I am a Political Scientist at the Humboldt University of Berlin, where I work at the excellence cluster SCRIPTS on a project about social inequalities, migration and the rise of populist parties. Before, I worked as a lecturer and researcher at the Department of Political Science at University of Zurich, and a as Postdoctoral Fellow at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Department of Political Science, on a project that was funded by the Fritz-Thyssen Foundation. I graduated from University of Mannheim at the Graduate School of Economic & Social Sciences in May 2015. During my doctoral studies, I lectured and thought at the Chair of Quantitative Methods.
My main area of research pertains to understanding political behaviour and its consequences in repre sentative democracies. To find answers to the question how voters’ behaviour influences democratic quality, I develop quantitative research methods and build on formal theoretical decision making processes. In a paper published in Political Analysis, I develop an empirical model that extends existing vote choice theories, broadening our understanding of how voters use political issues to decide between different political parties. I have published related work on voter’s decision making in the British Journal of Political Science and Electoral Studies. I am currently also involved in a large-scale project on “Pre-Electoral Coalition Signals”, for which I was awarded a three-year research grant from the German Research Foundation (DFG) together with Prof. Thomas Gschwend (Mannheim). In a related paper published in the Journal of Politics, we analyze how voters’ decision-making is affected if parties communicate what coalitions they wish to enter, during electoral campaigns.
My second research area lies in political methodology, with a specific focus on the application of measurement methods to research in the field of electoral politics. The results of those projects are of particular interest the general public. Together with colleagues, I launched zweitstimme.org, a public website providing daily-updated forecasts on vote shares, coalition-majorities and other quantities of interest during the campaign for the German Federal Elections in 2017. We applied computational methods to automatically retrieve poll results from the Internet and developed novel estimation strategies to daily update our forecast based thereon, with great attention paid to interactive visualization of results in order to communicate them to a broad audience. The accompanying research paper has been accepted for publication in the journal Political Analysis.