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

In 2017-18 I am teaching:

- 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) – 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 2017

Scatcherd Scholar at CEU - January - August 2017

DPIR Studentship 2015-2017




Conference Papers and Presentations

  • "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.