Ongoing Projects

Political Representation, Parties, and Presidents Survey (PREPPS)
Together with Nina Wiesehomeier (IE University) and Matthew Singer (University of Connecticut), I am conducting a new survey instrument in Summer 2018. PREPPS expands and combines previous efforts of measuring policy positioning (Wiesehomeier and Benoit, 2009) and democratic linkage mechanisms (Kitschelt 2013) in Latin American presidential systems using expert surveys.  The project collects information on policy positions, conditional exchange, party organizational structures as well as mechanisms of accountability and modes of competition for a large number of parties and presidents across 18 Latin American countries. We will make the data available for public use as soon as possible.

The Causes and Consequences of Populism (
This collaborative project combines the iterative work from European and American scholars to answer the question “What causes Populism?”. The project was initiated by Kirk A. Hawkins at Brigham Young University (BYU) and is designed to catalyze iterative work in which different scholars repeatedly test competing theories using multiple methods. My research within this network focuses especially on the measurement of populism through parliamentary elite surveys for which I collaborate closely with the Parliamentary Elites in Latin America project (PELA) at the University of Salamanca, Spain. Apart from the causes of populism and the measurement of the phenomenon I am also engaged in the analysis of the consequences of populism in power.

The Consequences of Clientelism for Social Policy Design
In this research project I investigate the consequences of clientelism for public policy in Latin America and other regions in the world. Therefore, I collaborate with several researchers in Europe, Latin America, and the USA. Together with Maria Spirova from the University of Leiden I organized a workshop at the ECPR Joint Sessions of Workshops in Salamanca in April 2014 which brought together researchers to examine similarities and differences of the policy implications of party strategies with respect to diverse societal groups and in different regions of the world. At present, I am conducting a pilot study on Mexico to analyse the consequences of clientelism on social policy design. In this respect, I conducted field research with a series of semi-structured elite interviews in november and december 2015. The pilot study project was funded by the Cooperation and Development Center (CODEV) at the ETH Lausanne.


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