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Research

  1. Representation “Enclaves” – Representation of population subgroups in Europe
    This project developed from my dissertation, but includes more “minority” groups and mainly looks at advanced democracies. I look at the responsiveness of governments towards socio-economic minorities (the poor), electoral losers (those who did not vote for the government in power), and immigrants. I use observational data to combine citizens’ preferences with actual policy outputs and survey experiment to understand how MPs respond to structural minority groups. The comparative nature of this project further allows me to address the institutional context which may influence governments’ responsiveness.
  2. Conditional Responsiveness in France and Germany (together with Christian Breunig and Emiliano Grossman)
    In this project which is co-led by Christian Breunig and Emiliano Grossman we focus on the conditionality of responsiveness in France and Germany. We expect that responsiveness depends on electoral pressure, contestation and issue importance. For more information see here: https://www.polver.uni-konstanz.de/breunig/research/
  3. The Quality of Representation in Plural Societies. The causes and consequences of policy responsiveness towards ethnic minorities
    This was the topic of my cumulative dissertation which studied policy responsiveness towards ethnic minorities in most plural democracies around the world. I was mostly interested in the conditional effect of descriptive representation on policy responsiveness, and the consequences of a lack of policy responsiveness for ethnic conflict and political support. In order to test this across time and space I developed a dataset on the representation of minorities which includes indicators on descriptive representation in parliament and two measures of group rights which I used to approximated responsiveness towards ethnic minorities since a country’s democratization. Data and Codebook will soon be available from this website.
  4. Electoral competition in old and new democracies (together with Daniel Bochsler)
    In this ongoing project with Daniel Bochsler we address electoral competition in old and new democracies around the world. We focus on contextual effects of retrospective voting and the role of new parties to explain anti-government votes. We expect new countries to react more strongly economic changes due to their less procedural form of support for democracy. We are further interested in who gains when governments lose.
  5. Consociational Oligarchies
    This is a large project with multiple contributors coordinated and led by Daniel Bochsler which looks at consociationalism in non-democratic countries to which I partially contribute in different roles. Under the umbrella of consociationalism we study economic inequalities between groups during democratization, the effect of consociationalism in authoritarian regimes for peace and democracy, and different forms of autonomy in democracies and autocracies.