Lambros Roumbanis Photo: Juliana Wiklund



I received my PhD in 2010 from the Department of Sociology at Stockholm University. The topic of my dissertation was purely theoretical. I used Kierkegaard’s existential philosophy as a radical point of departure to challenge some of the most ingrained social constructivist ideas about the single individual in classical and contemporary sociological thinking. By establishing a Kierkegaardian micro-fundament, my ambition was to argue against any kind of over-socialization of human existence and the eternal question of authenticity. This critical position naturally has theoretical consequences for how we conceive of other issues that sociologists have been trying to conceptualize (e.g. culture/cognition, structure/agency, individualism/holism). In this regard, I defended a form of “anomalous relationism” that is rooted in a fundamental dualism, mainly inspired by Simmel’s social philosophy and Sartre’s historical-materialistic theory of society.

In 2012, I received a postdoctoral fellowship at Score which gave me the opportunity to develop my strong interest in the sociology of science and evaluation studies. I focused on the process of grant peer review and conducted an observational study on several panel groups at the Swedish Research Council. A central aim of the investigation was to learn more about the concrete group interaction between the expert reviewers, and to find out how they manage to create consensus, despite uncertainty, ambivalence and disagreements. I have also studied a special form of organized power, symbolic violence, that emerges in the social interaction between senior professors and junior scholars, regarding advices about research funding and grant writing. I am also a proponent of the testing and implementation of lottery systems for a more rational and fair distribution of research opportunities in academia.

Since 2020, I am co-directing a new research project about public and private organizations that uses artificial intelligence and algorithmic evaluation in the recruitment processes at the Swedish labor market. The project has made me interested in some of the most important topics within the philosophy of technology and critical algorithm studies. Our ambition with the project is to use a mixed methods approach by conducting both natural experiments, big data comparisons, and qualitative interviews.

Selected publications:

Roumbanis L (2021) “Disagreement and Agonistic Chance in Peer Review.” Science, Technology, & Human Values. Online first:

Roumbanis L (2021) “The Oracles of Science: On grant peer review and competitive funding.” Social Science Information 60(3): 356-362.

Roumbanis L (2020) “Two dogmas of peer-reviewism.” Journal of Responsible Innovation, 7(2): 129-133.

Roumbanis L (2019) “Peer review or lottery? A critical analysis of two different forms of decision-making mechanisms for allocation of research grants.” Science, Technology, & Human Values 44(6): 994-1019.

Roumbanis L (2019) “Symbolic violence in academic life: A study on how junior scholars are educated in the art of getting funded.” Minerva 57: 197-218.

Roumbanis L (2017) “Academic judgments under uncertainty: A study of collective anchoring effects in Swedish Research Council panel groups.” Social Studies of Science 47(1): 95–116.