The focus of my research is on the interplay between populist parties and democratic regimes. Populism is not ‘fascism light’ but a normative orientation towards an illiberal democratic ideal.
More precisely, I am interested in three crucial questions:
How is the issue of democracy represented in the ideology, manifestos, communication, and electoral strategy of populist parties, especially on the radical right?
How does populism as an individual attitude shape the attitudes of political elites? What does it mean if political elites despise the institutions, perhaps even the system they act in?
How do the parties of the political mainstream react to populist parties? Which strategies do they choose, and to what extent are counterstrategies successful in their attempt to contain their populist contenders?
If you want to know more about my current research projects in these areas, please find them here:
The Populist Radical Right and Protectionism
(funded by the Bonner Akademie für Forschung und Lehre praktischer Politik)
The Populist Challenge in the German Parliaments
(funded by the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft)
Apart from articles in peer-reviews journals, monographs and contributions to edited volumes, I share the insights of my research in media articles and public appearances.