assistant professor

University of Copenhagen

Research Interests

My research is situated within Political Sociology, Political Psychology, and Comparative Politics. The comparative perspective is addressed by my interest in cross-national and sub-national analysis, mainly of European countries. My research's closeness to political psychology is given by my strong reliance on social psychological theories, such as social identity theory or group-threat theories, as well as my general interest in how individuals' personalities form their actions and attitudes. And last, my research falls into the area of political sociology as I, first, want to explain individual attitudes and behaviour and, second, how institutions, such as the welfare state and institutional or social norms, influence these attitudes and actions. Above all, my research is led by a strong focus on quantitative methods and survey research.


My current research is, one the one hand, characterised by my former employment in the FP7 EU-project on youth unemployment and economic self-sufficiency - CUPESSE (see more detailed description below). Here, I focus on factors driving young adults economic self-sufficiency; ranging from different forms of capital to personality factors and individual values. On the other hand, my research is still driven by my persisting interest in attitudes towards immigrants. In contrast to my PhD thesis, I now focus more on issues such as national identity, integration policies, and political involvement. In this regard, I established a research agenda on how national identity may foster political involvement of immigrants and how specific policies can moderate this relationship.

In addition, I currently work on different paper projects, together with  Markus Freitag and Sara Kijewski, on the political consequences of war experiences in Sri Lanka. The focus thereby lies on how war-induced psychological changes, that is posttraumatic distress and postraumatic growth, can explain differing levels of political tolerance and involvement among Tamils and Sinhalese. 

Another current project is the analyses of health inequalities in political involvement. Apart from more traditional indicators of social inequality, such as income and education, health status plays a decisive role in defining a person’s degree of political involvement. Health disparities are not randomly distributed among the population, any lack of political participation on their part is cause for concern. For example, ample evidence suggests that persons with a poor physical or mental health are more likely to refrain from voting. While the effect of health on political involvement is a highly topical issue in the US, little is known about their relation in the European context. The newest release of the European Social Survey (ESS 7) renders the unique possibility of addressing these issues in a comparative European perspective. The survey comprises multiple questions on physical and mental health as well as a large variety of questions on political involvement in 20 European countries.


The CUPESSE project is dedicated to the comparative analysis of youth unemployment in Europe. By taking issues related both to the demand and supply sides into consideration, the project aims to obtain a comprehensive picture of the causes and consequences of unemployment among young people as well as to formulate policy strategies and recommendations for addressing this ever-growing issue. The project brings together a broad network of researchers and practitioners from the fields of economics, political science, psychology, and sociology. This project has received funding from the European Union’s Seventh Framework Programme for research, technological development and demonstration under grant agreement No 613257.