The Political Consequences of the Great Recession
The global financial crisis ushered in a period of economic instability, which heightened distributive conflicts and increased the salience of many economic policies. Still, the political consequences of the crisis differed across countries and political contexts. I was a member of the ERC-funded research project POLCON which was led by Hanspeter Kriesi and which studied the different political consequences of the Great Recession. The project combined a comparative-static analysis of 30 European countries with a dynamic analysis of political conflict in 12 countries. For this purpose, we studied both elections and political protest in the shadow of the Great Recession and analyzed the issue-specific public interaction between both political arenas. The key question that the project addressed was whether the Great Recession changed the long-term trends of political conflict in Europe. For this purpose, we utilized survey data as well as original content analysis of protest events, election campaigns, and issue-specific public contestations.
As part of this project, my research examined how the Great Recession influenced political competition in Europe. For example, I was responsible for analyzing the consequences of the economic crisis on electoral and protest politics in 30 European countries, focusing on the interactions between the two political arenas. This research, conducted jointly with Swen Hutter and Hanspeter Kriesi, highlights that the Great Recession destabilized the European party system and that this dynamic was reinforced by feedback effects between protest and electoral politics. To better understand these consequences, I also zoomed in and studied the political consequences of the most contested economic policies during the crisis: austerity and structural reforms. My research co-authored with Abel Bojar, Hanspeter Kriesi, and Chendi Wang shows that, on average, austerity packages hurt the popularity of incumbent parties. Yet, this effect was highly contingent on the economic and political context: in instances of rising unemployment, the involvement of external creditors, and high protest intensity, the cumulative impact of austerity on government popularity was especially high.
- “Who still likes social democracy? The support base of social democratic parties reconsidered” (with Line Rennwald). Party Politics 29(4):741-754, 2023.
- “The effect of austerity packages on government popularity during the Great Recession” (with Abel Bojar, Hanspeter Kriesi and Chendi Wang). British Journal of Political Science 52(1):181-199, 2022.
- “Dynamics of protest and electoral politics in the Great Recession” (with Swen Hutter, and Hanspeter Kriesi). European Journal of Political Research 59(4):842-866, 2020.
- “The electoral consequences of centrist policies: Fiscal consolidations and the fate of social democratic parties.” In Silja Häusermann and Herbert Kitschelt (eds.), Beyond Social Democracy: The Transformation of the Left in Emerging Knowledge Societies. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, forthcoming.
- “Electoral punishment and protest politics in times of crisis” (with Swen Hutter and Hanspeter Kriesi). In Hanspeter Kriesi, Jasmine Lorenzini, Bruno Wüest, and Silja Häusermann (eds.), Contention in Times of Crises: Comparing Political Protest in 30 European Countries, 2000-2015. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2020.
- “The restructuring of British and German party politics in times of crisis” (with Julia Schulte-Cloos). In Hutter, Swen and Hanspeter Kriesi (eds.), European Party Politics in Times of Crisis. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2019.
- “From boom to bust: A comparative analysis of Greece and Spain under austerity” (with Guillem Vidal). In Doxiadis, Evdoxios and Aimee Placas (eds.). Living Under Austerity: Greek Society in Crisis. New York: Berghahn Books, 2018.