Research

Currently I am working on a number of (joint) projects on parliamentary behaviour in Western Europe, voting advice applications, polls and elections and the policy positions of political parties. My research can be subdivided into the following subjects.


1. Parliament: rules and behaviour
The digital publication of parliamentary data has provided a great incentive for the study of parliamentary behaviour. My current work focuses on the Netherlands and Belgium; in the coming years I intend to broaden the comparative scope of my studies. The main questions that I focus on are those of patterns of parliamentary (voting) behaviour, particularly with regard to party unity and the government-opposition division in parliament. In addition, I am interested in the concept of (positive and negative) parliamentarism as well as the government formation process.

Current projects 

Completed work 

2. Opinion polls and elections
Opinion polls are an increasingly central part of election campaigns. My work focuses on the aggregation of opinion polls in Ireland and the Netherlands as well as the explanations of party support and effects of opinion polls.

Current projects
  • Pooling Opinion Polls in the Netherlands
  • Explaining Government Support Throughout the Legislative Cycle: A Comparative Analysis (with Stefan Müller)

Completed work

3. Voting Advice Applications 
Voting Advice Applications have gained a large popular audience over the last decades, but their design has not been studied very elaborately. These tools ask voters for their opinion on a number of salient issues in an election and then present the ‘best match’ between the user’s preferences and the policy preferences of the political parties in a country. In a number of projects, together with different colleagues I have begun to unravel these issues of VAA design. The main question of these studies is: how can we be sure that these tools provide voters with good advice?


Completed work


4. Political Representation: Linking Citizens and Representatives
The policy link between voters and politicians has been a central issue in politics for quite some time. My work focuses on the quality of this policy link: are representatives doing what people want?

Current projects
  • ‘Between mandate and responsiveness: how electoral uncertainty affects political representation’ (supported by Trinity College Arts and Social Sciences Benefactions Fund 2013-2014)
Completed work