Prof. Dr. Reimut Zohlnhöfer
Welcome to Reimut Zohlnhöfer‘s homepage.
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.
Marsilius Fellowship for Reimut Zohlnhöfer
Reimut Zohlnhöfer was awarded a Marsilius Fellowship for 2020/21. He will work on an interdisciplinary project about societal compliance in times of polarization with Prof. Peter Kirsch (psychology) and Prof. Hanno Kube (Law).
Pierson’s „Dismantling the Welfare State?“ After 25 Years
Dismantling the Welfare State?, published 25 years ago, is a modern classic in the welfare state literature. Is there still something we can learn from Paul Pierson’s seminal book? Carsten Jensen, Georg Wenzelburger and Reimut Zohlnhöfer, in a new paper that just came out in the Journal of European Social Policy, suggest that the book indeed is worth a re-read. Check out more here.
Fabian Engler has completed his dissertation project, titled ‘Political Parties and Public Policies between Ideology and Voter Preferences’, 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
The German Research Foundation (DFG) will fund Reimut Zohlnhöfer’s research project on „The Transformation of Economic Intervention in Advanced Democracies” for the next three years. For more information, click here
Reimut Zohlnhöfer was awarded the Best Teaching Award 2019 at the Institute of Political Science - again!
Special Issue on the third Merkel government published.
A special issue on the politics and policies or the third government under Angela Merkel (2013-2017), edited by Reimut Zohlnhöfer and Thomas Saalfeld, has just come out. Check it out here.
New Article in JEPP
A new paper by Fabian Engler and Reimut Zohlnhöfer that has just been publishd in the Journal of European Public Policy investigates the effects of the recent changes in left parties’ voter base, from predominantly working-class to middle-class voters. According to classic partisan theory these changes should have resulted in changing policy positions and policy effects of left parties. We test this expectation for economic policies (i.e. subsidies, product market regulation, and privatization) in 16 European countries between 1980 and 2012. We find the expected relationships for subsidies but not for regulation and privatization. This can be explained by the fact that only with regard to subsidies, preferences substantially differ between the working- and the middle-class. Thus, economic policy preferences of voters of left parties diverge less than could be expected. Methodologically, the study suggests that empirically testing the complete causal mechanism of classic partisan theory, assessing voters’ preferences and investigating more than one issue area, are promising ways to study partisan effects on public policies. Find the article here.
Edited volume on the third Merkel Government
Together with Prof. Thomas Saalfeld (Bamberg University), Reimut Zohlnhöfer has edited a volume that takes stock of the policies and politics of the most recent German government, the Grand coalition under Chancellor Angela Merkel (2013-2017). The 27 German language chapters analyze all relevant policies from migration to fiscal policy and from the welfare state to European integration. Moreover, in other chapters, party strategies, electoral competition, interest groups, the Federal Constitutional Court, political leadership and coalition governance are investigated. The book is already published electronically with SpingerLink and will be available as a hard copy very soon. Moreover, for English language readers, some of the chapters will be included in a special issue of the journal German Politics. Some of these papers are also already available at the journal’s homepage.
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