The professorship is vacant and will be represented in the academic year 2017/18 by Prof. Dr. Fabio Wasserfallen.
The Chair of Political Theory investigates theoretical and empirical questions of representation, the means by which the interests of citizens are presented and realized in policy making. This implies combining several areas of study that are often compartmentalized within the discipline: democratic institutions, campaigns and elections, and political psychology and voting behavior. Each contribute to the process and practice of representation. In the study of institutions, we focus on electoral rules and federalism, and their effects on political communication, party systems, and policy development and responsiveness. In the study of campaigns and elections, we examine the types of information that candidates provide to voters and how these relate to preferences and policy making. Finally, in the study of citizens, we examine how voters process information and make decisions in different types of informational environments. These areas of research are realized through comparative analysis of democratic political systems, with a focus on the Presidential systems of the Americas. The Chair uses diverse empirical methods to examine these cases, including experimental and observational.