012 Judiciary-Elected Branch Power Relations and the Search for Truth, Romanian Journal of Comparative Law, 2(2): 28-54. Read article
2009 Impaling Dracula: How EU Accession Empowered Civil Society in Romania, West European Politics, 32(1): 119-141. This article was awarded the 2010 Vincent Wright Memorial Prize by West European Politics. The prize recognizes significant contributions to the study of comparative European politics.
2015 Parau, Cristina E. ‘Environmental Network Governance in Romania: Transnational Norm Entrepreneurs in the Shadow of the EU’ in L. Stan (ed.) Post-Communist Romania at 25: Linking Past, Present and Future, Boulder CO:Rowman & Littlefield. Read chapter.
2014 Parau, Cristina E. ‘Core Principles of the British Constitutions’ (forthcoming) (Read chapter).
2014 Parau, Cristina E. ‘Constitutional Ferment in Britain: Towards a Republican Constitution?’ (forthcoming) (Read chapter).
2013 Romania's Transnational Constitution: A Tradition of Elite Learning and Self-empowerment in Galligan, D. & Versteeg, M. (eds.) The Social and Political Foundations of Constitutions. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, pp. 497-531. Read chapter.
2012 The Drive for Judicial Supremacy in Central and Eastern Europe in Seibert-Fohr, A. (ed.) Judicial Independence in Transition. Springer: Heidelberg (Max Plank Institutes Series on Comparative and International Law), pp. 619-667.
2008 Europeanization as Empowerment of Civil Society: All Smoke and Mirrors? in W.A. Maloney and J. W. van Deth (eds.) From National toward International Linkages? Civil Society and Multi-level Governance, Palgrave.
2013 Sadurski, Wojciech (2012) Constitutionalism and the Enlargement of Europe, Oxford University Press for West European Politics, 36 (5). Read Review.
2013 Thorson, Carla (2012) Politics, Judicial Review, and the Russian Constitutional Court, Palgrave Macmillan for Law and Politics Book Review, 23 (5). Read Review
2011 Morlino, Leonardo & Wojciech Sadurski (2010) Democratization and the European Union: Comparing Central and Eastern European Post-Communist Countries (London and New York: Routledge), West European Politics, 34(4).
2011 Piana, Daniela (2010) Judicial Accountabilities in New Europe: From Rule of Law to Quality of Justice (Farnham: Ashgate), Law & Society Review, 45(3). Read review.
2001 Michael Carley and Ian Christie (2000) Managing Sustainable Development (Earthscan) in Local Environment, 6(3) August 2001.
2011 The Role of Courts in a Democracy: Alternatives to Judicial Supremacy, Policy Brief, Foundation for the Law, Justice and Society.
2011 The Role of Courts in a Democracy, Report of an academic-practitioner workshop & public debate held at Magdalen College, 10-11th February for the Foundation for the Law, Justice and Society (event organised by Dr. Parau)
2008 Environmental NGOs and EU accession conditionality , Newsletter on Development and Transition, LSE-UNDP.
2015 The Politics of a Written Constitution for Britain, Politics in Spires, http://politicsinspires.org/politics-written-constitution-britain/, 12 February; republished by the Blog of The International Association of Constitutional Law, http://constitutional-change.com/the-politics-of-a-written-constitution-for-britain-2/, 25 February.
2014 EU election: Romanias looming presidential ballot raises stakes, The Conversation http://theconversation.com/eu-election-romanias-looming-presidential-ballot-raises-the-stakes-26365
2013 Q&A with Dr Cristina Parau: Why do politicians let judges have so much power?, Politics in Spires (Blog of the Department of Politics and International Relations, University of Oxford and the Department of Politics and International Studies, University of Cambridge), http://politicsinspires.org/politicians-let-judges-much-power-qa-dr-cristina-parau/
2011 The Role of Courts in a Democracy, public debate organised by Dr. Parau at Magdalen College, Oxford, 11th February 2011 http://podcasts.ox.ac.uk/role-courts-democracy-debate-video (video)
2010 Discussion of Transitional Justice: Patterns and Divergences, paper presented by Dr. Vello Pettai at the seminar series Democracy in Central and Eastern Europe: the State of the Art (Politics Department, Oxford) http://mde.politics.ox.ac.uk/images/stories/podcasts/Velo_Pettai_lecture.MP3
2009 The East Side Story: How Executive Uncertainty Created an Accession Conditionality that Never Was (Wolfson College podcast) http://podcasts.ox.ac.uk/east-side-story-how-executive-uncertainty-created-accession-conditionality-never-was-video
2005 Marine Conservation in Madagascar (documentary for Green TV) (with R. Scrase) < https://vimeo.com/111357960 (video)
2012 From the Carpathian Peaks to the Dreaming Spires, Romulus, Wolfson College Magazine. Read article.
2011 About Mother, Romulus, Wolfson College Magazine
2010 The Oxford Factor in Eastern Europe, Wolfson College Record, (Alumni Magazine),
2015 'Agenda Setting Strategies of Judicial Empowerment', Politics of Judicial Independence and Accountability workshop, Prague, 16-17 October (invited speaker).
2014 ‘The Politics of a Written Constitution for Britain’, presented at the Interdisciplinary Approaches to Contemporary Constitutional Change, workshop co-organised by me and the Constitutional Studies Programme, University of Oxford, 14 November. Read Presentation.
2014 ‘The Politics of Judiciary Reform in Europe’ ECPR, Glasgow, 3-5 September. Read Presentation.
2014 Explaining the Drive towards Judicial Supremacy in Post-Communist Central and Eastern Europe: Transnational Legal Professional Elite Networks and Parliament Dormancy, presented at the Politics of Judicial Independence and Judicial Accountability conference, the Supreme Administrative Court of the Czech Republic, Brno, 30-31 May (invited speaker)
2014 Constitutional Ferment in the United Kingdom: Towards a Republican Constitution?, presented at the Constitutional Challenges within the EU and Beyond workshop, Central European University, Budapest, 14 March.
2014 Empowering Judges over Politics: Puzzle and Method, presented at the Presidents Seminars, Wolfson College, Oxford, 3 March
2013 The Dormancy of Parliaments in Central and Eastern Europe: the Invisible Cause of Judiciary Empowerment, paper presented at the Politics Research Colloquium, DPIR, University of Oxford
2013 Judges and Democracy: Judicial Activism in Eastern Europe?, paper presented at Europeanization and Judicial Culture in Contemporary Democracies, 10-12 October, Sibiu, Romania (international conference co-organised by me with Dr. Manuel Gutan)
2012 Explaining Judicial Reforms in Central and Eastern Europe: external incentives, transnational elite networks and Parliament inaction, seminar, Wolfson College, Oxford.
2012 Media and the Role of Transnational Elites in Judicial Reforms in Central Eastern Europe, invited presentation at Media, Democracy and The Rule of Law in Central and Eastern Europe, St. Anthonys College, Oxford.
2011 Identity and Legitimacy: Transnational Influences on Constitution Drafting in Romania, presentation at The Social and Political Foundations of Constitutions workshop, Wadham College, Oxford.
2011 The Drive for Judicial Supremacy in Europe, European Consortium for Political Research Conference (Reykjavik), Panel Courts in Democratic Systems.
2011 The Political and Social Context of Evidentiary Proceedings, keynote speech given at the Public and Private Justice Conference and Course, Dubrovnik, Croatia, 26 May.
2011 EU Accession Conditionality and Transnational Networks, paper presented at the Environmental Governance in South East Europe and the Western Balkans: The Transformative Power of Europe?, LSE, 6 May 2011.
2011 Judicial Reform in post-Communist Central and Eastern Europe: Falling in Step with the West?, paper presented at The Role of Courts in a Democracy workshop, Magdalen College, Oxford, 10-11th of February.
2010 East Side Story: How Transnational Coalitions Contested EU Accession Conditionality, paper presented at the ECPR Munster Session of Workshops, 22 - 27 March 2010.
2009 The Outcomes of Judicial Reform in Post-Communist Eastern Europe, paper presented at the Social Foundations of Constitutions workshop, Wolfson College, Oxford University, 8 December.
2009 The East Side Story: How Executive Uncertainty Created an Accession Conditionality that Never Was, paper presented at the Political Science Association Conference, 7-8 April, Manchester
2008 Networking for empowerment in the context of enlargement: Romanian NGOS and trans-national norm entrepreneurs, paper presented at New Directions in Law and Society seminar, Centre for Socio-Legal Studies, University of Oxford, 25 May 2008
2007 The Executive strikes back: The flowering of Romanian intergovernmentalism, paper accepted at the American Political Science Association Annual Meeting, August 2007.
2006 Empowerment of civil society through Executive self-constrain in anticipation of EU accession paper accepted at the ECPR Joint Sessions of Workshops, WORKSHOP 25 Interest Politics in Post-Communist Democracies, Nicosia April 2006; and presented at the Europeanization of Public Policies workshop, Centre dEtudes Europeennes de Sciences-Po, 30 May 2006
2005 Europeanization as empowerment of civil society: All smoke and mirrors? - paper presented at the European Consortium for Political Research Conference, Budapest, 8-10 September 2005; and at The Institutional Shaping of EU-Society Relations workshop, Mannheim Centre for European Social Research, University of Mannheim, October 14-15, 2005.
2003 Europeanisation of Environmental Governance in Romania paper presented at the EU Law and Accession workshop, European Institute, Queens University, Belfast.
2002 Romanias Administrative Capacity to Implement EU Environmental Legislation paper presented at the Circumpolar PhD Network in Arctic Environmental Studies & European Consortium for Political Researchs PhD Summer School in Sustainable Development, Lulea University of Technology, Sweden.
2004 The GM Nation Debate, Research Paper, Centre for the Study of Democracy, Westminster University (with Simon Joss and Alison Mohr).
2004 GM Cross-Country Comparison, Research Paper, Centre for the Study of Democracy, Westminster University (with Simon Joss and Alison Mohr).
2003 UK Responses to the 1999 European Elections, report written for the European Public Space Observatory Project, Politics Department, Queen Mary University of London.
2003 UK Responses to the Rise of the Far Right in Europe, report written for the European Public Space Observatory Project, Politics Department, Queen Mary University of London.
2003 UK Responses to the Revision of the Directive on Deliberate Release of GMOs to the Environment, report written for the European Public Space Observatory Project, Politics Department, Queen Mary University of London.
GRANTS & PRIZES
Dec 2013 Lawyers in Politics: A cause of Judicialization?, John Fell Fund Small Grant, Oxford University
Dec 2010 Law Faculty Small Grant to research the spread of the judicial supremacist paradigm to Central and Eastern Europe
July 2010 Vincent Wright Memorial Prize by West European Politics. The prize recognizes significant contributions to the study of comparative European politics.
Apr 2010 British Academy Small Grant to research the Europeanization of Legal Mentalities in Eastern Europe
Mar 2010 Wolfson College (Oxford) Research Grant
Dec 2009 John Fell Fund Grant, Oxford University to conduct preliminary research into the outcomes of judicial reform in Croatia and the Czech Republic
July 2007 British Academy Postdoctoral Fellowship (250,000 for three years)