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Photo of Kostadinova, Petia

Petia Kostadinova, PhD

Director of Undergraduate Studies and Associate Professor

Political Science


Building & Room:



1007 W. Harrison Street

Office Phone:

(312) 413-2187


My research agenda has centered around three inter-linked themes. (1) A prominent share of my work focuses on the policy commitments that political parties make at election time, voters perceptions of such commitments, and the institutional mechanisms that allow them (or not) to act on those commitments once in office. I have conducted such research on Bulgaria, the European Union (EU), and (more recently) the United States. (2) Some of my works explores how the print media portrays election promises, along with other political news, and what is the impact of such news. I've studied these processes in Bulgaria, and in Spain. (3) My more recent work is on democratic processes within the European Union, including the agenda-setting role of the European Commission, the interaction between the Commission and the European Parliament, and the ability of national-level government members to pursue their policies through the EU.
My publications span newer and established democracies, including the European Union (EU) and its institutions, and rely on original data collected and coded for the purposes of this research. In my work I utilize research tools such as archival work and content analysis of original documents, multivariate regression analysis, and elite surveys. In addition to my solo-authored publications, I have co-authored with scholars from Australia, Austria, Canada, Ireland, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, and the US.
I am available to supervise graduate and undergraduate students who are interested to do research on the following topics: institutions of democratic governance, the European Union (broadly), and political communication.
In addition to my research activities and teaching, I oversee the undergraduate program in the department, and I always welcome conversations with students pursuing the POLS major, who are interested in the opportunities that we offer.
I also chair the Committee on Social Science Research at LAS, where we support faculty efforts in obtaining external funding for their research. I am available to discuss with faculty how the committee, and UIC more broadly, can support their grant writing efforts.
Prior to joining UIC I was the Associate Director for the Center for European Studies at the University of Florida, where I was engaged in grant writing and management, community outreach, and academic program development. I am available to give community talks of a wide range of topics, pertaining to the European Union and current events.
Outside of work, I am a busy mom of a 10-yo travel hockey player. When not traveling, I enjoy growing vegetables, baking bread, and entertaining friends, especially in our garden.

Selected Grants

EUSA Academic Workshop Funding to organize an academic workshop, Academic Workshop on Fortress Europe or E Pluribus Unum?: Multilevel Governance and the Governance of Migration and Asylum in the EU., *

UIUC European Union Center, Programming Fortress Europe or E Pluribus Unum?: Multilevel governance and the governance of migration and asylum in the EU., *

UIUC European Union Center, Travel Grant Funding to support field work in Brussels, Belgium, *

European Commission Jean Monnet Program, Jean Monnet Course Module. Funding to support the development and teaching of a new course on the European Union at the University of Florida., *

European Union Commission, European Union Commission Academic Outreach Grant - Funding to support the development of four distinct outreach workshops and events to be organized by the CES at University of Florida, *

Selected Publications

Kostadinova, Petia and Amie Kreppel. “Loyal Agent or Shirking Partner: Understanding the Policy Goals of Individual Members in the Council of the European Union” Journal of European Public Policy. Published online Oct 27, 2021

Giurcanu, Magda and Petia Kostadinova. 2021. “A responsive relationship? Setting the political agenda in the European Union.” Journal of European Public Policy. Published online on July 19, 2021.

Dragomir Stoyanov and Petia Kostadinova. 2021. “Bulgarian political parties and European integration: from anticommunism to Euroscepticism” European Politics and Society 22(2): 222-236.

Kostadinova, Petia and Kjell Engelbrekt (eds). 2020. Bulgaria’s Democratic Institutions at Thirty: A Balance Sheet. Lexington Press.

Kostadinova, Petia, and Robert Thomson. 2020. “Parties in Government” in Costello, Rory and Neil Robinson, eds. Comparative European Politics. Distinctive Democracies, Common Challenges. Oxford University Press.

Kostadinova Petia and Magda Giurcanu. 2020. “Europarties’ election pledges and European Commission legislative priorities: An assessment of their overlap” Party Politics 26(6): 795-806.

Kostadinova, Petia. 2020. “Representation Trends in Pledge Making: Do Election Promises Reflect Distinctions between Political Parties in Bulgaria?” in Engelbrekt, Kjell and Petia Kostadinova, eds. Bulgaria’s Democratic Institutions at Thirty: A Balance Sheet. Lexington Press.

Kostadinova, Petia. 2019. “Influential News: Impact of Print Media Reports on the Fulfillment of Election Promises.” Political Communication 36(3): 412–425.

Kostadinova, Petia, and Magda Giurcanu. 2018. “Capturing the Legislative Priorities of the Transnational Europarties and the European Commission: a pledge approach.” European Union Politics 19(2): 363–379.

Thomson, Robert, Terry Royed, Elin Naurin, Joaquin Artes, Rory Costello, Laurenz Ennser-Jedenastik, Mark Ferguson, Petia Kostadinova, Catherine Moury, Francois Petry, Katrin Praprotnik. 2017. “The Fulfillment of Parties’ Election Pledges: A Comparative Study on the Impact of Power Sharing.” American Journal of Political Science 61: 527–542.

Kostadinova, Petia. 2017. “Party pledges in the news: Which election promises do the media report?” Party Politics 23(6): 636–645.

Kostadinova, Tatiana and Petia Kostadinova. 2016. “Party Promises, Voter Understanding, and Mandate Responsiveness in East European Politics.” Politics and Policy 44(1): 5–34.

Kostadinova, Petia and Magda Giurcanu. 2015. “Political Blackmail, Institutional Infighting and Electoral Politics: The Fate of Governing Parties during the Great Recession (2008-12) in Romania and Bulgaria.” Politics and Policy 43(6): 789–821.

Kostadinova, Petia. 2015. “Improving the Transparency and Accountability of EU Institutions-The Impact of the Office of the European Ombudsman.” Journal of Common Market Studies 53(5): 1077–1093.

Kostadinova, Petia. 2014. “Social Policy Arrangements across Europe: continuing disparities between social models in the EU?” L’Europe en formation 372(Été 2014 – Summer 2014): 33–50.

Kostadinova, Petia. 2013. “Democratic Performance in Post-communist Bulgaria: Election Pledges and Levels of Fulfillment, 1997-2005.” East European Politics 29(2): 190–207.

Dimitrova, Daniela, and Petia Kostadinova. 2013. “Identifying Antecedents of the Strategic Game Frame: A Longitudinal Analysis.” Journalism and Mass Communication Quarterly 90(1): 75–88.

Kostadinova, Petia, and Daniela Dimitrova. 2012. “Communicating Policy Change: Media Framing of Economic News in Post-Communist Bulgaria.” European Journal of Communication 27(2): 171–186.

Dimitrova, Daniela, and Petia Kostadinova. 2012. “Use of Sources in Newspaper Coverage of the 2009 Bulgarian Parliamentary Elections.” Central European Journal of Communication 1: 81–92.



Service to Community

"The why and how of European economic integration" at the Center for European Studies Summer Teacher Bootcamp, July 6, 2022.
“Russia’s war against Ukraine: European responses” at InfraGard Chicago Members Alliance Quarter 2 Member Meeting, May 19, 2022.
“Putin’s War: Ukraine, Russia and the “West” at UIC Alumni Exchange, March 29, 2022.
Judge, Eurochallenge High School Competition, March 23, 2018; Illini Center, Chicago, IL
Advisory Board member Rose K. Goedert Early Childhood Education Center, Dominican University, River Forest, IL, AY 2014–15 and AY 2016–17
Managing Board Member, American Research Center in Sofia, 2008-2010


Ph.D. Political Science, Florida State University, 2002

Professional Memberships

American Political Science Association
Association for Slavic, East European, and Eurasian Studies
Council for European Studies
European Union Studies Association
Midwest Political Science Association

Research Currently in Progress

Book manuscript in progress: "Going to Brussels?" The book explores what happens when the political preferences of the subnational units of the member states of the European Union diverge from those of the state as a whole. It develops an argument of when and how processes and institutions at the EU level are utilized by subnational leaders to pursue the interests of their units, when those differ from that of the national government of the day. In this way, the book inserts the ‘EU’ into the domestic political considerations of the subnational units. It takes into account the role of electoral relevance, permissiveness of institutions, and available resources to explain when units are more likely to reach out to the EU to pursue their interests, when those are ignored by the national government.
Articles in progress:
Kostadinova, Petia and Tatiana Kostadinova. “The Politics of Local Pre-Election Party Coalitions: The Post-Communist Experience”
Kostadinova, Petia, Eulàlia P. Abril, and Andreu Casero Ripollés. “Reporting of election pledges in divisive elections: The Case of Spain 2016.”
Ripollés, Andreu Casero, Eulalia Puig Abril, and Petia Kostadinova. “Print Media and Twitter Accounts of Issues: Spanish 2016 Presidential Elections”