Research interests

An overarching meta-theoretical continuity spanning the members of the SPS Department’s research is our interest in the interplay of institutional dynamics with micro behavior. Whereas the long-term traditional focus of the department was on macro-institutional structures, such as party systems, institutions of interest-intermediation, welfare state regimes and class structures, our current research conceptualizes institutions dynamically by studying the interactions between institutions – both formal and informal - and their behavioural context. This applies to the analysis of the impact of party competition on public policies, changing family structures and their consequences for inequalities, changing norms of governance and conflict and their implications for political and geo-political dominance.

Some key publications:

Ban, C. and Bohle, D. (2020). "Definancialization, financial repression and policy continuity in East-Central Europe." Review of International Political Economy: 1-24. doi:10.1080/09692290.2020.1799841.

Bernardi, F. and Boertien, D. (2017). "Non-intact families and diverging educational destinies: A decomposition analysis for Germany, Italy, the United Kingdom and the United States." Social Science Research, 63: 181-191. doi:

Checkel, J. Editor and Contributor. (2017). “Socialization and Violence.” Special Issue, Journal of Peace Research 54(5): 592-730.

Hangartner, D., Dinas, E., Marbach, M., Matakos, K. and Xefteris, D. (2019). "Does Exposure to the Refugee Crisis Make Natives More Hostile?" American Political Science Review, 113(2): 442-455. doi:10.1017/S0003055418000813.

Abbott, K. W., Genschel, P., Snidal, D. and Zangl, B. (2016). "Two Logics of Indirect Governance: Delegation and Orchestration." British Journal of Political Science, 46(4): 719-729. doi:10.1017/S0007123414000593.

Gërxhani, K. (2020). "Status ranking and gender inequality: A cross-country experimental comparison." Research in Social Stratification and Mobility, 65: 100474. doi:

Asunka, J., Brierley, S., Golden, M., Kramon, E. and Ofosu, G. (2019). "Electoral Fraud or Violence: The Effect of Observers on Party Manipulation Strategies." British Journal of Political Science, 49(1): 129-151. doi:10.1017/S0007123416000491.

Boertien, D. and Härkönen, J. (2018). "Why does women’s education stabilize marriages? The role of marital attraction and barriers to divorce." Demographic Research, 38: 1241-1276.

Hemerijck, A. (2018). "Social investment as a policy paradigm." Journal of European Public Policy, 25(6): 810-827. doi:10.1080/13501763.2017.1401111.

Abou-Chadi, T. and Immergut, E. M. (2019). "Recalibrating social protection: Electoral competition and the new partisan politics of the welfare state." European Journal of Political Research, 58(2): 697-719. doi:10.1111/1475-6765.12308.

Rijt, A. v. d. (2019). "Self-Correcting Dynamics in Social Influence Processes." American Journal of Sociology, 124(5): 1468-1495. doi:10.1086/702899.

Library students

Research Themes:


Inequality & social demography

Trends and patterns of educational, labour market and health inequalities by social class, gender and ethnicity; social mobility; cumulative and compensatory advantage; family change and family dynamics; life course research.

Analytical sociology

Micro foundations of social life: trust; conflict & cooperation; collective action; norms; status, and social networks – and how they explain employment, gender differences, development, crime, corruption, informal economy, migration, ethnic conflict, movements, science practices.

Welfare state and political economy

Impact on welfare states of globalization, deepening EU market integration and financialization, changing life-course risks; Dynamics and consequences of tax competition; diversity of European capitalisms and their capacity for adaptation to post-crisis challenges.

Professors: Dorothee Bohle, Philipp Genschel, Miriam Golden, Anton Hemerijck, Ellen Immergut

Comparative politics and political behaviour

Trends and patterns in institutional design (also historical); electoral and party competition, electoral behavior, the rise of populism and authoritarianism; political protest, contentious politics, political events; policy responsiveness.

IR and security

International relations theory; humanitarian intervention; civil wars; comparative foreign policy; international and European security; Europe’s external relations and “Europe in the world”.

Political Economy of Development

How political institutions change with economic development; politics and policy issues in developing nations; interactions of politicians and voters in developing nations; differences between developing and developed countries.

Page last updated on 01/03/2021

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