Dr Vladimir Bortun

Vladimir Bortun has short brown hair, wearing a white shirt, standing and looking at the camera.

Vlad is a critical political scientist interested in political elites, left parties, transnational politics, and the EU.

With a background in political philosophy (BA and MA at the University of Bucharest) and European Studies (MA at the University of Portsmouth), he holds a PhD in political science from the University of Portsmouth (2019). His thesis explored the transnational networking and cooperation among left parties in Southern Europe during the Eurozone crisis.

Between 2019 and 2022, Vlad worked as a postdoctoral researcher on the MIGRADEMO project hosted by the Department of Political Science at the Autonomous University of Barcelona. The project explores the impact of migration on political processes in countries of origin. Vlad's work focused on the impact of migration experience on political elites.

As of the end of 2022, he works as a Postdoctoral Fellow on the Changing Elites project, hosted by the Department of Social Policy and Intervention at the University of Oxford and dealing with how social and institutional change has altered the processes of elite formation in the UK over time. Here, Vlad focuses on the impact of class background on the ideology and decision-making of power elites. 

At the same time, he is developing a research agenda around the class character of right-wing populist parties in Western Europe. He is interested, in particular, in their economic policymaking and the class background of their party elites.

Vlad's work is rooted in a historical materialist approach and has been published so far in the Journal of Common Market Studies, Capital & Class, New Political Science, Qualitative Research, and European Political Science. 

His first book was published in October 2023 by Palgrave Macmillan under the title "Crisis, Austerity and Transnational Party Cooperation in Southern Europe: The Radical Left's Lost Decade"


Current projects


Bortun, Vladimir. (2023). Crisis, Austerity and Transnational Party Cooperation in Southern Europe: The Radical Left's Lost Decade. Cham: Palgrave Macmillan. 


Articles in peer reviewed journals  

Bortun, Vladimir. (2024). We Didn’t Know What We Were Eating Tomorrow’: How Class Origin Shapes the Political Outlook of Members of the Parliament in BritainPolitical Studies.

Bortun, Vladimir. (2023). A Reconceptualization of the Party Family: SYRIZA, Podemos, and the Emergence of the Neo-Reformist Left. New Political Science.

Pelek, Deniz, Bortun, Vladimir, Østergaard-Nielsen, Eva. (2023). Emerging ethical challenges in researching vulnerable groups during the COVID-19. Qualitative Research.

Bortun, Vladimir. (2022). Plan B for Europe: The Birth of ‘Disobedient Euroscepticism’? JCMS: Journal of Common Market Studies, 60(5), 1416-1431.

Bortun, Vladimir. (2021). ‘SYRIZA and Podemos, we shall overcome’? Left transnational cooperation in times of crisis. Capital & Class.

Heard‑Lauréote, Karen, Bortun, Vladimir & Kreuschitz‑Markovic, Milan. (2020). The interest‑boosting effects of political simulations as university outreach activities with secondary school pupils in the UK. European Political Science, 19, 387–400.

Heard‑Lauréote, Karen, Bortun, Vladimir & Kreuschitz‑Markovic, Milan. (2019). The Effectiveness of Simulations as an Outreach Tool: Using Simulations to Boost Interest in EU-Related Higher Education Study. Journal of Contemporary European Research, 15(1), 94-109.


Other publications

Bortun, V. (2024). Book review of A Nation of Shopkeepers: The Unstoppable Rise of the Petty Bourgeoisie. LSE Review of Books

Bortun, V. (2024). It’s time for a ‘material turn’ in populism studies. The Loop.

Bortun, V. (2023). For Europe’s Left, International Solidarity Is More Rhetoric Than Reality. Jacobin.

Bortun, V. (2023). Europe’s radical right has made challenging Brussels a winning formula – so why hasn’t the radical left made the same gains?. The Conversation.

Bortun, V. (2023). The radical left today is not radical, and why that matters. The Loop.

Bortun, V. (2023). Book review of Values, Voice and Virtue: The New British Politics. LSE Review of Books.

Bortun, V. (2023). Book review of Alt-finance: How the City of London bought democracy. OxPol Blog.   

Bortun, V. (2022). Neither in, nor out: How the Eurozone crisis gave rise to Disobedient Euroscepticism. The JCMS Blog.

Bortun, V. (2020). Romanian legislative elections in the diaspora: record participation and the emergence of the nationalist vote. MIGRADEMO Blog.

Bortun, V. (2020). Local elections in Romania reveal interesting nexus between return migration and local politics. MIGRADEMO Blog.

Bortun, V. (2019). The modest performance of radical left parties in the European elections reflected their limited transnational cooperation. EUROPP Blog.    

Bortun, V. (2019). Book review of The Unfinished History of European Integration. Journal of Common Market Studies, 57(1), 175-176.

Bortun, V. (2019). European elections in Romania. Transform Europe blog.

Bortun, V. (2018). Book review of Anti-Austerity Left Parties in the European Union: Competition, coordination and integration. Journal of Contemporary European Research, 14(1), 50-52.