KUREP's Current Research Projects

My research focuses on the capacity of western democracies to channel the preferences of citizens into institutions. I have carved out four links of inquiry that reflect this interest.

1.  Party Competition in Europe

The project is a joint collaboration between Robert Rohrschneider (The University of Kansas, Lawrence) and Stephen Whitefield (Oxford University, England). It examines the way political parties in Western and Central-Eastern Europe offer choices to voters, define programs, and channel the preferences of citizens into the political process; and what influences the capacity of parties to represent citizens.

We completed a book, entitled: The Strain of Representation. How Parties Represent Diverse Voters in Western and Eastern Europe, which was published in the fall of 2012.

We subsequently completed another expert survey in 27 countries that measure the positions of parties on the same set of issues throughout 2013. This new project studies the effect of the economic crisis on the quality of representation 2008-2013 and forms the basis for new publications.

Sample Papers
"Critical Parties. How Parties Evaluate the Performance of Democracies." British Journal of Political Science, forthcoming.

“Responding to Growing EU-skepticism? The Stances of Political Parties Towards European Integration in Western and Eastern Europe Following the Financial Crisis,” European Union Politics, March 2016 (17, 1): 138-161.

“The Salience of European Integration to Party Competition: Western and Eastern Europe Compared.” East European Politics and Society February 2015 (29:1): 12-39 (with Stephen Whitefield).

"Institutional Context and Representational Strain in Party-Voter Agreement in Western and Eastern Europe." West European Politics, December 2012 (35: 6): 1320-1340 (with Stephen Whitefield).

"Understanding Divisions in Party Systems: Issue Position and Issue Salience in 13 Post-Communist Democracies." Comparative Political Studies, 2009 (42,2): 280-313 (with Stephen Whitefield).


2. The Democracy Deficit in the European Union

How do Europeans evaluate their national regime and the European Union? How did the European parliamentary elections reflect the preferences of European publics? How well does representation through parties and elections work?

Sample Publications

Handbook of Representation. Together with Jacques Thomassen (University of Twente), the handbook brings together nearly 40 authors to assess the quality of democratic representation in advanced democracies. (Under contract at Oxford University Press).

Co-editor, special symposium. The 2014 European Parliamentary ElectionsElectoral Studies 2016 (44): 465-551 (with Hermann Schmitt).

"The Multiple Basis of Democratic Support: Procedural Representation and Governmental Outputs," in Elections and Democracy: Representation and Accountability, edited by Jacques A. Thomassen. Oxford: Oxford University Press 2014: 181-200 (with Mark Peffley).

"Macro-Salience: How Economic and Political Contexts Mediate Popular Evaluations of the Democracy Deficit in the European Union." Journal of Politics, 2010 (72,4): 1029-1045 (with Matthew Loveless).

"Second-Order Elections versus First-Order Thinking: How Voters Perceive the Representation Process in a Multi-Layered System of Governance." Journal of European Integration, 2009 (31,5): 645-664 (with Nick Clark).


3. German Politics

How do East and West Germans get along after unification in 1989? What were the reseasons for the 2013 federal election results in Germany? A special symposium to be published in German Politics in 2017 brought together a number of leading German Politics experts to examine the reasons for the election results.

Sample Papers

Co-editor, special symposium. The 2013 Federal ElectionGerman Politics 2017 (January) (with Rüdiger Schmitt-Beck).

“Party Positions about European Integration in Germany: An Electoral Quandary?” German Politics (with Stephen Whitefield).

“Is there a Regional Cleavage in Germany’s Party System? Ideological Congruence in Germany 1980-2013.” German Politics 2015 (24, 3): 354-376. 

"Short-Term Factors Versus Long-Term Values: Explaining the 2009 Election Results," Electoral Studies, March 2012 (31,1): 20-34 (with Rüdiger Schmitt-Beck and Franziska Jung).


4. Environmental Politics

How do people evaluate the state of the environment? Has the economic crisis weakened the commitment of citizens and policy-makers to protect the environment?

Sample Papers:

Co-editor, Environmental Concerns During a Time of Duress.  Environmental Politics July 2015 (24:4) (with Russell J. Dalton). 

“Representation through Parties? Environmental Attitudes and Party Stances in Europe in 2013.” Environmental Politics July 2015 (24, 4): 617-640 (with Matthew R. Miles).

“The Structure and Sources of Global Environmental Attitudes,” in Russell J. Dalton and Christian Welzel. The Civic Culture Transformed: From Allegiant to Assertive Citizenship. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press 2014: 193-212 (with Mark Peffley and Matt Miles).