Research at the Department of Political Science

Research at the Department of Political Science is characterized by an empirical-analytical approach. It uses quantitative methods for data analysis and covers a broad range of topics.

Important fields of research:

  • Elections and party competition in established democracies, but also processes of democratization and political decision-making in other forms of government
  • European integration process
  • National conflicts and civil wars
  • Drivers and consequences of reform processes

Research at the chairs of Political Sociology and Political Psychology acts as a bridge between political science on the one hand and sociology and psychology on the other, which are closely related fields.

Research projects

Research in the subject area of political science is usually not conducted at the chairs themselves, but at other institutions, either at the Mannheim Centre for European Social Research (MZES) or the Collaborative Research Center 884 “Political Economy of Reforms”.

  • Research at the Mannheim Centre for European Social Research (MZES)

    Most research projects related to political science are carried out at the MZES.

    At its Department B “European Political Systems and Their Integration”, researchers deal with the following research questions:

    1. Conditions of democratic governance in terms of the behavior and orientations of citizens and
    2. institutional contexts of democratic governance.

    To answer research question number one, they use both established panel studies like the “German Longitudinal Election Study” (GLES) and studies on political participation or on the role social media play in forming a political judgment.

    In addition, they study parties, election systems, and the role of the Federal Constitutional Court. Researchers also focus on governance in a multi-level system and on Europeanization with a special emphasis on the relationship between the national and European level. Of additional interest are political structures below the national level, i.e. country-specific regional structures, and the European Union’s role at the international level.

    Go to the MZES’s website