My research interests focus on the links between the micro and the meso level and include comparisons of organizations, institutions and differences between national contexts.
I prefer to connect my research to digitalization. I am convinced that digitalization opens new, additional ways for will formation and decision-making processes; however, traditional forms have not been fully replaced and, therefore, have to be taken into consideration.
By systematic comparisons of different cases within the OECD-world, I hope to contribute to the state of the art.
My research mainly concerns political parties as well as civil society organizations. Both structure society and promote participation. Especially when it comes to creating linkage and strengthening a democratic political culture, these actors are indispensable.
With a focus on parties, I suggest a Five-Pillar-Model of Parties Migration into the Digital. Following this model, I work on different bricks and pillars and find out more about parties' coping with challenges and possibilities.
For example, I am working on a paper with Gefion Thuermer focussing on the Digitalization of the Greens in Austria and Germany. We recently submitted this paper and started a next project where we connect Robert A. Dahl's criterion on enligthend understanding to digital participation platforms.
Together with Kate Dommett, Fabienne Greffet, and Isabelle Borucki, I am working on a systematic overview of parties' link to technological advancement.
Along with Isabelle Borucki and Manès Weisskircher, I work on a project dealing with digitalization tendencies of political parties during the COVID19-pandemic. This project is part of a larger project where we cooperate with Oscar Barberà and Davide Vittori.
I am a founding member of the Digital Parties Research Network, where colleagues from all over Europe collaborate. Please visit the Network's website for more information.
Concerning institutions, my focus is mainly on parliaments. Again, the driver of my interest is the better understanding of linkage mechanisms between citizens and the state. I currently draft proposals for third-party funding to expand this dimension of my research portfolio.
Social media have undoubtedly been a game changer in communication. Especially, political actors have gained power, because they can communicate with the public without the filtering influence of media agencies.
This also has a potential effect on the competition between small and large political actors such as parties and CSOs.
My research in this field focusses on measuring the agenda setting-capabilities of political actors and organizations through social media. I developed an index (ASI) to estimate and compare the potential of actors' agenda setting-ambitions. In a recent paper (in preparation for submission; presented at the ECPR Virtual Conference 2020), I apply this index to anti-corruption organizations.
This part of my work is linked to evaluating how sustainable strategies by political actors are when it comes to archieving their goals through sophisticated social media usage.
In addition, I am preparing contributions on e-campaigning and agenda-setting for a handbook forthcoming in 2023 (accepted manuscripts).
I am also very interested in how digitalization changes party identity and affiliation. I am working on a grant proposal to shed light on this field of research. This project will employ a mix of different methods to understand concepts of the political self of citizens in the digital age.
I am currently working on a project examing the impact of dark social media like WhatsApp on political behavior. This is a survey based project with an own survey (fieldwork conducted in March 2021). Jessica Haak supports me with this project. We currently prepare the paper for submission.
I have been accompanied by election research since my studies in Würzburg. I was involved in the Würzburg-Barometer, a mixed-mode survey that targeted the population of Würzburg in terms of their voting behavior and their attitudes towards different topics such as social and institutional trust and religious belief. Later, this study branched out into the Bayernbarometer with a focus on Bavaria's population. I was part of a team of four students and one academic supervisor that coordinated the survey. Ever since, I have had a strong interest in survey methodology.