My research lies at the intersection of comparative politics and political behavior. At the broadest level, I endeavor to understand how different social and political contexts shape actors’ identities and to delineate the behavioral implications of such processes. The rationale behind my theoretical and empirical inquiries aligns with the notion that identity is dynamic rather than fixed. Accordingly, the premise of my analytical approach is that identity and behavior are mutually-constitutive and their interplay is context-dependent. Hence, my broad research agenda is to identify, trace, and unravel the core elements of different identification processes, their concomitant manifestations and political implications – all these in the European context. To this end I employ a variety of quantitative and qualitative methods such as survey analysis and statistical inference, as well as discourse and automatic text analysis.
My current research agenda concerns the politics of populism in Europe. The objective is to demonstrate that, as of 40 years ago or even earlier, a discrepancy emerged, and has since steadily increased, between the “supply” of parties, on the one hand, and public preferences and demand for such parties, on the other. I call this chasm “representation gap,” and explain it based on a theory of political vacuum, proposed and developed by my colleagues and myself. In this perspective, the success of populist parties in Europe is contingent on the size of this representation gap.