ELITE PERCEPTIONS OF PUBLIC OPINION (2017-2021)
How do politicians form an opinion about public opinion? And do these differences lead to different perceptions of public opinion? In this project financed by the Swiss National Science Foundation together with Prof. Frédéric Varone I investigate the perceptual link between politicians and their constituents. To this end, we conduct surveys with a representative sample of the Swiss population and active Swiss politicians on the national and regional (Geneva and Berne) level.
We are currently in the process of collecting the data. We expect first results and conference papers in 2019.
HOW POLITICS BECOMES NEWS AND NEWS BECOMES POLITICS (2011-2016)
The relationship between the media and politics is close and often characterized by tensions. Politicians often are accused of being led by short-lived media cycles in their actions, thereby losing sight of broader societal interests. At the same time, the media are accused of primarily seeking out conflicts and sensational news which is detrimental to both politics and society.
The book reports on an empirical test of these claims based on unique data from experimental studies with elected politicians and political journalists in Switzerland and the Netherlands. What media reports trigger politicians to take parliamentary action? And how and when do messages from political parties get picked up by journalists? The answers to these two questions presented in the first part of the book provide the basis for a unique direct comparison of the selection mechanisms politicians and journalists apply in the final part of the book.
The studies were part of my PhD project conducted under the supervision of Prof. Rudy Andeweg (Leiden University) and Prof. Peter Van Aelst (Antwerp University) and supported by a grant by the Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research.
- News item in Leidsch Dagblad, the Leiden newspaper [Dutch | paywall]
- News item in Mare, University newspaper Leiden University [Dutch]
- Item on the website of Leiden University [Dutch]
- News item on Villa Media, website about journalism [Dutch]
- Press release Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research [Dutch]
- Podcast about the findings from the study with political journalists [English]