Cluster Member Sven-Oliver Proksch awarded ERC Consolidator Grant by the European Research Council


Cologne-based political scientist Sven-Oliver Proksch, PhD, Professor at the Cologne Center for Comparative Politics (CCCP) and member of the Cluster of Excellence ECONtribute: Markets and Public Policy, receives the prestigious ERC Consolidator Grant for his project “Democracy without Majorities: Political Representation under Minority Rule” (MINORITYRULE). The Consolidator Grant of the European Research Council is one of the most important research awards worldwide. It supports innovative basic and frontier research. The MINORITYRULE project is funded by the European Research Council for a total of 2 million euros over a period of five years.

The aim of the ERC Consolidator project MINORITYRULE is to investigate the effects of governing in minority governments on political representation. Political representation refers to the link between what citizens want and what politicians do.

Professor Proksch and his team will address three questions as part of the project. First, they will investigate how political polarization develops in parliamentary debates and in election campaigns in comparison to situations with majority governments. Second, the project addresses the question of how minority governments react differently than majority governments to changes in public opinion when making decisions. And third, the project takes a citizen focus and explores voters’ perceptions of political decision-making and compromise under minority governments compared to majority governments.

MINORITYRULE examines these issues in an international comparative manner using a series of new datasets generated by the project. To do so, the project uses quantitative text analysis techniques for political speeches in combination with survey experiments and panel surveys. The project’s findings are expected to contribute to a better understanding of the institutional and political conditions under which minority governments can lead to successful representation.

Sven-Oliver Proksch is Professor of European and Multilevel Politics at the Cologne Center for Comparative Politics (CCCP) at the University of Cologne. He received his PhD in political science from the University of California in Los Angeles in 2008. From 2008 to 2013, he was a postdoctoral fellow at the University of Mannheim. Until 2016, he was an Assistant and Associate Professor of Political Science at McGill University in Montréal, Canada. In January 2017, he was appointed to the Faculty of Economics and Social Sciences at the University of Cologne. He is also a member of the Cluster of Excellence ECONtribute: Markets and Public Policy. His research interests include political representation, democratic institutions, party politics, parliamentary debates, political text analysis, and European politics.

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Prof. Sven-Oliver Proksch, PhD
University of Cologne