Dr. Leonidas Cheliotis launched his impressive career by graduating from Deree in 2003 with a Bachelor of Arts in Sociology. Continuing his studies, the alumnus earned a Master of Philosophy in Criminological Research, as well as a PhD in Criminology from the University of Cambridge.
On his college years, Leonidas said, “My studies at Deree provided me with a solid grounding in sociological theory and research, that has certainly been key to my subsequent work in the more specific field of the sociology of crime and punishment.” Looking back at his time at Deree, the alumnus added, “I had the good fortune to study under a range of great teachers; from the late Tina Katsarou, to Spyros Gangas, Georgia Lagoumitzi, and Gregory Katsas, to name only a few. Their inspiring guidance, combined with Deree’s impeccable organization and superb library revealed to me, a disillusioned law undergraduate at the University of Athens at the time, how supportive and fulfilling academic environments can be.”
Apart from having published a substantial volume of research and having received numerous awards, Leonidas has held visiting positions at prestigious universities, including the University of California, Berkeley and the University of Oxford. He also works with the British Journal of Criminology as editor and book review editor and serves on the editorial boards of several academic journals. The Deree graduate is also the co-founder and co-director of the Ikarian Centre for Social and Political Research, and currently holds the position of Assistant Professor in Criminology at the Department of Social Policy of the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE).
Adding to a long list of accomplishments, the Deree alumnus recently won the prestigious Adam Podgòrecki Prize for 2016. The prize is awarded annually by the International Sociological Association (ISA), in recognition of outstanding achievements in socio-legal research. “This is an exceptional honor for me, given both the significance of the International Sociological Association and the esteemed list of previous winners of the award,” Leonidas said of the award recognizing his research “on the political economy and social psychology of punishment, as well as on the operations and consequences of penal and cognate policies.”
Dr. Leonidas Cheliotis (left) receiving the Adam Podgòrecki Prize at the International Sociological Association’s award ceremony, from Dr. Ralf Rogowski (right), Professor of Law and Director of the Law and Sociology program at the University of Warwick. (July 2016, Vienna)
The graduate explained that the foundation of his research is “an ambition to push the boundaries of scholarly research and promote progressive reform of criminal justice policy and practice in Greece and elsewhere.” He added that the key purpose of his work “has been to help enrich and update the field, by offering a more nuanced understanding of the role of the economy in penal matters and by extending consideration of state punishment to include levels and patterns of immigration detention.”
Furthermore, through his research on the design, implementation, and consequences of criminal justice policy, Leonidas hopes to draw attention to “manifestations of institutional racism and consequent variations in how different ethno-racial groups may experience state punishment,” as well as reveal “numerous denial techniques states might employ in their reactions to calls for progressive reform in the fields of imprisonment and immigration detention.”