Susan Divald | Student | Profiles
Susan Divald

 Susan Divald

Research topic:
Hungarian minority autonomy claims in Romania and Slovakia
Degree course:

Research Themes:
Democracy and Democratisation Identity Nationalism Political Parties European Union Comparative Politics and Government  Groups, Identities and Social Movements Rights, Justice, and Equality 

Academic Profile

I’m a DPhil Candidate in Politics, at St Cross College, supervised by Professor Gwendolyn Sasse.

I have long been intrigued by the question of how best to manage ethnic diversity in our increasingly multicultural societies – diverse with ‘old’ and ‘new’ minorities. I have tied this interest into the context of post-communist Eastern Europe for my doctoral dissertation. My research focuses on the Hungarian minority in Central and Eastern Europe: I am comparing the persistence and change of autonomy claims which Hungarian minority elites have made in Romania and Slovakia since 1990, looking at the role of kin-state influence, European pressures and domestic party politics.  I was also a visiting doctoral student at the Central European University's (CEU) Nationalism Program in Budapest, Hungary from January - August 2017.

I completed my BA in Political Science at McGill University in Montreal, Canada. I also hold an MPhil in European Politics & Society from Oxford (Merton college). My thesis compared two contrasting minority rights approaches: that of France towards its Muslim minorities and that of Hungary towards its Roma minority. I did this across the policy fields of education and political representation.   

Before beginning my doctorate, I spent a few years working in Geneva for the UN’s International Labour Organization, as well as for its Budapest office.  I worked on issues touching on employment and education, including a focus on the Roma. I’m keen to maintain a link between the ivory tower and policy world, and to pass on good research and analytical skills to students whom I will teach.

Teaching specialism, interests and experience

I am teaching/have taught:

- Politics of Europe (undergraduate)

- Politics of the European Union (undergraduate)

- Qualitative Methods - NVivo (graduate research methods workshop for Politics Department)

                               - NVivo Up & Running (IT Learning Centre)

                               - NVivo Data Analysis & Professional Practice (IT Learning Centre)


I have also completed different professional development trainings including: 

- Research Integrity Training

- Admissions Interview Training

- Springboard Development Programme


And additional methods training:

- European Consortium for Political Research (ECPR) – Survey Design and Analysis; August 2018

- European Consortium for Political Research (ECPR) – Nvivo for Qualitative Data Analysis; July 2017

- ILO Training “School to work transition data analysis for evidence-based policy intervention for youth employment”; July 2014


Best Doctoral Student Paper Award on Central Europe: ASN World Convention, New York May 2018

DPIR Norman Chester Fund 2018

St Cross College Travel and Research Fund Trinity Term 2018

DPIR Norman Chester Fund 2017

Scatcherd Scholar at CEU - January - August 2017

DPIR Studentship 2015-2017




Conference Papers and Presentations

  • "Insitutionalising Diversity in Eastern Europe: Analysing the Changing Claims to Autonomy of the Hungarians in Slovakia", University Association for Contemporary European Studies (UACES) Annual Conference, University of Bath, Sept 2018
  • "The many faces of autonomy: Understanding variation in the Hungarian claims to autonomy in Slovakia", Association for the Study of Nationalities (ASN) World Convention, Columbia University, New York, USA, May 2018
  • "The meaning of Hungarian Autonomy: Qualitative analysis of interviews and newspaper archives", Qualitative Hub, Department of Education, University of Oxford, April 2018.
  • "Too Much or Too Little? The Hungarian Quest for Autonomy in Romania and Slovakia - Research Design", CEU's Conflict & Security Research Group, Budapest, Hungary, June 2017
  • “Promoting decent work opportunities for Roma youth in Central and Eastern Europe”, panellist, Validation Workshop, International Labour Organization, Budapest, Hungary May 2016.
  • “Research on Roma youth employment in Central and Eastern Europe”, Technical meeting, International Labour Organization, Geneva-Budapest July 2015.
  • “What works for youth employment: Sharing policies from Asia and the Pacific”, International Labour Organization, Bangkok, Thailand September 2014.