The Munich School of Public Policy (HfP) at the Technical University of Munich (TUM) and the corresponding Department Governance at the TUM School of Social Sciences and Technology make a central contribution to the preservation of the free state and social order with their excellent research. In research, teaching and practice, they deal with the multifaceted interactions of politics, society, economy and technology. The researchers at the HfP and the Department Gopvernance contribute to this at the highest international level both through basic research in political and social sciences and through application-oriented research. Special interest is given to inter- and transdisciplinary research as well as joint research projects with colleagues from the technical-scientific-medical subjects at TUM.

Below you will find an overview of the latest publications from research at the HfP and the Department Governance. Further information on current and completed research projects can be found on the websites of the individual professorships.

Janina I Steinert, David Atika Nyarige, Milan Jacobi, Jana Kuhnt, and Lennart Kaplan, "A Systematic Review on Ethical Challenges of 'Field' Research in Low- and Middle-Income Countries: Respect, Justice, and Beneficence for Research Staff?" BMJ Global Health vol6 no7 (July 2021).

Introduction: Primary data collection in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs) is associated with a range of ethical complexities. Considerations on how to adequately ensure the wellbeing of research staff are largely neglected in contemporary ethics discourse. This systematic review aims to identify the ethical challenges that research staff across different hierarchical levels and scientific disciplines face when conducting research in LMICs.

Methods: We searched 13 electronic databases and hand-searched publications in six selected journals as well as the reference lists of all included studies. No restrictions were applied with respect to the publication date, research design, and target population. The study protocol is registered with PROSPERO CRD42019131013.

Results: 23,151 studies were retrieved, 183 of which met our inclusion criteria. We identified nine different types of ethical challenges that research staff may be exposed to during field research, including (i) role conflicts that can emerge from participants’ help requests and the high level of deprivation found in certain study settings, (ii) feelings of guilt, and (iii) detrimental mental health impacts. Further challenges were (iv) sexual harassment (v) safety risks, and (vi) political repression, particularly in post-conflict, disaster-ridden or autocratic study contexts. Additionally, studies reported (vii) inadequate working conditions and (viii) power imbalances within research teams, while (ix) ethics boards were found to be ill-equipped to anticipate and address emerging risks, thus increasing the ethical liability of researchers.

Conclusion: This review revealed several complex ethical challenges that research staff may face during data collection. In order to achieve the Sustainable Development Goal 8.8 on "safe and secure working environments" and to protect research staff from harm, amendments must urgently be made to current ethical standards.


Charlotte Franziska Unruh, "The Strings Attached to Bringing Future Generations Into Existence." Journal of Applied Philosophy, 2021 (forthcoming).

Many people believe that we have moral duties towards those we bring into existence in the short term: our children. Many people also believe that we have moral duties towards those we bring into existence in the long term: future generations. In this paper, I explore how these beliefs are connected. I argue that the present generation is morally responsible for future generations, in virtue of bringing them into existence. This responsibility entails moral duties to ensure that future people have adequate life prospects. These duties are held directly towards future generations. I argue that this direct argument can overcome challenges that indirect arguments, which justify moral duties towards future generations via moral duties towards present children, face. The upshot is that considerations from procreative ethics help to illustrate that the present generation stands in a morally relevant special relationship to future generations, a fact that is often overlooked in intergenerational ethics.


Blog post on „Justice Everywhere“:

Amy Pond, "Biased Politicians and Independent Agencies." Journal of Theoretical Politics, 2021 (forthcoming).

Some agencies derive legitimacy from their political independence: for example, political meddling in monetary policy is problematic, as politicians favor short-term electoral goals over long-term economic stability. Nevertheless, the process of agency reform, even for agencies that are thought to be independent, is seldom onerous and often follows standard legislative procedures. Furthermore, citizens frequently lack expertise to hold policymakers accountable for new bureaucratic policies. Why then do politicians abstain from exercising influence through agency reform? This article delineates an informational cost to agency reform. In issue areas where politicians are frequently biased and citizens cannot perfectly observe the quality of agency reforms, citizens assume that reforms serve the politicians’ self-interest and punish politicians for any reform at all. Agency independence then comes more from informational challenges than from institutional design. This article develops a formal model to explain when agencies are reformed and when they retain their independence.


Nicki Weber and Simon Faets, "Achille Mbembe: Postkoloniale Konstellationen moderner Demokratien. " In Demokratietheorien. Von der Antike bis zur Gegenwart, Hubertus Buchstein, Kerstin Pohl, and Rieke Trimҫev (eds), Schwalbach am Taunus: Wochenschau Verlag, 2021 (forthcoming): 333-343.


Das Standardwerk „Demokratietheorien. Von der Antike bis zur Gegenwart“ stellt zentrale Demokratietheorien vor. Die 10. vollständig überarbeitete Auflage erscheint 2021 mit einem Beitrag von Nicki K. Weber (Hochschule für Politik München) und Simon Faets (Akademie für politische Bildung Tutzing) über demokratietheoretische Ansätze im Werk des kamerunischen Historikers und Politikwissenschaflters Achille Mbembe. Ausgehend von ausgewählten Textabschnitten aus der Politik der Feindschaft (2017) wird im Kapitel Achille Mbembe. Postkoloniale Konstellationen moderner Demokratien aufgezeigt, wie er die Kontinuität kolonialer Herrschaftsverhältnisse offenlegt, indem die Janusköpfigkeit liberaler Demokratie u. a. innerhalb des Begriffs der Gewalt offenbart. So zeigt Mbembe auf wie die demokratische Entwicklung westlicher Gesellschaften von der Externalisierung politischer und sozialer Gewalt – in Imperialismus und Kolonialismus – profitierte und wie diese Gewalt in der Folge auch den inneren Zusammenhalt dieser Gesellschaften bedroht – bis heute. So war beispielsweise die Gleichheit der Menschen vor Gott auf der normativen Ebene bereits in der US-amerikanischen Unabhängigkeitserklärung von 1776 festgeschrieben, während Sklaverei, Zwangsarbeit und schließlich die Rassentrennung eine Gemeinschaft der Gleichen verhinderten.


Robert A. Huber, Kacper Szulecki, Tomas Maltby, and Stefan Ćetković, "Is populism a challenge to European energy and climate policy? Empirical evidence across varieties of populism," Journal of European Public Policy, 2021 (forthcoming).


Despite the burgeoning literature, evidence on how right-wing populists frame and act on energy and climate issues is limited and even more scarce for other types of populist parties. We address this gap by exploring the policy discourses, positions and actions of six European populist parties from Austria, Czechia, Greece, Italy, Poland and Spain belonging to different types of populism. We argue that there is substantial and largely neglected variation among different populist parties in their approach to and effects on EU energy and climate policy (ECP). We find support for the notion that right-wing and right-leaning valence populist parties are at odds with ambitious EU ECP. On the contrary, the analysed left-wing and left-leaning valence populists rely on populist discourses to demand more ambitious ECP measures. Furthermore, our analysis suggests that participation in government decreases the role of populism in parties’ ECP discourse and dilutes parties’ positions and actions.


Aron Buzogány and Stefan Ćetković, "Fractionalized but ambitious: Voting on energy and climate policies in the European Parliament," Journal of European Public Policy, 2021 (forthcoming).


Analysing roll call votes from the energy and climate policy field in the Eighth European Parliament (2014–2019), this article asks why has the European Parliament succeeded in maintaining its relatively ambitious position and how national and partizan factors explain voting behaviour of Members of the European Parliament (MEPs) on EU energy and climate legislation. We find the Eurosceptic vs. pro-EU cleavage to be the main conflict line structuring voting on energy and climate policy. Additionally, EU energy and climate policy has been supported by MEPs from member states with a track record of more ambitious climate policymaking and those with higher energy dependence. We show that increasing party fragmentation in the European Parliament has strengthened the influence of some progressive party groups, particularly the Greens, and has enhanced the European Parliament’s ability to mobilize support for a relatively ambitious energy and climate legislation.


Laia Castro, Jesper Strömbäck, Frank Esser, Peter Van Aelst, Claes de Vreese, Toril Aalberg, Ana S. Cardenal, Nicoleta Corbu, David Nicolas Hopmann, Karolina Koc-Michalska, Jörg Matthes, Christian Schemer, Tamir Sheafer, Sergio Splendore, James Stanyer, Agnieszka Stepinska, Václav Štetka, and Yannis Theocharis, "Navigating High-choice European Political Information Environments: A Comparative Analysis of News User Profiles and Political Knowledge." International Journal of Press/Politics, 2021 (forthcoming).

The transition from low- to high-choice media environments has had far-reaching implications for citizens’ media use and its relationship with political knowledge. However, there is still a lack of comparative research on how citizens combine the usage of different media and how that is related to political knowledge. To fill this void, we use a unique cross-national survey about the online and offline media use habits of more than 28,000 individuals in 17 European countries. Our aim is to (i) profile different types of news consumers and (ii) understand how each user profile is linked to political knowledge acquisition. Our results show that five user profiles – news minimalists, social media news users, traditionalists, online news seekers, and hyper news consumers – can be identified, although the prevalence of these profiles varies across countries. Findings further show that both traditional and online-based news diets are correlated with higher political knowledge. However, online-based news use is more widespread in Southern Europe, where it is associated with lower levels of political knowledge than in Northern Europe. By focusing on news audiences, this study provides a comprehensive and fine-grained analysis of how contemporary European political information environments perform and contribute to an informed citizenry. 


*Top Paper Award*, Political Communication Division, International Communication Association Annual Meeting 2021

Yannis Theocharis and Joost de Moor, "Creative Participation and the expansion of political engagement." In Oxford Research Encyclopedia of Politics. Oxford University Press, 2021 (forthcoming).

Creative participation refers to citizens’ invention of, and engagement in, new action forms that aim to influence, or take responsibility for, the common good in society. By definition, these action forms are constantly evolving and cannot be listed or summarized. Yet some, like guerrilla gardening, have over time become more established in political repertoires, and specific arenas are known to be particularly productive sites for their development. These include in particular the Internet, and lifestyles and consumption. The constant changes in how citizens become active represented by creative participation present considerable challenges for scholars of political participation—both in terms of theory and methodology. In particular, such forms test our ability to distinguish political from nonpolitical activities. However, how political creative participation is, is often subtle and implicit, and therefore hard to establish. Yet being able to do so is essential for an ongoing assessment of the quality of participatory democracy. With conventional forms of participation declining and creative participation becoming more common, scholars must be able to agree on definitions and operationalizations that allow for the comparison of participatory trends. For instance, a key concern has been whether creative forms of participation crowd out more conventional ones, like voting or lobbying politicians. Developments in survey research have been able to show that this is not the case and that creative participation may in fact increase conventional participation. In addition, qualitative research methods like focus groups and ethnography, allow for more open-ended explorations of this elusive research topic. As to who participates, creative participation has enabled traditionally underrepresented groups like women and young people to catch up with, and sometimes overtake, those older men who have long dominated conventional political participation. Still, education remains a key obstacle even to creative participation. The COVID-19 crisis that took hold of the world in 2020 has compromised access to collective action and public space. It has thereby once more put the onus on citizens to engage creatively with ways to influence, and take responsibility for, society. At the same time, the crisis presents a need and opportunity for political participation scholarship to engage more deeply with theoretical debates about what it means to be political or to participate. 


Janina I. Steinert, Shaukat Khan, Emma Mafara, Cebele Wong, Khudzie Mlambo, Anita Hettema, Fiona J. Walsh, Charlotte Lejeune, Sikhathele Mazibuko, Velephi Okello, Osondu Ogbuoji, Jan-Walter De Neve, Sebastian Vollmer, Till Bärnighausen, and Pascal Geldsetzer, "The Impact of Immediate Initiation of Antiretroviral Therapy on Patients’ Healthcare Expenditures: A Stepped-Wedge Randomized Trial in Eswatini." AIDS and Behavior, 2021 (forthcoming).


Immediate initiation of antiretroviral therapy (ART) for all people living with HIV has important health benefts but implications for the economic aspects of patients’ lives are still largely unknown. This stepped-wedge cluster-randomized controlled trial aimed to determine the causal impact of immediate ART initiation on patients’ healthcare expenditures in Eswatini. Fourteen healthcare facilities were randomly assigned to transition at one of seven time points from the standard of care (ART eligibility below a CD4 count threshold) to the immediate ART for all intervention (EAAA). 2261 patients living with HIV were interviewed over the study period to capture their past-year out-of-pocket healthcare expenditures. In mixed-effects regression models, we found a 49% decrease (RR 0.51, 95% CI 0.36, 0.72, p<0.001) in past-year total healthcare expenditures in the EAAA group compared to the standard of care, and a 98% (RR 0.02, 95% CI 0.00, 0.02, p<0.001) decrease in spending on private and traditional healthcare. Despite a higher frequency of HIV care visits for newly initiated ART patients, immediate ART initiation appears to have lowered patients’ healthcare expenditures because they sought less care from alternative healthcare providers such as traditional healers or private doctors. This study adds an important economic argument to the World Health Organization’s recommendation to abolish CD4-count-based eligibility thresholds for ART.


Robert Carroll and Amy Pond, "Costly Signaling in Autocracy." International Interactions, 2021 (forthcoming).

Those who would revolt against an autocrat often face a dilemma caused by uncertainty: they would like to revolt if the ruler would respond with democratization, but they would prefer to concede if the ruler would choose instead to violently suppress the revolution. Consequently, the autocrat must decide how to best signal his willingness to use violence in hope of deterring revolt. Using a simple signaling model, we find that rulers cannot meaningfully convey their type by transferring wealth to the citizenry. However, they can convey their type through shows of force, as long as the strong type of autocrat – who would use violent repression in the case of revolution – has a competitive advantage in displaying his strength. We additionally demonstrate that rulers favor shows of force when their willingness to suppress revolution is questioned and that citizens at times prefer to pay the direct cost of shows of force to learn about the ruler’s type, rather than to remain uninformed. The results illustrate a more general result in costly signaling models: information transmission is only possible when the cost of the signal is smaller for the type that wants to distinguish himself.


Lukas Haffert, Nils Redeker, and Tobias Rommel, "Misremembering Weimar: Hyperinflation, the Great Depression, and German Collective Economic Memory. " Economics & Politics, 2021 (forthcoming).

The well-known German aversion to inflation has attracted a lot of interest and is often attributed to a specific historical memory: Weimar. Yet we do not know much about why hyperinflation seems to overshadow the Great Depression in German collective economic memory. To answer this question, we study what exactly it is that Germans believe to remember about their past. Using original survey data, we show that many Germans do not distinguish between hyperinflation and the Great Depression, but see them as two dimensions of the same crisis. They conflate Weimar economic history into one big crisis, encompassing both rapidly rising prices and mass unemployment. Additionally, more educated and politically interested Germans are more likely to commit this fallacy. Our finding thus nuances ideational explanations for Germany’s economic policy stance in the European Union. 


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Zusammenfassung in deutsch für den Blog Ökonomenstimme:

Policy Paper beim Delors-Center:

Timm Betz, Amy Pond, and Weiwen Yin, "Investment Agreements and the Fragmentation of Firms across Countries. " Review of International Organizations, 2021 (forthcoming).

We examine the global ownership structure of firms in the context of the investment regime. Investment agreements extend valuable privileges to firms invested abroad. But, these privileges only apply to firms whose assets are owned in a country that has signed an agreement with their host market; firms lack protections under investment agreements for many of their target markets. We argue that, by strategically locating subsidiaries in ‘transit’ countries, firms systematically expand their access to investment agreements. This firm-specific access to investment agreements through transit countries also has implications for investment flows: Transit countries receive more inflows and outflows of investment. Moreover, the impact of agreements declines over time and treaty partners, as seemingly newly protected firms have previously gained coverage through subsidiaries. Drawing on subsidiary location choices of the world’s largest firms, as well as data on firm ownership structures and aggregate investment flows, we present systematic evidence consistent with this argument. The paper highlights the importance of the global ownership structure of firms in an environment of heterogeneous international rules and discusses new distributional consequences of the investment regime.


Cindarella Petz and Jürgen Pfeffer, "Configuration to Conviction: Network Structures of Political Judiciary in the Austrian Corporate State." Social Networks vol.66 (July 2021): 185-201.

In this paper, we analyze the extent of political judiciary in the transformed system of the Corporate State of Austria using the computational methods of a network approach. We investigate the differences in the legal prosecution of the political opposition, namely of members of the Communist, Social Democratic and National Socialist parties based on Vienna as a case study. Based on over 1,800 court records from 1935 processed at the Viennese provincial courts, we evaluate the courts’ practice in contrast to the official legislature during the consolidated phase of the regime. In this study, we examine whether the law was strategically utilized against specific groups (following the concept of Kirchheimer (1965)’s political lawsuit), and as in the more lenient version of Fraenkel (1927/1968)’s tendency justice, we analyze whether the law was disadvantageously interpreted for political partisanship up to a blatant breach of conduct. Combining quantitative and qualitative methods with network science approaches, we identify patterns of political prosecution and structural predispositions for the sentencing of left- and right-wing groups of the political opposition. We can prove different practices of political judiciary and differentiate between the different treatment of Social Democrats, Communists and National Socialists in 1935 in Vienna. We identify specialized strategies to prosecute the political opposition, resulting in a clear bias against left-wing groups and a relative leniency in the conviction of National Socialists based on the evolution of charges in the courts’ actions. Using a multimodal network approach, we reveal key players and cooperation of judges and prosecutors which accounted for harsher sentences. We provide evidence that the system of control over the judiciary and over the political opposition was already crumbling in the Austrian capital in 1935, even before the “Anschluss” to NS-Germany in 1938.


Tim Büthe, "Prospects and Challenges for Transatlantic Relations After Trump and Corona."  In New Perspectives on Transatlantic Relations, edited by Jürgen Gebhardt and Stefan Fröhlich.  Heidelberg: Universitätsverlag Winter, 2021: 135-159.


The paper starts by examining the challenges faced by transatlantic relations. Several key challenges can be directly attributed to the Trump administration's often radical changes in foreign and domestic public policies and his willfully destructive approach to U.S.-built international institutions and alliances. But some key challenges also reflect broader shifts and long lingering problems, rendered more severe or at least more visible by the COVID-19 pandemic and unlikely to disappear with a change in administrations. The paper then focuses on identifying what American and what Europeans can – and should – do to restore and strengthen transatlantic security cooperation, as well as transatlantic economic relations, in light of the existing challenges. Re-establishing de facto collaboration and trust among political leaders, as well as trans-governmentally will be crucial for setting the tone. But as the paper highlights, commercial ties, scientific cooperation, joint initiatives by non-governmental policy think tanks (working transatlantically to establish, for instance, common standards for the ethical and transparent governance of new technologies), and private friendships also can contribute greatly to restoring the transatlantic partnership "from the bottom up."  The paper ends with a proposal for a joint transnational (multilingual) media channel focused on truthful information provision, co-sponsored by the world's liberal democracies but made available to the world.

Sandra Lavenex, Omar Serrano & Tim Büthe. “Power Transitions and the Rise of the Regulatory State: Global Market Governance in Flux.” Regulation and Governance, 2021 (forthcoming).


This special issue examines the consequences of the ongoing power transition in the world economy for global regulatory regimes, especially the variation in rising powers' transition from rule-takers to rule-makers in global markets. This introductory article presents the analytical framework for better understanding those consequences, the Power Transition Theory of Global Economic Governance (PTT-GEG), which extends the scope of traditional power transition theory to conflict and cooperation in the international political economy and global regulatory governance. PTT-GEG emphasizes variation in the institutional strength of the regulatory state as the key conduit through which the growing market size of the emergent economies gives their governments leverage in global regulatory regimes. Whether or not a particular rising power, for a particular regulatory issue, invests its resources in building a strong regulatory state, however, is a political choice, requiring an analysis of the interplay of domestic and international politics that fuels or inhibits the creation of regulatory capacity and capability. PTT-GEG further emphasizes variation in the extent to which rising powers' substantive, policy-specific preferences diverge from the established powers' preferences as enshrined in the regulatory status quo. Divergence should not be assumed as given. Distinct combinations of these two variables yield, for each regulatory regime, distinct theoretical expectations about how the power transition in the world economy will affect global economic governance, helping us identify the conditions under which rule-takers will become regime-transforming rule-makers, regime-undermining rule-breakers, resentful rule-fakers, or regime-strengthening rule-promoters, as well as the conditions under which they remain weakly regime-supporting rule-takers.


Charlotte Franziska Unruh, "Letting Climate Change." Journal of the American Philosophical Association vol.7 no.1 (spring 2021): 1-19.

Recent work by Ingmar Persson and Jason Hanna has posed an interesting new challenge for deontologists: How can they account for so-called cases of letting oneself do harm? In this paper, I argue that cases of letting oneself do harm are structurally similar to real-world cases such as climate change, and that deontologists need an account of the moral status of these cases to provide moral guidance in real-world cases. I then explore different ways in which deontologists can solve this challenge and argue that the most promising way to conceive of cases of letting oneself do harm is as non-standard cases of allowing harm, supplemented with an additional argument for the moral relevance of one's own agency. The upshot is that cases of letting oneself do harm are both more theoretically challenging and practically important than has been acknowledged.


Zoltán Fazekas, Sebastian Adrian Popa, Hermann Schmitt, Pablo Barberá, and Yannis Theocharis, "Elite‐public Interaction on Twitter: EU Issue Expansion in the Campaign." European Journal of Political Research vol.60 no.2 (May 2021): 376-396.

Why do some issues receive more interest from the public, while others do not? This paper develops a theoretical and empirical approach that explains the degree to which issues expand from the elite to the public. We examine how candidates in the 2014 European Parliament elections talked about EU issues, in comparison to other political issues. We rely on data collected from Twitter and use a combination of human coding and machine learning to analyse what facilitates interactions from the public. We find that most political actors did not try to engage with the public about EU issues, and lack of engagement results in less interactions from the general public. Our findings contribute to understanding why EU issues still play a secondary role in European politics, but at the same time highlight what low‐cost communicational tools might be useful to overcome this expansion deficit.


Moohyung Cho and Tim Büthe, "From Rule‐taker to Rule‐promoting Regulatory State: South Korea in the Nearly‐global Competition Regime." Regulation & Governance vol.15 no.3 (July 2021): 513-543.

When rapid economic growth catapults a country within a few years from the margins of the global economy to middle power status, does global regulatory governance need to brace for a challenge to the status quo? To answer this question, we extend the power transition theory of global economic governance to middle powers: A rising middle power should be expected to challenge the international regulatory status quo only if increasing issue-specific strength of its regulatory state coincides with preferences that diverge from the preferences of the established powers, which are enshrined in the status quo. We examine this argument empirically, focusing on South Korea in the realm of competition law and policy. We find that South Korea, a non-participant in the international competition regime until the 1980s, developed in the 1990s substantial regulatory capacity and capability and thus “spoiler potential.” At the same time, however, its policy preferences converged upon the norms and practices established by the United States and the European Union, albeit with some distinct elements. Under these conditions, we expect a transition from rule-taker to rule-promoter. We find that South Korea has indeed in recent years begun to actively promote well-established competition law and policy norms and practices – supplemented by its distinct elements – through technical assistance programs, as well as various bilateral channels and multilateral institutions. The findings suggest that the power transition theory of global economic governance is usefully applicable to middle powers, too.


Yannis Theocharis and Andreas Jungherr, "Computational Social Science and the Study of Political Communication." Political Communication vol.38 no.1 (January-April 2021): 1-22.

The challenge of disentangling political communication processes and their effects has grown with the complexity of the new political information environment. But so have scientists’ toolsets and capacities to better study and understand them. We map the challenges and opportunities of developing, synthesizing, and applying data collection and analysis techniques relying primarily on computational methods and tools to answer substantive theory-driven questions in the field of political communication. We foreground the theoretical, empirical, and institutional opportunities and challenges of Computational Communication Science (CCS) that are relevant to the political communication community. We also assess understandings of CCS and highlight challenges associated with data and resource requirements, as well as those connected with the theory and semantics of digital signals. With an eye to existing practices, we elaborate on the key role of infrastructures, academic institutions, ethics, and training in computational methods. Finally, we present the six full articles and two forum contributions of this special issue illustrating methodological innovation, as well as the theoretical, practical, and institutional relevance and challenges for realizing the potential of computational methods in political communication.


Timm Betz, Scott J. Cook, and Florian M. Hollenbach, "Bias from Network Misspecification under Spatial Dependence." Political Analysis vol.29 no.2 (April 2021): 260-266.

The prespecification of the network is one of the biggest hurdles for applied researchers in undertaking spatial analysis. In this letter, we demonstrate two results. First, we derive bounds for the bias in nonspatial models with omitted spatially-lagged predictors or outcomes. These bias expressions can be obtained without prior knowledge of the network, and are more informative than familiar omitted variable bias formulas. Second, we derive bounds for the bias in spatial econometric models with nondifferential error in the specification of the weights matrix. Under these conditions, we demonstrate that an omitted spatial input is the limit condition of including a misspecificed spatial weights matrix. Simulated experiments further demonstrate that spatial models with a misspecified weights matrix weakly dominate nonspatial models. Our results imply that, where cross-sectional dependence is presumed, researchers should pursue spatial analysis even with limited information on network ties.


Zlatina Georgieva, "The Digital Markets Act Proposal of the European Commission: Ex-ante Regulation, Infused with Competition Principles." European Papers: A Journal on Law and Integration vol.6 no.1 (29 March 2021): 25-28.

This Insight on the legislative proposal for a Digital Markets Act (DMA), issued on 15 December 2020 by the European Commission, discusses the importance of clearly delineating the objectives under which enforcement of the said act will take place. This is necessitated because of the closeness, if not overlap with the domain of EU Competition Policy and the concomitant danger of over- or double-enforcement against the norm addressees of the DMA.


Wienke Strathern, Raji Ghawi, and Jürgen Pfeffer, "Advanced Statistical Analysis of Large-Scale Web-Based Data." In Per Nymand-Andersen (ed), Data Science in Economics and Finance for Decision Makers (Risk Books 2021), 99-128.

People leave millions of digital traces in the big data ecosystem. This ecosystem is a huge network with millions of daily personal transactions. And each of these transactions leaves traces that may be compiled into comprehensive information about individual and group behaviour. The capacity to collect huge amounts of data transforms the way people and organisations work and behave; hence, the market starts to react faster and increasingly anticipates traditional or other data sources. Data-driven computational economics capture changes in market, attitude and consumer behaviour over time and in real time. However, the quantitative techniques of machine learning have been applied to demonstrate a shift from a discretionary to a quantitative investment style. An increasing share of human interaction, communication and culture is recorded as digital text. Text is used as an input to economic research. Statistical methods and deep learning methods are applied to digital texts, as such data provides a rich repository of information about economic and social activity. More interesting for behavioural economics are the large-scale studies of social behaviour. This book chapter on advanced statistical analysis of large-scale Web-based data is intended to provide an overview of methods, application areas, and possible pitfalls for decision-makers in economics and finance.


Christina Pauls, "Re-storying a Past That Lies Between Us: An Exploration of the Legacies of German-Russian Family Histories in the Soviet Union." Innbruck: innsbruck university press, 2021 (forthcoming).


The journey of this book starts with irritations about belonging, silenced family histories and imposed changes of names. Setting sail, Christina Pauls explores narratives of second generation German-Russians living in Germany. She wants to understand how family histories in the Soviet Union still affect the descendants of minorities today. From the shores of assumptions of collective traumatization, the route unfolds through the lenses of temporality, unsayability and victimization. Through the storms of legacies of transgenerational traumatization Christina Pauls explores, together with six research partners, ways of re-storying violences of the past within an extended present. Eventually, at the horizon we can forefeel a destination where it becomes more comfortable to sit with these family histories and share a cup of tea while listening to them.


Yannis Theocharis, Joost de Moor, and Jan W. van Deth, "Digitally Networked Participation and Lifestyle Politics as New Modes of Political Participation." Policy & Internet vol.13 no.1 (March 2021): 30-53.

Political participation has seen substantial changes in terms of both its structure and its scope. One of the most prominent venues of citizen engagement today is participation that relies on online means. Several approaches to online participation have attempted to understand its nature as a continuation of offline acts into the online realm, or as an independent form. In this article, we determine the place of online participation in the repertoire of political participation with greater precision. We ask whether, in particular, digitally networked participation (DNP) is an expansion of lifestyle politics, or whether there are empirical grounds to classify it as a new, independent mode of participation. We study a large variety of participatory activities using data from an online survey conducted among 2,114 politically active individuals in Belgium in 2017. We use an innovative measurement approach that combines closed‐ with open‐ended questions, which allows us to explore new forms of participation that have previously not been considered or measured. Our results show that DNP is a core part of today's activists' repertoire and a distinct mode of political participation that is clearly attractive to younger, critical citizens.


Timm Betz, David Fortunato, and Diana Z. O’Brien, "Women’s Descriptive Representation and Gendered Import Tax Discrimination." American Political Science Review  vol.115 no.1 (February 2021): 307-315.

We identify a form of gender-based governmental discrimination that directly affects billions of women on a daily basis: the setting of import tariffs for gendered goods. These tax rates, which can differ across otherwise identical gender-specific products, often impose direct penalties on women as consumers. Comparing nearly 200,000 paired tariff rates on men’s and women’s apparel products in 167 countries between 1995 and 2015, we find that women suffer a tax penalty that varies systematically across countries. We demonstrate that in democracies, women’s presence in the legislature is associated with decreased import tax penalties on women’s goods. This finding is buttressed by a comparison of democracies and non-democracies and analyses of the implementation of legislative gender quotas. Our work highlights a previously unacknowledged government policy that penalizes women and also provides powerful evidence that descriptive representation can have a substantial, direct impact on discriminatory policies.


Also featured in the "International Women's Day Collection",

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Martin Oppelt, "Demokratie? Klare Antworten aus erster Hand." München: UTB (2021).


Wie steht es um die Demokratie in Deutschland und anderen Ländern? Statt ihre Prinzipien ausweiten und vertiefen zu können, wird die Demokratie gegenwärtig immer mehr hinterfragt. Martin Oppelt beleuchtet daher in seinem Buch konkurrierende Ideen und Modelle der Demokratie, blickt auf ihre geschichtliche Entwicklung, erklärt aktuelle Herausforderungen und auch Gefahren dieser Staatsform.


Jane Freedman, Gunhild Hoogensen Gjørv, and Velomahanina Razakamaharavo, "Identity, Stability, Hybrid Threats and Disinformation." ICONO 14: Revista de comunicación y tecnologías emergentes vol.19 no.1 (2021): 38-69.

The following article examines the relevance of gender and intersectional analyses to better understanding hybrid threats, in particular those that are increasingly targeting civilian environments. The authors first present relevant concepts including hybrid threats and warfare, resilience, disinformation, civilian agency, and intersectionality as a method. Thereafter they discuss how disinformation is used to destabilise societies by directly attacking civilian spaces and attempting to foment polarisation and unrest, if not conflict. The authors then discuss how the concepts of disinformation and civilian agency are illuminated through gender and intersectional analyses, speaking to complex, civilian contexts by examining how gender (and race) have been employed to attempt to foment destabilisation. They conclude with some brief reflections about the role of gender and intersectional approaches in understanding hybrid threats and warfare, not just in Europe but also for other parts of the world.