Jessica Di Cocco is defending her Ph.D. thesis in Socio-Economic and Statistical Studies at Sapienza University, Department of Economics and Law, in September 2021, with a dissertation titled 'Politics in Time of Populism'. In her research, she proposed a new approach for quantifying parties' levels of populism and alternative methods for dealing with missing data in the social sciences, focusing on hidden and potential voters as examples of application.
Jessica is interested in voting behaviour, party behaviour, text-as-data, affective polarization, misinformation, social networks, and inequality of opportunities. Although her background is in Political Science and Economics, she looks closely at cross-fertilization with Computer Science and employs machine learning tools.
As a Max Weber Fellow, Jessica will be working on emotional sophistication in politics to understand its role in populist and non-populist party rhetoric and intercept its variations across time and space. She will use tools of Computational Social Science, Causal Inference and Experimental Economics to explore and test the theories acknowledging the role of emotions in politics. She also aims to study causal relations between voting choices and the use of party leaders' emotional narratives. The objective is to explore to what extent the political elite is inclined to increasingly use emotions in response to a possible growing demand for emotional appeals from the side of the voters.
Expertise for Teaching and Mentoring of Ph.D. Researchers
As an adjunct professor, Jessica taught Political Economy at the University of Tuscia (DEIM) for the academic year 2020/2021.