Research Interests

My research has a strong interdisciplinary focus and lies at the intersection between Political Science, Sociology, Psychology, and Public Health.

Political Behaviour in postwar Sri Lanka

Together with my colleagues, Sara Kijewski and Markus Freitag, I am working on a book project on how inner and structural transformation processes influence the political and social integration of individuals in postwar Sri Lanka. The focus thereby lies on how war-induced psychological changes can explain differing levels of political and social involvement of the different ethnics groups in Sri Lanka. We already published two papers on this topic based on our own survey data from Sri Lanka (see publications).

Election Pledges and voters in representative democracies

I am a collaborator in a research project on elections pledges financed by the Danish Science Foundation with Carsten Jensen (Aarhus University) as PI.

The project asks: Do election pledges matter for voters? This broad question can be broken down into four sub-questions: (1) Do voters realize what pledges parties make? (2) Do voters use pledges when deciding for which party to vote? (3) Do voters use pledges to evaluate a party’s performance after the election? (4) How are voters’ awareness and use of pledges dependent on the mass media and political context? The key empirical contribution of the project is to collect two path-breaking datasets that produce an unbiased estimate of voters’ awareness and use of pledges. The first consists of a set of innovative panel surveys with embedded conjoint experiments conducted both before and after national elections. The second dataset codes all pledges, if they are broken or not, and how the mass media report on them.

Economic inequality, perceived insecurities, and individual health outcomes

I am currently working on a paper project that underscores the importance of considering different contextual factors in the explanation of health outcomes and in particular, in understanding the relationship between insecurities and individual health. Based on cross-national data from the European Quality of Life Surveys (EQLS), the working paper tests both the mediating and moderating role of inequalities and general social policies on the relationship between insecurities – measured as own perception of social status compared to others – on mental and physical health.

National identification, nationalism, and patriotism

Following my recent publication in the Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies on the role of different national attachments on the political behaviour of natives and immigrants, I am working on a paper project looking at this relationship from a cross-national perspective.