1.Repeated Exposure and Protest Outcomes: How Fridays for Future Protests Influenced Voters
Job Market Paper. R&R
Abstract: When do political protests influence citizens’ behaviour? Political protests are a key mean by which citizens try to influence political outcomes. Protests often aim at raising voters’ awareness on specific issues, but when is this successful? In this paper, I build on social-psychological work to argue that a key characteristic of effective protests is their capability to repeatedly expose voters to their message. This paper tests this argument by studying the effect of Fridays for Future (FFF) protests on voting for Green Parties. Using a novel dataset on FFF protests in Germany, and a difference-in-differences design, I find that exposure to environmental protests increases the vote share of the Greens and that repeated exposure to protests increases this effect. Additional analyses using panel survey data explore the individual-level mechanisms at play, and their generalizability beyond Germany and voting behaviour. Overall, these results are important to understand when and how protests are influential, as well as to understand the effects of environmental protests specifically.
2. How Parties Respond to Environmental Disasters with Tim Wappenhans, Lukas Stoetzer and Heike Klüver.
Draft available upon request. R&R
Abstract: Climate change increases the frequency and severity of extreme weather events. To effectively address the consequences of climate change, political leaders need to prioritize environmental issues and maintain this commitment over time. We study the impact of extreme weather events on political parties' engagement with environmental concerns. We estimate parties’ attention to environmental issues using supervised learning algorithms on over 260,000 press releases published by all parliamentary parties from nine European countries over the last decade. Using a difference-in-differences design, we show that political parties do not increase their attention to environmental issues following fatal extreme weather events, independent of party family, type of weather event, and political context. These results hold when expanding the time frame for potential responses and against different classification schemes. Our findings raise doubts about the extent to which the consequences of climate change will lead to heightened political attention.
5. The Electoral Consequences of New Political Actors: Evidence from the German Greens with Tom Arend and Fabio Ellger.
Draft available upon request
Abstract: What are the consequences of new political actors? Recent research suggests that the emergence of radical right parties (RRPs) can defy long established structures of democratic competition, with consequences for the behavior of voters and political elites. We study whether that is part of a broader pattern by which new actors challenge the political establishment and provoke electoral backlash. With radical policy positions and new forms of organizing, Green parties were one of the first successful disruptors of post-war European party systems. We argue that Green party success threatens established norms of politics, leading to a backlash from conservative voters. We identify this effect with a difference-in-differences design in Germany, and find that Greens success lead to a conservative backlash. We also find evidence of similar patterns in multiple other countries and of individual-level dynamics that suppport our argument. While much research emphasizes the disruptive role of RRPs, our results point towards a more general pattern when new political actors emerge.
7. Minority policies and outgroup hostility: Evidence from face veil bans with Korinna Lindemann.
Draft available upon request
Abstract: Do voters react to policies targeting ethnic minorities? Governments in Western democracies have recently taken restrictive stances on migration and the integration of ethnic minorities. While most recent research on integration is focused on the consequences of intergroup contact, less is known about how voters react to these policies. In this study, we address this gap by studying the effect of policies targeting ethnic minorities on outgroup hostility. We argue these policies are means by which political actors define who is entitled to be a member of a polity. We test this argument by studying the effect of face veil ban in the Swiss canton of Ticino on anti-migration voting and hate crimes and find the policy increased outgroup hostility. Using panel data at the individual level, we find some support for our argument. This study has implications for how policies impact the attitudes and behaviours of voters towards minorities as well as for the cohesiveness of multicultural societies.
Work in Progress
1. Information, Political Messaging and Climate Preferences.
2. From Cheap-Talk to Action: How Political Elites Respond to Environmental Demands with Silvia Pianta.
3. Are All Cyclists Green? The Link between Political and Non-Political Environmental Behaviour with Jae-Jae Spoon.