I am Professor of Comparative Austrian Politics in the Department of Political Science at the University of Salzburg, which I have chaired since 2009. Previously, I was a faculty member of the University of Pittsburgh (1994-2009) where I have remained an affiliate of the Center of European Studies. I received my PhD from Michigan State University and my MA from Virginia Tech (you find the link to my university page here and a Pdf of my professional CV here.)
My main research interests are centered on comparative populism, Euroscepticism, political parties, the radical right and democracy. My research has appeared in journals such as The Journal of Common Market Studies, Political Studies, The European Journal of Political Research, Party Politics, West European Politics, and Democratization among many others. In 2018 I co-edited a special issue of Comparative European Politics on the territorial dimension in party-based populism. My book publications in English include The People and the Nation: Populism and Ethno-Territorial Politics in Europe (Routledge 2019), Political Populism: Handbook of Concepts, Questions and Strategies of Research (Nomos 2021), and Understanding Populist Organization: The West European Radical Right (Palgrave, 2016).
Several grants have supported my research including a Marie Curie Fellowship (2012-2016) and more recently a Horizon 2020 grant by the EU. In that project called Populism and Civic Engagement (PaCE), we studied supply- and demand-side factors fostering radical populism and examine effective civic countermeasures. Other current work of mine is concerned with how people actually understand democracy. Here, I am interested in innovative survey designs. In 2021, I co-chaired an ECPR Joint Sessions workshop devoted to this area of research. In other work, I am exploring populism and the COVID-19 pandemic. Here, a recent research grant by the Swiss and Austrian Research Funds provide valuable support to continue this research on the conjunction between populism, conspiracy theories, and the COVID pandemic. We will be able to conduct survey experiments in various European countries. In all these projects, I consider myself fortunate to be able to work with wonderful colleagues from Australia, Switzerland, the Netherlands, and the UK among others.
Teaching & Third Mission
In my teaching in Europe and the US, I have focused on Comparative and European Politics but also covered Latin America and the US. Since 2014 I have been teaching regularly in Beijing at Renmin University of China. Some of my most meaningful experiences were teaching service learning courses in rural Bolivia and spending a semester onboard a ship when teaching for the Semester at Sea program.
Working on topical issues, I often comment publicly on Austrian and European politics. In this context, I have been asked to comment by media such as the BBC, NPR, the Washington Post, Der Spiegel, ARD, CNN, and many others. Op-ed commentaries and articles of mine have appeared in Open Democracy, Huffington.Post, the LSE Blog, Foreign Affairs, and Aus Politik und Zeitgeschichte. Most often, I comment on Austrian TV and publish opinion pieces and analyses in Austrian newspapers.
Home Away from Home
I continue to follow closely, and remain very much connected to US politics and also Latin America, especially Bolivia. I take every opportunity to return to my two homes away from home.
DISCLAIMER: The rotating banner photos are mine: Washington DC on election day in 2008 *** The Bolivian desert near Laguna Colorada *** The Summer Palace in Beijing *** Malecon in Havana *** Leon Nicaragua .