Research

My research interests lie in the fileds of political behavior, comparative politics and political psychology. I am particularly interested in the factors that contribute to the formation of public opinion and attitudes (particularly attitudes to migration, populism, nationalism, xenophobia and Euroscepticism), using quantitative methods. My primary research agenda has two specific areas that revolve around the question whether we can really identify a current shift towards less tolerant, populist and nationalist societies and politics (especially in Europe), and if so, how we can explain the underlying causes.

Firstly, I examine the development of populism, nationalism and xenophobia, from both – the supply-side and demand-side perspective, and the challenges they provide to (liberal) democracy. On the one hand, I focus on comparative populism and nationalism. For instance, my work compared populist and nationalist tendencies in the new Member States of Central Europe over the past two decades and their consequences for the EU and the European integration. On the other hand, I also published case studies about national identity, national pride and ethnic exclusionism.

Secondly, I focus on comparative political behaviour, political/social attitudes and electoral behaviour and their interdependence with policy, institutions, political actors and cultures. Currently, I have published a book on Education and Tolerance. In this book I analyze quantitatively cross-national variations in the effect of education on social and political tolerance based on a large-scale survey (World Value Survey). I argue that education contributes to more tolerant views only in countries with certain political, socio-economic and cultural background and I identify individual-level and country-level factors that may influence the relationship between education and tolerance.