In a prior project, we studied two routes that result in responsive party systems, one historical and one open even to those countries that lack the favorable historical preconditions of the forerunners in terms of responsiveness. Along the historical route, left-wing parties with strong ideological credentials were able to challenge the established political forces in some countries in the early 20th century. Gradually, this crowded out the clientelistic linkages between voters and political patrons that represent the main impediment to programmatic responsiveness. In this new project, we look at a similar process observable since the process of re-democratization swept Latin America in the 1980s. Although tentatively addressed in the prior project, this process is complicated by the fact that two very different types of left parties have emerged in contemporary Latin America. Although theorizing the distinction between the “moderate” and the “populist” or “radical” left has become a major research topic in recent years, little research has been conducted on the impact these two types of new leftist parties have on the party system as a whole, and more specifically on the levels of responsiveness it exhibits. This project contributes to these issues in three ways: It develops the difference between the moderate and the populist left in theoretical terms, expands our prior empirical analyses in temporal terms, and explores the dualism of programmatic (responsiveness-enhancing) and clientelistic (responsiveness-blurring) mobilization strategies.
How much do instances of populist mobilization across space and time have in common?» Link to Special Issue
This ongoing project studies cleavage structures and party system formation in Latin America and Europe in comparative perspective. For the initial phase, conducted jointly with Daniele Caramani (then University of St. Gallen, now also at the University of Zurich), the project received funding by the Swiss National Science Foundation (2009-2012).» Project_Latin_American_Party_Systems.pdf (PDF, 52.87 Kb)
Project directed jointly with Daniele Caramani at the University of Zurich
My Ph.D. project assessed the ideological basis of right-wing populist parties and explains their varying success across countries by focusing on the strength of existing cleavages and partisan alignments, and on the strategies of the established parties with respect to their right-wing populist challengers. A book based on the Ph.D. was published by Temple University Press in 2010.» More on the book
Project conducted jointly with Marco Steenbergen and Livia Schubiger (University of Zurich) and Manuel Vogt (ETH Zurich)
From 2002 to 2006 I was a member of the project "National Political Change in Borderless Spaces: A Comparative Assessment of the Impact of Globalization on National Party Systems". The project was financed by the Swiss National Science Foundation and the German Research Community.» Read more on the book that emerged from this project
In the project „EU enlargement, cultural diversity and national identity”, financed by the European Commission, and part of the "EU-Consent - Wider Europe, Deeper Integration? Constructing Europe" network, I worked on the mobilization of national political parties against European Integration. A volume edited by Hans-Dieter Klingemann and Dieter Fuchs is in preparation. In a similar vein, I study the mobilization of Euroscepticism by different political parties in Scandinavia, Continental Europe, and Southern Europe.» Catalogue