Geschwister Scholl Institute of Political Science

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Our research focuses on several topics. One core interest is the process of Europeanization of the political system of Germany, the role of Germany within Europe and the EU Cohesion Policy, both from a political science and a public administration perspective. Another strand of research relates to patterns of party competition and government formation processes in European multi-level governance systems at the national, regional and local level with a specific focus on political actors’ reactions to long- and short-term changes (e.g. crises and external shocks). Finally, neo-institutional perspectives on parliaments are part of the research at the chair. In particular, we focus on the role of national and transnational parliamentary institutions, including agenda-control, the behaviour of representatives and parties during the process of government formation and voting behaviour in parliaments.

Currently, the chair is running four main externally funded research projects. First, as part of the DFG-funded research project “Resource mobilization in international public administrations” (PI: Prof. Klaus H. Goetz; 2017-2020), which is part of the DFG Research Unit on “International Public Administrations” (led by Prof. Christoph Knill here at GSI; 2014-2020), Dr. Ronny Patz and Dr. Svanhildur Thorvaldsdottir are currently researching if and how international organizations and their bureaucracies are able to fundraise sufficient resources to fulfil their mandates. The specific focus of the project is on the resourcing of UN organizations in the domain of global refugee policy – in particular UNHCR, IOM and UNRWA. Second, Dr. Bartek Pytlas researches the agency of radical right and populist parties in the political process, as well as their impact on party systems and liberal democracy. As part of his DFG-funded research project “Anti-Establishment Politics in Europe” (2018-2021) he analyses the patterns of anti-establishment strategies and their role within the issue supply of West and Central Eastern European challenger parties. Third, the project “Den Menschen im Blick”, led by Dr. Britta Schellenberg and Rabia Kökten, and funded by the German Federal Ministry for Family Affairs, Senior Citizens, Women and Youth, deals with the development of the foundations for the qualified and practical operation of public authorities in cases they are confronted with racist, xenophobic and homophobic orientations in an increasingly diverse society. Lastly, the DFG-funded research project "Representation and inequality in local politics" led by Prof. Dr. Martin Gross is the newest addition to the chairs' research. The project asks the question which institutions and political contexts are most likely to ensure equality in local political representation by investigating the patterns and determinants of representation in German cities.

The liberal democratic principles that used to characterise modern democracies have come under public attack, putting long-standing established socio-political norms into question. The Marie Skłodowska-Curie funded project of Julia Schulte-Cloos “Attacks on Liberal Democracy and their Effects on Political Behaviour” explores the consequences that public attacks on liberal democracy have for citizens’ political attitudes and their electoral behavior.

Current externally funded research projects

Completed research project