European Citizens' and Parties' Attitudes towards Liberal Democracy

This project studies the extent to which European democratic systems are supported by their citizens and their political elite, most importantly parties. The research in this project is based on several surveys and survey experiments as well as quantitative text analysis of election manifestos and open-ended survey responses. It investigates the support for and conceptions of democracy among European citizens and parties and aims at revealing the reasons for which citizens and parties defend liberal democracy.

Current working papers

“Party Competition over Democracy. Democracy Per Se and Conceptions of Democracy as Electoral Issues in Germany”

Lip Service to Democracy in Western Europe?, manuscript

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title hidden, co-authored survey experiment with Theresa Gessler, currently under review with the Journal of Elections, Public Opinion and Parties

Further work in progress

“The Battle for Democracy. How Mainstream Parties Defend Liberal Democracy Against Radical Right-Wing Parties' Attacks”, together with Jan Schwalbach

Democracy, Anger, and Elite Responses (DANGER)

The DANGER project investigates to what extent elite responses to political violence and coalitions between democratic and anti-democratic elites endanger the survival of democracy. We aim at collecting and analysing data from the European interwar period to get a better understanding of the factors that explain the collapse of democracies and to assess the stability of democracies today.

This is an ERC Starting Grant project (PI: Nils-Christian Bormann). Further information can be found here.

Rebels in Representative Democracies

Many politicians take actions to separate themselves from their party while entire parties seek to distance themselves from the political system. They do so for political gain, and often at the expense of the party or the system as a whole. But we lack a solid understanding of when and why voters actually like rebels – those politicians willing to attack their party or the political system for personal gain. The project investigates political rebellion using cross-national survey experiments and social media analysis.

This research project has been funded by the Fritz Thyssen foundation (PI: Sven-Oliver Proksch). Further information can be found here.

Publications

“Communicating the Rift. Voter Perceptions of Intra-Party Dissent in Parliament”, together with Dominik Duell, Sven-Oliver Proksch, Jonathan Slapin & Christopher Wratil, Journal of Politics

Current working papers

title hidden, together with Dominik Duell, Sven-Oliver Proksch, Jonathan Slapin & Christopher Wratil, currently under review with Political Science Research and Methods

“Challenging the Challengers. Do Intra-Party Divisions Help Parties Fight Electoral Threats from New Parties?”, together with Dominik Duell, Sven-Oliver Proksch, Jonathan Slapin & Christopher Wratil

Further work in progress

“They sow the wind and reap the tailwind / whirlwind. Rebellion on Twitter in Germany and the UK”, together with Dominik Duell, Sven-Oliver Proksch, Jonathan Slapin & Christopher Wratil

Decentralization and Electoral Geographies

The first part of this research project analysed the motives of state-wide parties to decentralize political power and the long-term consequences of political decentralization for fragmentation of the party system and intra-party disputes over public resources. The second part of this research project currently analyses the attention to territorial politics and parties' positions towards issues of territorial politics in newspapers and parliamentary speeches in the 20th and 21st century UK and Spain. For this project, we gathered extensive data sets of regional election results, regional party positions and newspaper articles.

This research project has been funded twice by the German Research Foundation (DFG, PIs: André Kaiser, Leonce Röth). Further information and data can be found here.

Current working papers

“The Measurement of Issue Attention across Political Arenas: Exploiting Increasing Returns with Optimized Dictionaries”, together with Daniel Felipe Saldivia Gonzatti & Leonce Röth

“Party Positions in Newspapers and Legislative Speeches”, together with Daniel Felipe Saldivia Gonzatti & Leonce Röth