Theories of the Policy Process, 5th edition

The fifth edition of the state-of-the-art volume “Theories of the Policy Process”, edited by Christopher M. Weible, has just come out with Routledge. It includes a chapter by Nicole Herweg, Nikolaos Zahariadis and Reimut Zohlnhöfer that brings you up-to-date with all the latest developments regarding the Multiple Streams Framework.


Division of Labour and Dissenting Voting Behaviour of MPs in a ‘Working Parliament’

A new article by Philipp Mai, published in European Political Science Review, shows that Members of Parliament (MPs) vote less frequently against the party line if topics are concerned which they deal with during their committee work. This effect is further conditioned by spokesperson offices, vote type and issue salience. Read more here. [Link]


How to measure partisan differences in quantitative analyses?

In a new paper that just came out with Zeitschrift für Vergleichende Politikwissenschaft/German Journal of Comparative Politics, Reimut Zohlnhöfer challenges the idea that using governing parties’ policy positions is necessarily desirable in quantitative analyses of partisan differences in public policies. Rather, for some research questions parties’ affiliation with certain party families is the preferable solution. Do you want to know why? Find open access the paper here.


Handbuch Policy-Forschung 2nd edition out now

The German language Handbuch Policy-Forschung (Handbook on Public Policy Research), co-edited by Reimut Zohlnhöfer with Georg Wenzelburger, is out now in print and online with Springer. In 33 chapters, leading experts provide up-to-date insights into the latest research of the field on theories, methods and issue areas. The second edition is not only substantially updated but also contains six new chapters!


New Monograph out on Fridays for Future and Corona Non-Compliance

Together with Peter Kirsch (psychology) and Hanno Kube (public law) Reimut Zohlnhöfer has written a book on who breaks rules to gain attention for their political concerns. Using the cases of Fridays for Future and Corona Non-Compliance in Germany as examples, they show that these groups differ tremendously with regard to many factors. You can find the German language book here – and the English version here


New article on the role of party socialization for legislative behavior

In a new article published in Legislative Studies Quarterly, Philipp Mai and Georg Wenzelburger show that Members of Parliament (MPs) who did not hold party offices at the local or regional level prior to their first election into parliament have a significantly higher probability to vote against the party line. In addition, this no-‘Ochsentour’ effect is largest for newly elected MPs and vanishes the longer MPs stay in parliament. Read more here


New Edited Volume: Merkel’s last act

Together with Fabian Engler, Reimut Zohlnhöfer has edited a book on the fourth and final term of Angela Merkel as German chancellor. Experts mostly from political science take stock of the politics and policies of the years between 2018 and 2021, from coalition management to electoral competition and from environmental policy to health and law and order. If you want to take a look, you’ll find the online version here. As to a condensed English version? We’re working on something!


How to apply the MSF

In a recent chapter, Reimut Zohlnhöfer, Nicole Herweg and Nikolaos Zahariadis discuss how the Multiple Streams Framework should be applied in case studies and large-N studies. Hopefully, they provide some helpful methodological advice for future studies applying the framework. Check out the book on “Methods of the Policy Process” here.


How to apply the MSF to autocracies

In a conceptual paper that just came out in PVS/German Political Science Quarterly, Nicole Herweg, Nikos Zahariadis and Reimut Zohlnhöfer discuss if and how the Multiple Streams Framework can be applied to non-democratic political systems. The main conclusion is that the MSF should be applicable to explain agenda setting and policy-making in autocracies. How? Check out the paper here – open access.


New Article in the BJIR

In a new article that has recently been published in the British Journal of Industrial Relations, Linda Degen and Fabian Engler study the effect of labour unions on welfare state policy-making. At the micro-level, they show that union members favour generous social policies more strongly than non-members and that this effect is the strongest for programmes that are closely related to the labour market. At the macro-level, they find that unions have a conditional effect on left parties, pushing them towards more generous labour market-related (but not towards less-labour market-related) policies. Read more here


New paper in EPSR: How unemployment conditions the partisan politics of employment protection

A new paper by Reimut Zohlnhöfer and Linda Voigt just came out in the European Political Science Review. We show that after the golden age, the level of unemployment conditions partisan differences. Christian democrats liberalise EPL for regular employment significantly less than other parties under high levels of unemployment. In contrast, Social democrats defend high levels of EPL for regular and temporary employment when unemployment is low. Against expectations, they even liberalise employment protection for labor market insiders more than other parties at very high levels of unemployment. For more information, see here


PACOGOV data updated

We have updated the Partisan Composition of Governments Database (PACOGOV) for the year 2020. It now covers 24 advanced democracies for the 1945-2020 time period. You’ll find it here.


New paper on the partisan politics of employment protection

In a paper that just came out in the Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science, Linda Voigt and Reimut Zohlnhöfer explore if electoral competition conditions partisan politics in employment protection legislation. They look at various ways electoral competition could affect the partisan politics of welfare regulation, but find that party competition does not seem to be a major factor. Find out more here.


New Paper: Do School Strikes Matter for Political Agenda Setting?

Judith Raisch and Reimut Zohlnhöfer explore this question in a paper that just came out in the Zeitschrift für Parlamentsfragen. They have analyzed 78,000 Twitter tweets of 89 Members of the German Bundestag from all seven parties represented in parliament. They find that MPs of all parties paid more attention to climate issues after the school strikes began. Moreover, and in line with the expectations of the issue ownership literature, MPs for the Greens and the Left Party referred more often to the FFF movement in their tweets than members of the AfD, FDP, CDU, and CSU. Similarly, Green and Left MPs’ tweets about the FFF movement were more positive, encouraged followers to support the movement more often, and shared the FFF movement’s criticism of the government’s climate policy more frequently than members of the latter parties. The tweets of SPD MPs resembled those of Green and Left MPs.


Data on Partisan Composition of Governments now available

The Partisan Composition of Governments Database (PACOGOV) is now available on my website. You’ll find it here.
This dataset, originally started by Prof. Manfred Schmidt and now updated by Caroline Trocka and Reimut Zohlnhöfer, provides data on the partisan composition of governments in 24 advanced democracies for the 1945-2019 time period. The dataset distinguishes between eleven party families (plus independents) and is thus more fine-grained than other available sources.


Best JCPA Article Award!

Keonhi Son and Reimut Zohlnhöfer’s article: “Measuring Privatization: Comparing Five Indicators of the Disposition of State-Owned Enterprises in Advanced Democracies”, published in Volume 21:4 of the Journal of Comparative Policy Analysis, was chosen to receive the Annual JCPA Best Article Award for 2020.


What do Germans think about Corona restrictions?

Together with Peter Kirsch (psychology) and Hanno Kube (law), Reimut Zohlnhöfer has fielded a representative survey of the German population on what people think about the Corona restrictions, whether they complied and whether they have installed the Corona warning app or if they would eventually be willing to get vaccinated. For a summary of the first results, click here. You’ll find a slightly more extensive German version here.


Why do parties make a difference? New paper in Party Politics

The question of whether political parties make a systematic difference in terms of public policies is one of the classics of comparative public policy research. While several recent studies have called for an “electoral turn” in partisan theory and suggest establishing a party–voter link on the micro level, Georg Wenzelburger and Reimut Zohlnhöfer, in a paper that just came out in Party Politics, propose a different view on partisan effects. While we do not argue that public opinion is unimportant for parties, we maintain that political actors both at the party member and the elite level do have preferences of their own which may be instrumental for the policies parties pursue. Read more here


Paper on Citizens’ Policy Knowledge

In a new paper that just came out in European Policy Analysis Carsten Jensen (Aarhus) and Reimut Zohlnhöfer investigate citizens’ knowledge about the welfare state in Denmark and Germany in comparative perspective. Employing a survey on political science students – a population that is particularly likely to be interested in and knowledgeable about politics – we find a mixed picture in the sense that policy knowledge in a few specific issues is high, but typically, when the issue has been salient in the public. Overall, policy knowledge is low.



Archiv: Aktuelles/News und Publikationen/Publications


Marsilius Fellowship for Reimut Zohlnhöfer


Pierson’s „Dismantling the Welfare State?“ After 25 Years


Fabian Engler has completed his dissertation project and has been awarded Dr. rer. pol. by the University of Bremen.


Research project on „The Transformation of Economic Intervention in Advanced Democracies” funded by German Research Foundation


Best Teaching Award 2019


New Article in JEPP

Special Issue on the third Merkel government published.

Edited volume on the third Merkel Government


New Paper in Political Behavior


New Article in Socio-Economic Review


Section on Policy Process Theories at ECPR General Conference in Hamburg 2018


Theories of the Policy Process (4th edition)


New Book on European Union Policy-Making


Literature Review on the Interventionist State in the British Journal of Political Science


New Article on Political Parties and MPs‘ Morality Policy Voting Behaviour


New edited volume on the Multiple Streams Framework


New Paper on Multiple Streams Framework and German Labor Market Reforms published in Policy Studies Journal


EJPR Forum Section on Multiple Streams Framework


Handbuch Policy-Forschung erschienen


Politik im Zeichen der Krise – Bilanzen der zweiten Regierung Merkel


Developments in German Politics 4 erschienen


„Große Koalitionen besser als ihr Ruf“


Symposium zur Validität von Lohnersatzraten in JEPP


Fritz Thyssen Preis für sozialwissenschaftliche Aufsätze


Neuer Aufsatz zu Privatisierungspolitik in Comparative Political Studies


Artikel „Parteien und die Generosität der Altersrenten in Zeiten permanenter Austerität“ausgezeichnet!


Neues Forschungsprojekt: Political Expectations and Responsibility Attribution


Was haben die Föderalismusreformen gebracht?



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