Prof. Dr. Markus Freitag

Chair of Political Sociology

Institute of Political Science

+41 31 684 46 85
+41 31 684 83 31
A 152
Postal Address
University Bern
Institute of Political Science
Fabrikstrasse 8
3012 Bern

About Prof. Dr. Markus Freitag

Markus Freitag studied political science, economics, and German language and literature at Heidelberg University. After obtaining the degree of Magister Artium in 1995, he joined the University of Bern as a doctoral candidate and scientific assistant and completed his doctoral degree (PhD) in 1999. Following various post-doc and lecturer positions– at the Center of European and International Studies of the University of Basel (Europainstitut Basel), the ETH Zurich, and the University of Essex (GB) – Freitag was a visiting lecturer at the University of Konstanz and a research assistant at the University of Bern. From 2004 to 2005 he was assistant professor at the Humboldt Universität zu Berlin, where he taught courses on comparative politics. From 2005 to 2011 Freitag held the Chair of Comparative Politics at the University of Konstanz. In August 2011, he was appointed to director at the Institute of Political Science, University of Bern, and professor of political sociology. His research activities interests include political sociology , political psychology, and comparative politics. He has also headed several research projects, focusing specifically on the collection of data on under-researched topics by means of specially designed questionnaires. He has published extensively in journals such as British Journal of Political Science, Comparative Politics, Comparative Political Studies, Electoral Studies, European Journal of Political Research, European Political Science Review, European Union Politics, European Sociological Review, Governance, Journal of Conflict Resolution, Journal of Politics, Political Psychology, Public Opinion Quarterly, Publius, and West European Politics among others.


Recent Publications


  • Rally around your fellows: Information and social trust in a real-world experiment during the corona crisis, in: The Social Science Journal (together with Max Filsinger, Julian Erhardt, and Steffen Wamsler). DOI:
  • When good news backfires: Feelings of disadvantage in the Corona crisis, in: International Political Science Review (together with Max Filsinger). DOI:
  • The Emotional Foundations of Political Support: How Fear and Anger Affect Trust in the Government in Times of the Covid-19 Pandemic, in: Swiss Political Science Review (together with Julian Erhardt, Max Filsinger, and Steffen Wamsler). DOI:
  • National Identity and Populism. The Relationship between Conceptions of Nationhood and Populist Attitudes, in: Nations and Nationalism (together with Max Filsinger, Steffen Wamsler and Julian Erhardt). DOI:


  • National Identity between Democracy and Autocracy: A Comparative Analysis of 24 Countries, in: European Political Science Review (together with Julian Erhardt and Steffen Wamsler). DOI:
  • Economic Hardship and Social Capital in Europe. A Comparative Analysis of 27 Democracies, in: European Journal of Political Research, 59(2): 290-311 (together with Pirmin Bundi). DOI:
  • Surfing to help? An empirical analysis of Internet use and volunteering in 27 European societies, in: European Societies, 22(3): 368-389 (together with Maximilian Filsinger and Kathrin Ackermann). DOI:


  • War Experiences, Economic Grievances, and Political Participation in Postwar Societies: An Empirical Analysis of Kosovo, in: Conflict Management and Peace Science, 36(4): 405-424 (together with Sara Kijewski and Malvin Oppold). DOI:
  • The Tolerance of Tamils: War-Related Experiences, Psychological Pathways, and the Probability of Granting Civil Liberties to Former Enemies, in: The Journal of Politics, 81(4): 1328-1341 (together with Carolin Rapp and Sara Kijewski). DOI:
  • The Personality of Stealth Democrats. How traits shape attitudes towards expert-based governments, in: West European Politics, 42(3): 573–592 (together with Maya Ackermann and Kathrin Ackermann). DOI:
  • Internet Use and Volunteering: Relationships and Differences across Age and Applications, in: VOLUNTAS: International Journal of Voluntary and Nonprofit Organizations, 30(1): 87-97 (together with Max Filsinger). DOI:
  • Subtle Social Stressors of Civil Wars: Transformation of social networks and psychological distress in Sri Lanka, in: International Sociology, 34(1): 3–18 (together with Matthias Fatke). DOI:
  • Personalized Networks? How the Big Five Personality Traits Influence the Structure of Egocentric Networks, in: Social Science Research, 77: 148–169 (together with Carolin Rapp and Karin Ingold). DOI:

Short description

Markus Freitag's academic focus is on political sociology and political psychology. His teaching and research are characterised by a predominantly comparative and empirical approach as well as an interdisciplinary linkage to other areas of social sciences. The staff of the chair provides theoretical and empirically-oriented seminars and lectures on a regular basis.




Junior Assistants


Methodenbericht zur Studie «Milizarbeit in der Schweiz»

Die Psyche des Politischen - Was der Charakter über unser politisches Denken und Handeln verrät

Das Buch kann bei NZZ Libro erworben werden.

Materialien zum Beitrag "Politische Kultur"

In: Peter KNOEPFEL, Yannis PAPADOPOULOS, Pascal SCIARINI, Adrian VATTER und Silja HÄUSERMANN (Hrsg.): 2014. Handbuch der Schweizer Politik, 5., völlig überarbeitete und erweiterte Auflage. Zürich: NZZ Verlag,71-94.

150 Ideen zur Stärkung des Gemeinsinns in der Schweiz