I am interested in the measurement of ideology and its meaning in multi-level systems. How does ideological allies and enemies interact over different levels of territoriality? In my dissertation I preliminary worked on the concept and measurement of market liberalism as the dominant ideological conflict dimension of our time. I propose to combine the morphological approach to ideologies with latent measurement theory. This improves the conceptual clarity and validity of measured ideological positions. This measurement approach indicate as well that an overall left and right dimension is a misleading concept in many ways. In contrast, market liberalism has much better attributes in terms of comparability over time and space. As a special case of this, I am interested in the way radical right parties deal with the market dimension as it cross-cuts different elements of their ideological development as well as the interest of different core voter groups.
Using these measurements, I work with ideological cross level interactions. In one project I relate the migration of authority to ideological proximity between regionally concentrated minorities and national governments. Together with André Kaiser I show, that the authority demand of minorities is accommodated only in cases of ideological proximity (GZ: KA 1741/10-1). We further explore the importance of ideology in multi-level contexts in specific case studies as well as in comparative long term sequences. Furthermore, we extend the multilevel ideological calculus to ordinary or symmetric reforms of decentralization. Complementary, I work on cross-level alignment structures.
Lately, I turned my focus on the impact of decentralization on regional and national party competition. Overall, I expect decentralization to cause rising fragmentation on different levels and hence, decentralization will increasingly challenge the coordination of policies and the stability of political systems.
Current Project: DFG-Project “Decentralization and Electoral Geographies II” (GZ: KA 1741/10-2)
I am coordinating the DFG funded research project on decentralization and electoral geographies.