Departmental Seminar 2020-21_935x561

March 16 to June 15, 2021: Departmental Seminar

In the Departmental Seminar members and friends of the Department of Political Science present current research projects.

The events take place virtually. No registration necessary.

Technical instructions
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You can ask your questions or give feedback using the integrated chatroom.



Dates for the summer semester 2021

(on Tuesdays, 12:30 to 13:30)



Tuesday, 16 March 2021

David Willumsen

Assistant Professor of Parliamentarianism and Political Parties

Beyond Gamson’s Law: Coalition Government Formation and Policy Payoffs


The political science literature is surprisingly silent on the question of how political parties distribute policy payoffs during coalition negotiations. In this paper, we argue that due to the non-constant-sum nature of policy change and the shared responsibility for policy outcomes under coalition governments, policy payoffs for governing parties will, unlike ministerial office, not be distributed proportionally to party size, but instead the success of a party’s policy proposals will reflect their popularity among the other governing coalition parties. Using a unique dataset containing novel data on the budgetary impact of every measure proposed in election manifestos and coalition agreements over four legislative terms, we can directly observe the policy payoffs extracted by each party for participating in government, using a measure which is directly comparable across parties, policy areas, and time. The results have substantial implications for our understanding of the formation process and functioning of coalition governments.




Tuesday, 20 April 2021

Franz Eder

Associate Professor of International Relations

Martin Senn

Associate Professor of International Relations

At Odds over Atoms? Measuring the Politicization of the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons







Tuesday, 18 May 2021

Lisa Lechner

Assistant Professor of Methods and Methodology in Political Science

Where to Pick From? International Bargaining over Policy Diffusion


Research on diffusion has focused on the state as the adopting and sending object. This is too little to understand diffusion in the international negotiation context. Other mechanisms are at stake when a country group negotiates the adopting institutional design rather than if one single country reflects on appropriate policies. Overlapping memberships and international bargaining dynamics are two factors making the policy spread across international organizations distinct from diffusion across states or individuals. We argue that overlapping membership leads to policy transfer if the negotiating parties' initial bargaining positions align or if power-asymmetry is at stake. In case of discrepancies in terms of bargaining position or power-symmetry, countries might prefer to copy paste institutional design from foreign past treaties (e.g. treaties negotiated by non-member states). Adopting existing design avoids costs associated with the creation of new legal text. Yet, in situations of limited budgetary constraints countries might as well develop original legal text (e.g. innovation). We test our argument using a combination of automated text analysis and inferential temporal network analysis on a corpus of 414 preferential trade agreement texts signed between 1945 and 2018.





Tuesday, 15.06.2021

Fabian Habersack

Postdoctoral researcher in Comparative Politics

Strategies of non-radical parties when reacting to nativism: A quantitative cross-country analysis of election manifestos


As can be seen across party systems, mainstream parties and non-radical parties in general have in recent years increasingly re-discovered the programmatic appeal of nativist policy positions traditionally associated with and championed by the populist radical right. Despite differences across countries, these policies share a major concern, which lies in prioritizing and protecting the native population. Nativism is at the heart of the radical right agenda and has allegedly become increasing ‘contagious’. What is still understudied, however, is the exact mechanism through which nativism is adopted and constructed by non-radical parties: do non-radical right parties show commitment to nativism by adopting nativist claims into their ideological ‘core’, or do they target secondary issue areas to re-construct and transform nativist policy claims? To investigate this question, we analyze Austrian, German and Swiss party manifestos using quantitative text analysis and develop a novel dictionary to assess how strategic non-radical parties are in responding to nativist demands. We find that while right-wing parties not only use more nativism than left-wing parties, they also show more commitment to nativist messages and use their nativism differently. At the same time, the level of this commitment also shows strategical elements as it decreases with growing radical right strength. Thus, we argue that studies of the adoption and adaption of radical right positions and frames by non-radical right actors need to take a nuanced approach that does not only focus on whether but also on how claims are constructed. Focusing solely on policy ‘composites’ often covers up a whole range of policy claims and important strategic choices, and neglects that in reality, non-radical parties have the means to form their own positions when responding to nativist challengers.






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