Comparative Politics


Prof. Dr. Aurel Croissant




Aurel Croissant’s main research interests include the comparative analysis of democracies and autocracies, the role of the military in politics, party systems, and civil society as well as the relationship between political violence and political order. His empirical research focuses on Asia-Pacific. These foci are reflected in his ongoing research projects: two projects funded by the DFG — “Democratic Transformation and Civilian Control of the Military” and “Dictator's Endgame” — and two projects funded by the FoF4 at Heidelberg University — “Self-Regulation in the Context of Electoral Authoritarian Rule” and “Regime comparison and processes of Diffusion”. Together with Olli Hellmann (Sussex University) he organizes a series of workshops on elections, stateness, and regime types which have led to several publications. Aurel Croissant is head of the scientific board of the Bertelsmann Transformation Index. Together with David Kuehn (Heidelberg University) he is currently working on a book on civilian control and democratization from an internationally comparative perspective as well as an edited volume on military effectiveness and control. He is also co-editing an edited volume on democracy, dictatorship and justice (in German) together with Sascha Kneip and Alex Petring (WZB Berlin).


International Relations and Foreign Policy

Harnisch KleinProf. Dr. Sebastian Harnisch




The chair’s main areas of focus in research and teaching comparative foreign policy research, in particular German and American foreign and security policy (with a special focus on cybersecurity), international relations theories, international environmental policy, and non-proliferation of weapons of mass destruction.

Recent research projects include “Policy Performance of Autocratic and Democratic Regimes” (doctoral research group funded through the Graduate Academy Baden-Württemberg), “Cybersecurity and Role Change - A Role Theoretical Discourse Analysis of International Internet Governance in the Light of the NSA Scandal” (Frontier), “Anonymity on the Internet and Its Effects on the Expressions in the Political Discourse on the Example of State Elections in Baden-Württemberg in 2016”, and “Cyberspace(s) and Netizens – The Regulation of Virtual Spaces and Self-regulation of Netizens between the Promise of Transnational Freedom and Informational Heteronomy” (together with W. Schünemann, S. Artmann, S. Steiger, and J. Rummel).

These research projects have been complemented by numerous conference and publication projects, such as “Transatlantic Relations and Crisis Management” (together with C. Thies and G. Friedrichs), “Foreign Policy Analysis and Public Policy” (together with D. Panke, K. Oppermann and K. Brummer), and “Security Political Dynamics in Asia” (together with N. Godehardt and M. Hansel).


Modern Political Theory

Haus Klein

Prof. Dr. Michael Haus


In his research, Michael Haus primarily addresses the normative foundations of politics and society, especially questions of social justice. He is particularly interested in theoretical alternatives to liberal and deliberative mainstream approaches, such as neo-Aristotelian and radical democratic views. Michael Haus’ is furthermore interested in transformative processes of governance, particularly concerning the question of how these processes are related to discourses of reform and modernization and whether they widen or constrain opportunities for democratizing politics. Michael Haus’ research also deals with urban politics and cities. He regards cities as distinct spaces for social life and politics and consequently underscores the importance of a better understanding of their distinctiveness and significance for democracy and governance. Novel methodological approaches are of utmost importance in order to obtain such an understanding


Political Science


Prof. Dr. Jale Tosun

Professor Tosun’s teaching and research interests focus on the comparative analysis of regulation of the environment, energy, climate change, and sustainability. She is also interested in distributional conflicts within the European Union and the EUs influence on regulation in third-party states. She coordinates the EU funded collaborative project CUPESSE (Project Number 623257; which examines the causes and consequences of youth unemployment in Europe. She is also a PI in the Eff-Net project within the Baden-Württemberg Water Research Network.


Political Science, Comparative Analysis of Political Systems


Prof. Dr. Reimut Zohlnhöfer



Reimut Zohlnhöfer’s research focuses on comparative public policy, political economy, party research as well as the analysis of political processes and policies in Germany. One current research project deals with the retreat of government intervention in the economy in advanced democracies, which is reflected in processes of liberalization and privatization, falling business tax rates, and budget consolidation. Another project (in cooperation with Raanan Sulitzeanu-Kenan from the Hebrew University, Jerusalem) experimentally investigates the relationship between political expectations and attribution of blame for policy failures. A third research projects aims at theoretically refining and improving the empirical applicability of the Multiple Streams Framework in comparative policy research. Preliminary results from these projects are published in leading international journals like Comparative Political Studies, the European Journal of Political Research, and the Policy Studies Journal. In addition, Prof. Zohlnhöfer is the co-editor of a series of books that analyzes the politics and policies of individual German governments shortly after the respective parliamentary terms have expired.


Assistant Professorship for Empirical-Analytical Participation Research


Jun.-Prof. Dr. Kathrin Ackermann

Kathrin Ackermann´s research and teaching focuses on various aspects of Empirical Democracy Research and relates to the fields of Comparative Politics, Political Behavior and Public Opinion Research. She draws on theories and approaches from Political Psychology and Political Sociology and applies quantitative methods. Current research interests include the following topics: (1) rural-urban divides in politics, (2) the role of social change in shaping political and social participation as well as political attitudes and attitudes to democracy, (3) psychology and politics and (4) survey research. Kathrin Ackermann also serves as spokesperson on the working group "Elections and Public Opinion" within the German Political Science Association (DVPW).
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