If you don’t have access to any of my academic publications below, you can contact me for a copy.
(with Katrin Auel)
British Journal of Politics and International Relations
Everyone agrees that members of parliaments (MPs) should keep in touch with the people they represent. Yet some MPs invest more in communication with their constituency than others. We approach this problem with data from the parliamentary communication allowance in the United Kingdom, where all MPs had the same amount of budget to reach out proactively to their electors. We base our analysis on two fundamental assumptions: that re-election is the main goal of legislators and that communication to signal trustworthiness is one way of securing their re-election. We then examine the impact of electoral prospects, constituency characteristics, and parliamentary behaviour on communication to constituents. We find evidence that, even in the absence of budgetary constraints, MPs’ constituency communication depends on challenges to their re-election.
Representation, 53(2), 117–134
Do legislators communicate with constituents about affairs that they cannot legislate? An influential literature underlines the communication of what legislators do in the legislature to their constituents. This article questions the hypothetical link between communication and legislation. I conduct a cross-national field experiment on members of national parliaments (MPs) to investigate how they behave when ordinary citizens require them to explain what they cannot legislate. Overall, the results show that MPs are evenly responsive to explanation requests within and outside their legislative competence. Likewise, their replies to inquiries on what they can and cannot legislate were equally quick and just as detailed. Further analysis reveals that electoral incentives motivate MPs to account for even those affairs that they cannot legislate. This suggests that, with regard to the content, legislators’ communicative accountability may be larger than previously supposed.
Parliamentary Affairs, 70(4), 759–779
This article extends the empirical evidence for the use of e-newsletters in parliamentary communication in between elections. It assesses the effect of electoral incentives and parliamentary institutions on members (MPs) from all four legislatures in the UK. I find that electoral incentives to cultivate a personal vote increase the e-newsletter usage by MPs. However, being an MP in sub-national parliaments or smaller parties decreases it. These findings throw a fresh light on why only some parliamentarians are happy to adopt new and seemingly resource-efficient ways to reach out to voters.
Journal of Legislative Studies, 23(1), 93–124
An influential literature underlines how much parliamentary communication of European Union (EU) affairs could offer to democracy in the EU. Yet members of parliaments (MPs) seem unmoved by their potential. MPs are strategic about their communication, and this study questions the suitability of EU affairs to their re-election strategies. Analysing the messages posted on Twitter by regional and national MPs from Ireland and the United Kingdom over a four-month period, this article shows that clear electoral safety and strong political responsibility increase the communication of EU affairs. This suggests that the low electoral benefits and the high political complexity of EU affairs are significant deterrents to parliamentary communication of these affairs. As a result, the voices of Eurosceptic MPs echo disproportionately louder on Twitter.
(with Mario Gavenda)
Regional & Federal Studies, 26(3), 419–432
The 2016 Austrian presidential election was remarkably different than the previous ones in the history of the country characterized by its stable political system. Not only did it open the role of president in Austria to debate, but it also sidelined the two political parties that had dominated Austrian politics since World War II. Alexander Van der Bellen won the election with one of the closest margins in recent history. This article argues that the election divided the country in more than one way. Besides the near 50–50 divide between the candidates, the results show that it generated important dynamics in territorial politics as well, notably in the states and cities of Austria. These results point towards a party system transformation in Austrian politics.
(with Elad Klein)
Journal of Legislative Studies, 22(2), 276–294
Many studies have examined the determinants of ministerial selection. However, the effect of electoral incentives on government post allocation has so far not been studied in the literature. Drawing on data from the United Kingdom over the period 1992–2015, this article investigates the relationship between the selection of ministers and the electoral interests of the actors in this selection process — party leaders and members of parliament (MPs). The findings demonstrate that the greater the electoral safety of constituencies, the more likely are MPs to have a higher office. The results reveal a broader conception of party strategy in government formation than previously documented. The paper thus suggests that electorates can affect the allocation of ministerial positions in the UK.
Electoral Studies, 39, 173–177
The election of the 12th President of Turkey was remarkably different than the elections of the previous 11. For the first time in the history of the Republic, the head of the state was directly elected by ordinary people rather than chosen by their representatives in the Grand National Assembly of Turkey. On 10 August 2014, the incumbent Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan won a simple majority of votes in the first round of the election and became the president for the next five years.