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Research at the Chair in Empirical Democracy Research focuses on the areas of comparative politics, political institutional and behavioral studies, and different levels of European and German politics. Of particular interest are the following topics:

Political Parties | Minority and Coalition Governments | Electoral Behavior | Electoral Promises | Political Representation and Responsiveness of Governments | Political Inequality | Trust and Legitimacy

The following is a summary of various research projects currently underway at the Chair in Empirical Democracy Research.

Unequal mandate responsiveness? (UNEQUALMAND)

  • Third-party funding by the German Research Foundation (DFG) and the Agence nationale de le recherche (ANR)
  • Project leaders: Dr. Elisa Deiss-Helbig, Dr. Isabelle Guinaudeau, JProf. Dr. Theres Matthieß
  • Funding volume: 509,119 Euros
  • Project duration: 2022-2025

Summary: The UNEQUALMAND project investigates political (in)equality with regard to group representation and the implementation of electoral promises in Germany and France. The project focuses on both the supply and demand side of political competition. How do electoral programs and implemented policies appeal to groups with different characteristics? How and under what conditions do citizens respond to group-specific electoral promises (prospectively) and their fulfillment (retrospectively)? These questions are addressed using an innovative research design that combines campaign promise data, surveys, experimental designs, and case-specific research. The project is based at the University of Trier, University of Stuttgart, and Sciences Po.

Group targeting in election pledges (GROUPTA)

Abstract: GROUPTA investigates under which conditions citizens support political offers in the form of election promises (prospectively) and how they react to the fulfillment (and rupture) of election promises (retrospectively). The focus is on the question of how certain social groups are addressed by election promises and whether the evaluation of election promises depends on whether voters are personally affected or whether they perceive the respective group as " worthy".

Fulfilling Coalition Promises in Germany

  • Funded by the Bertelsmann Foundation
  • Scientific direction: JProf. Dr. Theres Matthieß
  • Cooperation partner: Dr. Robert Vehrkamp
  • Project duration: since 2017
  • Website:

Summary: The project monitors the performance of the German federal government in terms of fulfilling its coalition promises since 2013. The study is conducted in cooperation with the Bertelsmann Stiftung.