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August 6, 2015

Research visits in the US

Next week, Mariken van der Velden and Dieuwertje Kuijpers will leave for semester-long research visits in the US. Mariken will be a visiting PhD candidate at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and Dieuwertje will be a visiting PhD candidate at Georgetown University in Washington DC. Both of them will be taking graduate courses, participate in research meetings and work on their dissertations.

From 26-29 August, Mariken will also be attending the ECPR General Conference in Montreal, Canada, presenting some of her work in progress.

June 17, 2015

Presentation at EPSA conference in Vienna

Next week, Barbara Vis will present the paper entitled 'The risk of political decisions: Electoral consequences versus electoral uncertainty', co-authored with Jona Linde, at the 5th Annual General Conference of the European Political Science Association in Vienna, Austria.

June 3, 2015

Research visit in Oxford

Oxford (60K)
From February till the 1st of June, Mariken van der Velden has been an visiting student at the Department of Politics and International Relations of the University of Oxford. At the University of Oxford, she participated in the DPhil program, taking classes on panel data by prof. Andy Eggers, causal inference by Elias Dinas and automatic content analysis by David Doyle. These courses help Mariken to improve the quality of her dissertation on interparty responsiveness (i.e., how parties use cues from other parties to change their platform). Under the supervision of prof. Catherine de Vries, she prepared the two papers presented at the Midwest Political Science Association conference 2015 in Chicago and further developed the research design and formal model for her experimental study (together with Jona Linde). Moreover, being at Oxford, Mariken laid the foundation for future cooperation with Roosmarijn de Geus on research about the conditions under which the complexity of electoral decisions leads voters to abstain.

May 28, 2015

Talks in Berlin and Maastricht

On June 4-5, Mariken van der Velden and Gijs Schumacher will attend the Manifesto Project User Conference 2015 in Berlin. They will present their paper 'Drifting Apart or Sticking Together? An Analysis of Coalition Partners’, which you can find here.

Later that month, on June 11-12, Barbara Vis will attend the Dutch/Flemish Politicologenetmaal in Maastricht, where she will present the paper 'Do Parties Respond to Electoral Prospects?', co-authored with Mariken & Gijs. You can find the paper here.

April 15, 2015

Paper presentations @MPSA in Chicago

Between April 16-19, 2015, almost the entire HIGH-RISK POLITICS team will attend the MPSA conference in Chicago. You can find an overview of the papers presented there, including links to most of them, on the page publications.

February 26, 2015

Upcoming talks in Leiden and Amsterdam

Tomorrow, Barbara Vis will give a talk about the paper co-authored with Jona Linde 'Do Behavioral Theories like Prospect Theory Apply to Political Actors? Experimental Evidence that Politicians are "Human" Too' in the Political Psychology Meeting at Leiden University.
A working paper version of this paper will be made available on this website soon.

And on 20 March, 2015, Barbara will give a talk on the recently-published AJPS article 'How Aspiration to Office Conditions the Impact of Government Participation on Party Platform Change' (see below) in the ILLC Workshop on Collective Decision Making 2015 at the University of Amsterdam.

February 13, 2015

Media appearances on terrorism and government parties changing more than opposition parties

On February 8, Dieuwertje Kuijpers talked about terrorism and Jihadism in the new IKON talkshow De Nieuwe Wereld (The New World). You can find the interview here, between 18" and 30".

And Barbara Vis was interviewed on the radio in EenVandaag on February 11 on the AJPS paper she co-authored with Gijs Schumacher, Marc van de Wardt and & Michael Baggesen Klitgaard. You can find the interview here.

January 30, 2015

Contibution in special issue on The Three Worlds of Welfare Capitalism

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In their contribution to the special issue of Journal of European Social Policy on the 25th anniversity of Gosta Esping-Andersen's The Three Worlds of Welfare Capitalism, Kees van Kersbergen & Barbara Vis argue that it is time that the welfare state regime literature moves beyond "normal science".

Specifically, they state that there is no doubt that Esping-Andersen’s three worlds’ typology has been extremely valuable. However, the literature inspired by it shows signs of Kuhnian normal science, which is impairing empirical and theoretical progress. They explain normal science, demonstrate that it characterizes recent e mpirical regime studies and ask why this has come about. They show that the welfare regime literature has a tendency to confuse the terms ‘typology’ and ‘ideal-types’. This has prevented the emergence of anomalies that are needed for progress. They argue that normal science is fostered by the combination of researchers’ tendency to prefer certainty (e.g. to address solvable research problems) and the environmental pressures they face (especially the ‘publish or perish’ culture and the need to frame research problems in terms of variation rather than similarity). In the discussion section, they suggest several routes by which the welfare state literature can move beyond normal science.

January 4, 2015


From the entire HIGH-RISK POLITICS team.

December 11, 2014

Talk in Germany

On december 17, 2014, Barbara Vis will give a talk entitled "Are Politicians Human?" in the Party Politics seminar at University Duisburg-Essen. You can find the program here.

November 29, 2014

Great workshop

Access_workshop_2014_1 (79K) Yesterday, the ACCESS Europe workshop on Experiments in Political Economy and Welfare State Research took place in Amsterdam.

This event brought together scholars from the University of Amsterdam and VU University Amsterdam conducting experimental work and some renowed and upcoming scholars with this expertise from Denmark, Italy and Israel.

After a day filled with presentations and discussions on experimental work, we turned to more relaxed academic acitivities: Drinks & food.

November 27, 2014

Interview in New Scientist

Barbara Vis has been interviewd about her research into HIGH-RISK POLITICS by New Scientist. You can find the interview (in Dutch) here.

November 5, 2014

How to lower the number of civilian casualties by drones? Print, interview & live

In the section "The Solvers" (De Oplossers in Vrij Nederland, Dieuwertje Kuijpers argues that the number of casualties by drones can be lowered only if organizations with democratic accountability are responsible for the attacks. You can read the article (in Dutch) here.

oplossers (17K)
Dieuwertje will discuss this solution live on December 1, 2014, when she participates in Live: The Solvers (Live: De Oplossers. This is an event (in Dutch) in which scientists present innovative solutions to difficult societal problems. It takes place in Amsterdam in Pakhuis de Zwijger @20.00. For more information, and registration (free), check out the website.

An interview on solving problems with Dieuwertje is available on the website of Vrij Nederland (also in Dutch).

October 30, 2014

Is violence no option?

On 14 November, 2014 @15.00, Dieuwertje Kuijpers will give her perspective on the theme 'Violence is no option!' at the Girard Lezing at VU University Amsterdam. Futher information is available here, including the option to register for the event (in Dutch).

October 30, 2014

Methods workshops coming up

From 5-7 November 2014, Barbara Vis will be attending the 2nd International Expert Workshop on QCA in Zurich, Switzerland. Barbara will present a paper co-authored with Jan Dul (Erasmus University Amsterdam) on which technique - NCA or fsQCA - is most appropriate for analyzing relationships of necessity.

On 28 November 2014, most of the HIGH-RISK POLITICS team members (Mariken van der Velden, Jona Linde, Gijs Schumacher & Barbara Vis) will be participating in the ACCESS Europe workshop on Experiments in Political Economy and Welfare State Research that Barbara co-organizes with Theresa Kuhn (University of Amsterdam).

October 23, 2014

Paper accepted for publication in ajps (5K)

The HIGH-RISK POLITICS team proudly announces that a paper entitled 'How aspiration to office conditions the impact of government participation on party platform change', written by Gijs Schumacher, Marc van de Wardt, Barbara Vis, & Michael Baggesen Klitgaard, has just been accepted for publication in American Journal of Political Science.

In the paper, we focus on the considerable ambiguity that exists regarding the effect of government/opposition status on party platform change. Existing theories' predict that: (1) it has no effect, (2) opposition parties change more, (3) opposition parties change more after several spells in opposition and (4) parties' responses vary because of different goal orientations. We propose that a party's aspiration to office, measured by its historical success or failure in entering office, determines a party's reaction to being in opposition or government. We hypothesize that, because of loss aversion, parties with low office aspiration change more when they are in government than when they are in opposition. Conversely, parties with high office aspiration change more as opposition party than as government party. We find evidence for these hypotheses through a pooled time-series cross-sectional analysis of 1,585 platform changes in 21 democracies, using the Comparative Manifesto Data and an innovative measure of party platform change.

September 5, 2014

Expert hearing

Wolfgang Wagner is invited by the "Commission for the review of parliamentary rights in decisions on the deployment of the armed forces" of the German Bundestag to an expert hearing on 11 September 2014. You can find the announcement here.

July 3, 2014

Upcoming conferences

In or just after the summer, several members of the HIGH-RISK POLITICS project will present their work at international conferences.

From 6-9 August, Dieuwertje Kuijpers and Wolfgang Wagner will attend the 4th Global International Studies Conference in Frankfurt, Germany, where they will present a paper entitled 'Diverting or Gambling? Re-reading the Diversionary Use of Force Literature from a Prospect-theoretical Perspective' (co-authored with Barbara Vis).

WISC2014 (48K)

And from 3-6 September, Mariken van der Velden and Gijs Schumacher will attend the ECPR General Conference in Glasgow, Scotland, where they will present their paper (co-authored with Barbara Vis) on when political parties change their communication - before or after they lose.

July 1, 2014

Text inaugural lecture

Last week, Barbara Vis gave her inaugural lecture entitled Riskante Politiek (Risky Politics), by which she officially and publicly accepted her chair in political decision-making. You can find a somewhat extended version of the text of the lecture here (in Dutch).

June 15, 2014

Workshops, conferences and inaugural lecture

Etmaal (6K)

June is a busy month for the HIGH-RISK POLITICS team. On June 12-13, Jona Linde, Mariken van der Velden, Gijs Schumacher, and Barbara Vis attended the Dutch/Flemish Politicologenetmaal in Maastricht, The Netherlands. Jona & Barbara co-chaired a workshop, and Jona, Mariken & Gijs presented three papers, two of which are at the heart of the project. With good comments, and good company, this was a very successful and pleasant event.

edinburgh (7K)

Mariken & Barbara also attend the Annual General Conference of the European Political Science Association (EPSA) in Edinburgh, Scotland from 19-21 June. They present their paper, co-authored with Gijs, on when political parties change their communication - before or after they lose - in a panel on Big Data.

A week later, on June 26, Barbara will give her inaugural lecture entitled Riskante Politiek (Risky Politics). You can find a summary of the talk (in Dutch) here and are welcome to attend. The lecture is in the aula of VU University Amsterdam and starts at 15.45 sharp. The text of the talk will be made available shortly after the lecture.

May 8, 2014

Radio interview

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On May 2, 2014, Barbara Vis was a guest in the science cafe of De Kennis van Nu of the NTR, broadcasted on radio 5, where she talked about politicians who dare to take risks. You can find the podcast here.

April 30, 2014

Talk at the University of Antwerp

On May 7, 2014, Jona Linde & Barbara Vis will present their work in progress at the M2P (Media, Movements, and Politics) group of the University of Antwerp.

April 4, 2014

New book on 'rogue' states


A book by Wolfgang Wagner, Wouter Werner & Michal Onderco has just been published by Palgrave Macmillan. Whereas the analysis of deviance is an established element in the study of domestic societies, it seems conspicuously absent from International Relations, that is, the study of the international society of states. In contrast to a widespread notion that the study of deviance obstructs insights into international relations, this volume starts from the opposite assumption that it provides fruitful avenues of research yielding new perspectives on international relations. The contributions to this volume therefore focus on those states that have been effectively labeled as persistent and/or grave violators of core norms of the international community.

March 26, 2014

De Jonge Akademie


On March 20, 2014, Barbara Vis has been installed as member of The Young Academy (De Jonge Akademie), a dynamic and innovative group of top young scientists and scholars with outspoken views about science and scholarship and the related policy. De Jonge Akademie is part of the Royal Dutch Academy of Sciences (KNAW).

(© Milette Raats)

March 5, 2014

Talk on world politics in The Hague

On March 13, 2014, from 16.15 to 17.45, Wolfgang Wagner and Wouter Werner will give a talk entitled 'The re-emergence of punitivity in world politics' at the International Institute of Social Studies in The Hague. You can find more information here.

January 30, 2014

sciencepalooza (3K) Interview

An interview (in Dutch) with Barbara Vis entitled 'Risky choice in politics' just appeared on the Dutch science blog Sciencepalooza. You can find the interview here.

January 24, 2014

Workshop on political decision-making: Call for papers

On 12-13 June 2014, Jona Linde & Barbara Vis organize together with Yves Dejaeghere (University of Antwerp) a workshop entitled 'What, How and Why do Parties and Politicians Decide? Innovative and Established Approaches in Political Decision-Making' at the Dutch/Flemish Politicologenetmaal in Maastricht, the Netherlands.
This workshop addresses some of the key questions of the HIGH-RISK POLITICS project, so we're hoping to receive many interesting paper proposals. You can find the Call for Papers here.

For further information on the Politicologenetmaal (practicalities, conference fee, etc.), please have a look here. You can send your paper proposal until 28 February 2014 to Barbara Vis (b.vis@vu.nl).

January 17, 2014

Talk in Germany and conference in Canada

On January 20, 2014, Wolfgang Wagner will give a talk entitled "Schurkenstaaten. Eine kriminologische Perspektive auf die Verletzung internationaler Normen" at Universität Stuttgart.

Wolfgang Wagner has also organized a panel at Convention of the International Studies Association in Toronto in March 2014 on theoretical advancements in comparative foreign policy analysis. In this panel, he will also present a paper - co-authored with Michal Onderco - entitled "Comparing Liberal Democracies' Policies towards North Korea".

January 15, 2014

Launch event of ACCESS Europe

access_europe_08012014 (1) (51K)

On 22-23 January 2014, ACCESS Europe's launch event takes place. ACCESS Europe is a platform for research, teaching and public debate on Europe and its member states in which researchers from the social sciences and humanities from the University of Amsterdam and VU University cooperate. Barbara Vis is co-theme leader on the Political Economy of Integration and Welfare theme. You can find more information about ACCESS Europe and the launch event on the website.

January 15, 2014

First NIG course completed

SDC17319 (1) (38K)
Dieuwertje Kuijpers, one of HIGH-RISK POLITICS PhD candidates, has completed her first course in the PhD training programme of the Netherlands Institute of Government (NIG). This is a programme tailored to PhD students in Political Science and Public Administration. This first course focused on core themes and the PhD experience. More courses, hopefully equally useful and fun, will follow.

October 26, 2013

Paper accepted for publication

A paper entitled 'The Great Recession and Welfare State Reform: Is Retrenchment Really the Only Game Left in Town?', that Barbara Vis co-authored with Kees van Kersbergen and Anton Hemerijck, has just been accepted for publication in Social Policy & Administration.

In this paper, Barbara and her colleagues study the welfare state reform measures taken between 2010 and 2012, i.e., the period when all developed democracies entered a phase of budget consolidation, in four countries characteristic of the welfare state regimes (liberal United Kingdom; conservative Germany; social democratic Denmark; and hybrid the Netherlands). We examine empirically whether austerity is indeed the only game left in town. Our analysis reveals that retrenchment features on the agenda everywhere, but nowhere by itself. While compensation for income loss is rare since 2010, it still happens. And reforms in line with a social investment strategy, although difficult, are still being pursued.

October 16, 2013

Post doc started

Jona Linde, the post doc on the HIGH-RISK POLITICS project, has just started his new job! You can find more information on him on the page Team.

September 9, 2013

ECPR General Conference in Bordeaux

Barbara Vis & Gijs Schumacher just returned from attending the ECPR General Conference in Bordeaux, France. In addition to serving as discussant and/or chair in interesting panels, they presented two papers that are part of the HIGH-RISK POLITICS project; one on the role of blame avoidance strategies in welfare state reform and one on party position change. You can find more information on the papers on the page Publications.

August 16, 2013

PhD candidates started

The two PhD candidates, Mariken van der Velden and Dieuwertje Kuijpers, have just started working on the project! More information on them and their projects is available on the page Team.

27 June 2013

CES conference in Amsterdam

Barbara Vis just returned from attending the CES conference in Amsterdam, where she co-chaired (with Paul Marx) an interesting panel on Experiments in Political Science.

She also served as discussant in a book panel on the book The Welfare State as Crisis Manager by Peter Starke, Alexandra Kaase & Franca van Hooren (Palgrave, 2013). By analyzing social policy responses in Australia, Belgium, the Netherlands and Sweden after three crisis episodes (the 1970s, the 1990s and the Great Recession), Starke et al. show that crises typically do not lead to fundamental reforms. Contrary to the the expectation in a large part of the literature, social policy responses tend to be incremental. This empirically rich book is a must-read for those interested in how welfare states respond to crisis.

13 May 2013

New publications & upcoming fsQCA workshop

Several publications just appeared in print.

Barbara Vis will teach a three-day workshop on fsQCA between 12-14 June 2013 at the Graduate School of Social Sciences, VU University Amsterdam.

22 March 2013

Researchers on the project

The two PhD candidates (Mariken van der Velden & Dieuwertje Kuijpers) and the postdoc (Jona Linde) who'll be working on the HIGH-RISK POLITICS project have been selected. They'll start during or after the summer.

21 January 2013

Selection process

We are currently selecting the two PhD candidates and the postdoc who will complete the team.

13 December 2012

Positions open!

The positions for 2 PhD students and 1 postdoc are now open! You can find the full job announcements, including information on the positions' tasks, the requirements and how to apply here. Applications can be submitted until 7 January 2013.

1 November 2012

Project started!