Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin - DYNAMICS

Einstein Research Group

Electoral Trade-Offs in Post-Industrial Societies

European politics have fundamentally changed in the past 30 years. New issues such as climate change, immigration and gender equality have come to dominate political agendas. The project investigates how parties’ programmatic appeals in this changing environment affect support among different social groups. A core idea for understanding these different support patterns is the concept of a trade-off. Simply put, if a party appeals to one electoral group, it might alienate another one. In a multi-issue and multi-party space where parties must form new electoral alliances, the idea of trade-offs has become commonplace in how researchers think about dynamics of political competition.

Building upon insights generated through large-scale surveys, survey experiments, field experiments and computational text analysis, the project will contribute to a better understanding of how parties’ programmatic profiles affect their electoral support and to what extent different positions create electoral trade-offs. It also has important implications for the broader public debate around how programmatic and communicative decisions affect the electoral fortunes of political parties.

The research project is part of the “Einstein BUA/Oxford Visiting Fellow” programme, a cooperation of the Berlin University Alliance and the University of Oxford that aims to foster collaborations between internationally leading scholars and create perspectives for early career researchers. Members of the research group are associated at the Research Training Group DYNAMICS at the Chair of Comparative Political Behaviour at Humboldt University Berlin.