I am a Professor of Comparative Austrian Politics at the Department of Political Science and Sociology 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 in 1994 from Michigan State University (a quantitative analysis of comparative human rights performance) and my MA in1987 from Virginia Tech.
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 Party Politics, West European Politics, Democratization, Representation,Comparative European Politics, as well as Politics and Religion among many others. Recently, I have co-edited a special issue of Comparative European Politics on the territorial dimension in party-based populism as well as several books including The People and the Nation: Populism and Ethno-Territorial Politicsin Europe (Routledge 2019), Political Populism; A Handbook (Nomos 2017), and Understanding Populist Organization: The West European Radical Right (Palgrave, 2016).
My research has been funded by several grants including a Marie Curie and most recently a Horizon 2020 grant by the EU. In this project called Populism and Civic Engagement (PaCE), I serve as the leader of Salzburg Team devoted to studying supply and demand side factors facilitating radical populism and effective civic countermeasures by using an array methods ranging from traditional survey research to computer simulation, and survey experiments.
Representing an publicly funded university and working on a topical issue, I often talk to the media about populism in Europe and US and comment on Austrian and European politics more generally. In this context, I have been interviewed by the BBC, NPR, the Washington Post,Der Spiegel, Le Soir, France 24, ARD, ABC, CNN, and many others. Op-ed commentaries and articles of mine have appeared in Open Democracy, Huffington.Post, Foreign Affairs, and Aus Politik und Zeitgeschichte. Most often, I comment on Austrian TV and publish opinion pieces and analyses in Austrian newspapers.
Since 2014 I have been teaching regularly in Beijing at Renmin University of China. From 2011 through 2019 I have served as the director of the National Working Group on Democracy of the Austrian Research Association and from 2016 to 2018 I was President of the Austrian Political Science Association. In 2017 I was fortunate to receive the Austrian Science Prize awarded by the Austrian Parliament for my research work on democracy in Austria.
Because of previous professional experiences and academic training, 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.