Academic Positions
05/2022 – Postdoctoral researcher, Institute of Political Science & Multidisciplinary Center for Infectious Diseases (MCID) University of Bern
04/2018 – 04/2022
Doctoral researcher and Assistant, Chair of Political Sociology (Prof. Dr. Markus Freitag), University of Bern
10/2017 – 03/2018
Teaching Assistant, Chair of Political Science, especially Policy Analysis and Political Theory (Prof. Dr. Marius Busemeyer), University of Konstanz
04/2015 – 09/2016
Research Assistant, Research Project „Internationalization of Financial Markets and Patterns of Private Debt“ (Dr. Ulrich Glassmann), Cluster of Excellence „Cultural Foundations of Integration“, University of Konstanz
10/2014 – 03/2015
Teaching Assistant, Chair of Comparative Policy-Analysis and Public Administration, (Prof. Dr. Stephan Grohs), University of Konstanz
Phd in Political Science, University of Bern
M.A. in Politics and Public Administration, University of Konstanz
B.A. in Politics and Public Administration, University of Konstanz

Articles in Peer-Reviewed Journals

  • Filsinger, Maximilian (2022): Bringing emotions in: How anger shapes the relationship between social isolation and populist attitudes. Accepted for publication in American Behavioral Scientist.
  • Filsinger, Maximilian (2022): The Relationship between Feelings of Disadvantage and Populist Attitudes: A Comparative and Longitudinal Analysis of European Countries. Political Research Quarterly. Online first
  • Erhardt, Julian; Freitag, Markus; Filsinger, Maximilian (2022): Leaving Democracy? Pandemic Threat, Emotional Accounts, and Regime Support in Comparative Perspective. West European Politics. Online first
  • Filsinger, Maximilian; Freitag, Markus (2022): Pandemic threat and authoritarian attitudes in Europe: An empirical analysis of the exposure to COVID-19. European Union Politics, 23(3): 417-436.
  • Wamsler, Steffen; Freitag, Markus; Erhardt, Julian; Filsinger, Maximilian (2022): The Pandemic and the Question of National Belonging: Covid-19 Threat and Conceptions of Nationhood. European Journal of Political Research. Online first.
  • Erhardt, Julian; Freitag, Markus; Wamsler, Steffen; Filsinger, Maximilian (2022): What drives Political Support? Evidence from a Survey Experiment at the Onset of the Corona Crisis. Contemporary Politics, 28(4): 429-446.
  • Filsinger, Maximilian; Freitag, Markus; Erhardt, Julian; Wamsler, Steffen (2021): Rally around your Fellows: Information and Social Trust in a Real-World Experiment during the Corona Crisis. The Social Science Journal. Online first.
  • Filsinger, Maximilian; Freitag, Markus (2021): When good news backfires: Feelings of Disadvantage in the Corona Crisis. In: International Political Science Review, 42(3): 367-382.
  • Erhardt, Julian; Freitag, Markus; Filsinger, Maximilian; Wamsler, Steffen (2021): The Emotional Foundations of Political Support: How Fear and Anger Affect Trust in the Government in Times of the Covid-19 Pandemic. Swiss Political Science Review 27(2): 339-352.
  • Glassmann, Ulrich; Filsinger, Maximilian (2021): Varieties of Private Household Debt in Europe:  Incompatibility of Culturally Diverse Lending Regimes between Germany and Italy? German Politics 30(3): 380-402.
  • Filsinger, Maximilian; Wamsler, Steffen; Erhardt, Julian; Freitag, Markus (2021): National identity and populism: The relationship between conceptions of nationhood and populist attitudes. Nations & Nationalism 27(3): 656-672.
  • Filsinger, Maximilian; Ackermann, Kathrin; Freitag Markus (2020): Surfing to help? An empirical analysis of Internet and volunteering in 27 European Societies. In: European Societies  22 (3), S. 368-389.
  • Filsinger, Maximilian; Filsinger Dieter (2019): Zuwanderung in Kommunen – Steuerung durch Integrationskonzepte. In: disP Service, disP - The Planning Review 55(3), S. 68-75.
  • Filsinger, Maximilian; Freitag Markus (2019): Internet Use and Volunteering: Relationships and Differences Across Age and Applications. In: VOLUNTAS: International Journal of Voluntary and Nonprofit Organizations 30(1), S. 87-97.

Articles in Edited Volumes

  • Glassmann, Ulrich; Filsinger, Maximilian (2022): Varieties of Private Household Debt in Europe:  Incompatibility of Culturally Diverse Lending Regimes between Germany and Italy? In: Notermans, Ton; Piattoni, Simona (Ed.) (2022): Italy and Germany, Incompatible Varieties of Europe? New York: Routledge.
  • Filsinger, Maximilian; Freitag Markus (2020): Sozialkapital und gesellschaftliche Integration. In: Pickel, Gert; Decker, Oliver; Kailitz, Steffen; Röder, Antje, Schulze Wessel, Julia (Hrsg.) (2020): Handbuch Integration. Wiesbaden: Springer-VS.
  • Filsinger, Maximilian; Filsinger Dieter (2019): Integrationspolitik als kommunale Sozialpolitik – Strategien und Handlungsspielräume. In: Burzan, Nicole (Hg.) 2019: Komplexe Dynamiken globaler und lokaler Entwicklungen. Verhandlungen des 39. Kongresses der Deutschen Gesellschaft für Soziologie in Göttingen 2018.
  • Filsinger, Maximilian (2017): Deutschland ein Einwanderungsland, aber nicht überall? – Determinanten der geographischen Verteilung von Migrantinnen und Migranten. In: Henn, Daniela; Prigge, Jessica; Ries, Karsten; Lück-Filsinger, Marianne (Hrsg.) (2017): Streifzüge durch die angewandte Sozialwissenschaft: Evaluation – Migration – Sozialpolitik – Soziale Arbeit Dieter Filsinger zum 65. Geburtstag. Münster: Waxmann-Verlag.


  • Filsinger, Maximilian (2022): Populism as a Problem of Social Disintegration? A Comparative Analysis of the Socio-Integrational Underpinnings of Populism in Europe. Ph.D. Thesis. Faculty of Business, Economics and Social Sciences; Institute of Political Science; University of Bern.

Conference Presentations

  • Filsinger, Maximilian; Wamsler, Steffen; Erhardt, Julian; Freitag, Markus (2019): National Identity and Populism: Disentangling the Relationships between Nationalism, Patriotism and Populist Attitudes. Papier präsentiert im Panel “The Populism-Identity-Link“ an der ECPR General Conference in Wroclaw. (06.09.2019)
  • Filsinger, Maximilian (2019): Bringing emotions in: Social isolation, emotional responses and populist attitudes. Papier präsentiert im Panel “Emotions & Populism” an den ECPR Joint Sessions in Mons. (11.04.2019)
  • Filsinger, Maximilian; Ackermann, Kathrin; Freitag Markus (2019): Surfing to help? An empirical analysis of Internet and volunteering in 27 European Societies. Papier präsentiert im Panel “Digitalization as a Challenge to Democracy” der Sektion “Political Behaviour and Communication” auf der SVPW Jahrestagung und Dreiländertagung in Zürich (15.02.2019)
  • Filsinger, Maximilian; Filsinger Dieter (2018): „Integrationspolitik als kommunale Sozialpolitik – Strategien und Handlungsspielräume.“, Papier präsentiert im Panel “Kommunalisierung der Sozialpolitik“ der Sektion Sozialpolitik auf dem 39. Kongress der Deutschen Gesellschaft für Soziologie. (27.09.2018)

Blog Posts

My research covers different aspects of Comparative Politics and Political Sociology. It relates to the fields of Political Behavior, Political Psychology, and Public Opinion Research. I am particularly interested in studying how social and political changes affect citizens‘ attitudes and behaviour. Empirically, I mainly make use of quantitative methods by using survey data including a comparative analyses (mainly cross-national comparisons). Geographically, I focus on Europe. Below, you find information on my doctoral thesis and other research projects I am working on.
Generally, I am interested in

  • Affective polarization
  • Support for democracy
  • Political trust
  • Populism
  • Social Capital

Research Projects

1. Divided pandemic society and Public Health. Polarization in the Covid-19 pandemic response in Switzerland

This project uses an interdisciplinary approach, drawing on the fields of political science and public health (community health and epidemiology) and quantitative and qualitative research methods, to investigate:

  • How is polarization linked to political attitudes and behaviour?
  • What is the relationship between polarization and protective health behaviour?
  • How is polarization related to COVID-19 care and health outcome patterns?

By this investigation, the project aims to:

  • develop and validate instruments to measure affective polarisation in support for Covid-19 preventive measures in the Swiss context;
  • research affective polarisation in marginalized communities, particularly from immigrant or ethnic minority communities;
  • determine the extent to which affective polarisation is associated with political positions, health-related behaviours and health outcomes;
  • synthesize and integrate the knowledge gained to develop policy and practice recommendations

With the findings from this interdisciplinary research, the planned project aims to develop solutions that will make it possible to mitigate the consequences of polarization during a potential next pandemic in Switzerland. his project is headed by Prof. Annika Frahsa, Prof. Nicola Low and Prof. Markus Freitag.

2. The Political and Social Ramifications of the COVID-19 Pandemic

This project is concerned with how exposure to pandemic threat affects a set of social and political preferences related to the control and avoidance of disease contamination. We argue that the appraisal of a pandemic threat is critical to predicting the emotional states that it will stimulate and therefore the impact that exposure to the Covid-19 pandemic threat will have on social and political orientations (social trust, tolerance towards people who appear especially likely to pose some risk of pathogen transmission, attitudes toward immigrants, conceptions of nationhood and political preferences with regard to technocratic, right-wing populist or authoritarian rule). Our research from this project has been published in Contemporary Politics, European Journal of Political Research, European Union Politics, International Political Science Review, The Social Science Journal and West European Politics. This project is headed by Prof. Markus Freitag.

3. Populism as a Problem of Social Disintegration (Dissertation Project)

This project is my doctoral thesis and focuses on the explanation of populist attitudes with particular emphasis on the role of social (dis-)integration. To do so I use original survey for six European countries and employ a wealth of different measures for populist attitudes and social integration to provid a nuanced picture of the relationship. The project will be published as a monograph. Furthermore, related works from this project have been published in the American Behavioral Scientist and Political Research Quarterly.

University of Bern

  • Affektive Polarisierung in vergleichender Perspektive [Affective Polarization in Comparative Perspective] (BA-level, advanced, in German; Winter 2022/2023)
  • Causes of Contemporary Populism in Europe (BA-level, advanced, English; Winter 2021/2022)
  • Causes and Consequences of Contemporary Populism in Europe (Winter 2020/2021, BA Level, advanced)
  • Populist attitudes: Conceptual and empirical analyses of a popular concept [Populistische Einstellungen: Konzeptionelle und empirische Analysen eines populären Konzepts] in German (Winter 2019/2020, BA Level, beginners)
  • Theory and Empiric of social capital [Theorie und Empirie des sozialen Kapitals] in German (Winter 2018/2019, BA Level, beginners)

University of Konstanz

  • Introduction to Policy-Analysis [Einführung in die Policy-Analyse], in German (Teaching Assitant, Winter 2017/2018)
  • Introduction to Policy-Analysis [Einführung in die Policy-Analyse], in German (Teaching Assitant, Winter 2014/2015)