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
- Social Capital
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.