Category Archives: Publications

Visibility bias in news reporting about Brexit – New publication in Political Research Exchange

A new article co-authored with Christoph Hönnige, Dominic Nyhuis, Philipp Meyer and Susumu Shikano has been published in Political Research Exchange. In it, we in investigate the visibility of British MPs in newspaper reporting on Brexit between July 2017 and March 2019. You can find the abstract below:

Dominating the debate: visibility bias and mentions of British MPs in newspaper reporting on Brexit

Brexit has been the most important issue in British politics in recent years. Whereas extra-parliamentary actors dominated the run-up to the 2016 referendum, the issue moved back to Parliament after the vote. This paper analyses newspaper reporting on Brexit in major British outlets during the post-referendum phase from July 2017 to March 2019. We study the visibility of Members of Parliament to assess whether the debate was balanced between parties and individual MPs relative to their vote and seat share. We conduct an automated text analysis of 58,247 online and offline newspaper articles covering the ideological spectrum from left to right, and from pro-Brexit to anti-Brexit. Our main findings are: (1) Conservative politicians dominated the debate, and (2) organized pro-Brexit MP pressure groups such as ‘Leave Means Leave’ were disproportionally more visible. This means that reporting was biased towards Conservative MPs and within the Conservative Party towards supporters of a hard Brexit. These findings are remarkably stable across different types of newspapers. The results challenge previous analyses that found a higher degree of balance in reporting but corroborate recent studies on the tonality of Brexit reporting that found a pro-Brexit bias.

You can read the full article here (open access): https://doi.org/10.1080/2474736X.2020.1788955

Review of Chaisty/Cheeseman/Power “Coalititional Presidentialism in Comparative Perspective” now published in Europe-Asia Studies

My review of the book “Coalitional Presidentialism in Comparative Perspective. Minority Presidents in Mulitparty Systems” by Paul Chaisty, Nic Cheeseman and Timothy J. Power has now been published in Europe-Asia Studies.

In my view, the book presents a major leap forward in research on coalitional presidentialism and comparative studies of presidential politics alike. It presents an excellent and insightful analysis based on an unrivalled breadth and depth of quantitative and qualitative data. As the first cross-regional analysis of coalitional presidentialism to date this book will undoubtedly serve as inspiration and benchmark for future studies of this intriguing phenomenon.

Read the full review here (behind paywall): https://doi.org/10.1080/09668136.2019.1674530

A Green Open Access Version will be available from the institutional repository of Leibniz University after the embargo period.

Why dictators veto: Presidential vetoes in Kazakhstan and Russia – New publication in Democratization

A new article of mine has just been published in Democratization. In it, I investigate the question why authoritarian presidents still (need to) use their legislative veto power. You can find the abstract below

Why dictators veto: legislation, legitimation and control in Kazakhstan and Russia

Why do authoritarian presidents still use their legislative power? Although recent studies have argued that authoritarian legislatures are more than “rubberstamps” and can serve as arenas for elite bargaining over policy, there is no evidence that legislators would pass bills that go against presidential preferences. This article investigates this apparent paradox and proposes a theoretical framework to explain presidential activism in authoritarian regimes. It argues that any bills that contravene constraints on policy-making set by the president should generally be stopped or amended by other actors loyal to the regime. Thus, presidents will rather use their veto (1) to protect the regime’s output legitimacy and stability, and/or (2) to reinforce their power vis-à-vis other actors. The argument is tested using two case studies of veto use in Kazakhstan and Russia over the last 10 years. The analysis supports the propositions of the theoretical framework and furthermore highlights the potential use of vetoes as a means of distraction, particularly in relation to international audiences. The article extends research on presidential veto power to authoritarian regimes and its findings contribute to the growing literature on the activities of authoritarian legislatures.

Read the full article here (behind paywall): https://doi.org/10.1080/13510347.2019.1678029

A Green Open Access Version will be available from the institutional repository of Leibniz University after the embargo period.

Common features in indirect presidential elections and their effects: The case of Estonia – New publication in East European Politics

A new article of mine has just been published in East European Politics. In it, I analyse the effect of common features in the indirect election of presidents in parliamentary republics using the example of Estonia, 1996-2016. You can find the abstract below:

The effects of majority requirements, selectorate composition and uncertainty in indirect presidential elections: The case of Estonia

This article assesses the effects of common features in the indirect election of presidents in parliamentary republics. In particular, it examines the influence of majority requirements, selectorate composition and uncertainty on party strategies, using Estonia (1996-2016) as a crucial case for analysis. The analysis demonstrates that the lack of a plurality run-off effectively eliminated incentives for inter-party cooperation and strategic voting. It furthermore shows that shifts in the partisan composition and control of the selectorate from parliament to electoral college provided considerable opportunities for agenda manipulation. Subsequently, results only rarely reflected the parliamentary balance of power. Last, although overall indicators suggest greater congruence between parliament and electoral college over time, this proliferated rather than reduced parties’ uncertainty over the electoral outcome as non-parliamentary electors voted based on local interests and acted independently from national party leaders.

Read the full article here (behind paywall): https://doi.org/10.1080/21599165.2019.1604339

A Green Open Access Version will be available from the institutional repository of Leibniz University after the embargo period.

Party strategies in German presidential elections, 1949-2017 – New publication in German Politics

A new article of mine has just been published in German Politics. In it, I analyse different party strategies in indirect presidential elections focussing on the the selection of presidential electors in Germany, 1949–2017. You can find the abstract below:

Risk vs Reward Strategies in Indirect Presidential Elections: Political Parties and the Selection of Presidential Electors in Germany, 1949–2017

Parties across parliamentary republics compete fiercely over capturing the presidential office. However, they are often torn between seeing their preferred candidate elected and exploiting the election for publicity purposes. The German case, specifically parties’ ability to nominate extra-parliamentarian electors (EPEs) as part of the electoral college, offers a particularly interesting perspective on how parties balance these competing goals. While EPEs allow parties to boost their profile and strengthen ties with selected groups, they also present a risk factor as their voting behaviour is more difficult to predict. Based on a novel data set on party delegations in German presidential elections, 1949-2017, the analysis shows that – contrary to traditional assumptions – competition in the electoral college did not play a role in EPE nominations. Rather, party strategies were influenced by the varying signalling power of the elections. Parties were more risk-averse and nominated fewer EPEs during grand coalitions, when they were part of the federal government, or when federal elections approached, yet nominated more EPEs when they had a larger support base to reward. The results call for further comparative research on indirect elections and different types of EPEs in Germany.

Read the full article here (behind paywall): https://doi.org/10.1080/09644008.2019.1590549

A Green Open Access Version will be available from the institutional repository of Leibniz University after the embargo period.