Comparative Politics


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This research field focusses on the comparative study of political institutions and processes in consolidated liberal democracies. Research is carried out in two organisational sub-units: "Comparative Political Institutions, Leadership and Governance" and "Österreichische Politik in komparativer Perspektive" (Austrian Politics in Comparative Perspective). The two core areas of research are, firstly, the over-time and across-country comparative analysis of governments, political leaders, and parliaments, and, secondly, the empirical analysis of democratic elections and political communication. Thematically spanning the research areas, we explore questions of comparative institutional engineering and of democratic reform. The geographical focus of the research centre is on democratic systems in Western Europe, with a particular emphasis on Austria. In addition to this, the centre's research addresses extensive intercontinental and translational research questions.


Current Members

Past Members (since 2012)

  • Univ.-Prof. Dr. Fritz Plasser
  • Dr. Ekaterina Rashkova-Gerbrands


Current Projects

  • "Analyse der Medienberichterstattung und Wahlkampfkommunikation zur Nationalratswahl 2017", Lore Hayek and Marcelo Jenny
  • "The Swedish Parliamentary Behaviour Dataset", David M. Willumsen
  • "Koalitionsregierung, politische Ergebnisse und repräsentative Demokratie", David M. Willumsen (with Patrik Öhberg, Götheburg)
  • "Political Oppositions in the Third Wave of Autocratization", Ludger Helms
  • "The Politics of Cabinet Turnover", Ludger Helms (with Michelangelo Vercesi, Leuphana University Lüneburg).
  • "The Oxford Handbook of Political Executives", co-ed. Ludger Helms, with Rudy Andeweg (Leiden), Robert Elgie (Dublin), Juliet Kaarbo (Edingburgh), and Ferdinand Müller-Rommel (Lüneburg), scheduled for 2020.
  • "Das Links-Rechts-Verständnis von Kandidatinnen und Kandidaten", Marcelo Jenny (with Wolfgang C. Müller, Vienna)
  • "Sentimentanalyse politischer Kommunikation", Marcelo Jenny (with Martin Haselmayer, Elena Rudkowsky, Matthias Wastian, Stefan Emrich and Michael Sedlmair, Vienna)
  • Blog Counting Counts, Sarah C. Dingler (with Corinna Kroeber, University of Greifswald)


Current Publications

Dingler, Sarah C./Kroeber, Corinna/Le Gall, Cal (2020): How individuals’ social characteristics impact the likelihood to waste a vote – evidence from Great Britain, Germany and France, in: Journal of Elections, Public Opinion and Parties, published online ahead of print on 31 January 2020, 1-20.

2020-Helms-Political ExecutivesHelms, Ludger/Andeweg, Rudy B./Elgie, Robert/Kaarbo, Juliet/Müller-Rommel, Ferdinand (eds.) (2020): The Oxford Handbook of Political Executives, Oxford: Oxford University Press.




Helms, Ludger (2020): Leadership succession in politics: The democracy/autocracy divide revisited, in: The British Journal of Politics and International Relations, published online ahead of print on 11 March 2020.

Helms, Ludger (2020): Spitzenkandidaten beyond Westminster: Comparing German and Austrian Chancellor Candidates, in: Parliamentary Affairs, published online ahead of print on 18 July 2019.

Helms, Ludger (2020): Heir Apparent Prime Ministers in Westminster Democracies. Promise and Performance, in: Government and Opposition, 1-23.

Helms, Ludger (2019): When less is more: ‘Negative resources’ and the performance of presidents and prime ministers, in: Politics 39 (3), 269-283.

Helms, Ludger/Bogaards, Matthijs/Lijphart, Arend (2019): The Importance of Consociationalism for Twenty-first Century Politics and Political Science, in: Swiss Political Science Review 25 (4), 241-356.

Helms, Ludger/Jenny, Marcelo/Willumsen, David M. (2019): Alpine Troubles: Trajectories of De-Consociationalisation in Austria and Switzerland Compared, in: Swiss Political Science Review 25 (4), S. 381-407.

Helms, Ludger/van Esch, Femke/Crawford, Beverly (2019): Merkel III: From Committed Pragmatist to ‘Conviction Leader’?, in: German Politics 28 (3), 350-370.

Helms, Ludger/van Esch, Femke/Crawford, Beverly (2019): Politische Führung aus dem Kanzleramt: "conviction leadership“ statt Pragmatismus?, in: Zohlnhöfer, Reimut/Saalfeld, Thomas (eds.): Zwischen Stillstand, Politikwandel und Krisenmanagement. Eine Bilanz der Regierung Merkel 2013-2017, Wiesbaden: Springer VS, S. 169-194. 

Jenny, Marcelo (2019): Austria: Political Developments and Data in 2018, in: European Journal of Political Research. Political Data Yearbook 58 (1), 21-29.

Willumsen, David M./Otjes, Simon (2019): How Does Turnover Affect Turnout? Government Alternation and Voter Participation in Parliamentary Democracies, in: Electoral Studies 59, 49-63.

Willumsen, David/Goetz, Klaus (2019): How does staggered membership renewal affect parliamentary behaviour? Evidence from the French Senate, in: European Political Science Review 11 (2), 267-284.

Willumsen, David M. (2019): So far away from me? The effect of geographical distance on representation,
in: West European Politics 42 (3), 645-669.

Willumsen, David M./Stecker, Christian/Goetz, Klaus H. (2019): Do electoral district size and diversity affect legislative behaviour?, in: Australian Journal of Political Science 54 (1), 37-64.

Jenny, Marcelo (2018): Austria: Political developments and data for 2017, in: European Journal of Political Research 57 (1), 23-30.

Willumsen, David M. (2018): The Council’s REACH? National governments’ influence in the European Parliament, in: European Union Politics 19 (4), 663-683. 

Willumsen, David M./Stecker, Christian/Goetz, Klaus H. (2018): The electoral connection in staggered parliaments: Evidence from Australia, France, Germany and Japan, in: European Journal of Political Research 57 (3), 759-780.

Hayek, Lore/Gatt, Sabine/Huemer, Christian (2018): Societal Relevance Dimensions of Graduating in Political Science in Austria, in: Österreichische Zeitschrift für Politikwissenschaft (OeZP) / Austrian Journal of Political Science 47 (3), 43-53.

jenny-facultasJenny, Marcelo/Ucakar, Karl/Gschiegl, Stefan (2017): Das politische System Österreichs und die EU, Wien: Facultas.

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