My research concentrates on the chances and risks for democracy in an increasingly interconnected world. Thematically, I focus primarily on the democratic quality of transgovernmental networks, citizens' preferences regarding legitimate procedures of international politics, the effectiveness of EU accession conditionality, and the political effects of International and Communication Technologies in authoritarian developing countries. I am member of the Leibniz-funded [»] research network "External Democracy Promotion" [»].

Ongoing projects

[1] 2013-2017. Swiss National Science Foundation (SNF), NCCR Democracy, "Democratic Governance in and through Transgovernmental Networks" (CHF 315.000), Principal Investigator with Sandra Lavenex (University of Geneva). [»]
While research into transgovernmentalism has hitherto mainly focused on the effectiveness of this inter-administrative cooperation in terms of political problem-solving, this project studies whether (a) this kind of cross-border rule-making poses a challenge to democracy, or (b) whether it contributes to greater democratic governance and legitimacy in global politics. The project tackles these questions not just by analyzing EU and global transgovernmental networks in isolation but also by studying both citizens’ perception of them and their representation in the media. In doing so, the project intends to reach a more profound understanding of the democratic quality and challenges of such rather novel forms of political cooperation.

[2] 2016-2018. Swiss Network for International Studies (SNIS), "Telecommunications Politics in Authoritarian Developing Countries" (CHF 251.878), Principal Investigator. [»]
The increasing spread of Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) is commonly seen as contributing to sustainable development worldwide. Leading academics, global organisations, and industry analysts agree that there is a direct correlation between the use of ICT and sustainable macroeconomic growth as well as prospects for democracy. This project analyses telecommunication and media politics in authoritarian developing countries, with a focus on the influence of foreign investment. It argues that the way in which ICT is domestically managed determines their potential to contribute to sustainable development, notably economic growth and democratic governance, - or not.