About me

Research interests:

Transition(s) of Democracy; Democratic Institutions; Social Movements and Civil Protests; Democratic Theory; Political Parties, Membership and Party Reforms; Populism; Comparative Politics; Qualitative Methods

Further Information: Google Scholar; Researchgate; CEU People

My Research

I am a political scientist, currently working at the Central European University in Vienna.

I am mainly interested in the ways in which democracies evolve and how citizens and democratic institutions, such as social movements, political parties, parliaments, and administrations interact.

In my research, I conduct theoretically guided empirical analyses of how citizens‘ democratic demands are changing, how this affects how institutions work, and how institutions might adapt. I am especially interested in how social movements, protest initiatives, and political parties seek to create new opportunities for citizen engagement to enable a democratically self-detemined life. Also, my work addresses the challenges democracies face when democratic engagement, such as voting or party membership, diminishes.

In my PhD, I focused on different German protest initiatives of citizens that sought political influence beyond established actors such as political parties.

Methods I use

I seek to approach these questions in a methodologically multi-facetted way – mainly via different qualitative approaches (ethnographic observations, interviews, focus groups etc.) but also complemented by quantitative perspectives. I am very much interested in methodological questions and have continuously taught qualitative methods at different academic levels.

Previous experiences and networks

Before joining CEU, I have worked at the Goettingen Institute for Democracy Research and the Institute for Social Change and Sustainability in Vienna. In both of these institutions, I have been part of the process of academic institution building and the establishment of academic networks. Also, I am currently the co-convenor of the ECPR Standing Group on Participation and Mobilization.