About Us

Short Biographies

Michael Bruter is Director of the Electoral Psychology Observatory. He is a Professor of political science at the LSE and Director of the Electoral Psychology Observatory. He has developed a distinguished research profile in the sub-field of voters’ psychology, political behaviour, and political science research methods. Bruter has been the recipient of over €5 million in research grants to lead projects in electoral psychology, first time voters, and electoral hostility (why people hate each other because of elections and how to resolve the resulting rifts), using a broad range of innovative quantitative and qualitative methodologies. Bruter has also served as expert witness on cases pertaining to voters’ psychology tried by the Irish High Court and Irish Supreme Court, given keynote speeches to the EU-Canada meeting on youth participation, the Council of Europe-European Commission cross-group on young voters, events at the European Parliament and the House of Lords, and advised and worked with multiple Electoral Commissions. Bruter’s latest book, co-authored with Sarah Harrison is entitled “Inside the Mind of a Voter” and will be published by Princeton University Press in 2020. He has also published another seven books, and numerous articles in such journals as Comparative Political Studies, Public Choice, Nature: Human Behaviour, American Behavioural Scientist, Journal of Common Market Studies, Journal of European Public Policy, etc and numerous chapters on voters’ psychology, political behaviour, identity, and social science research methods.

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Sarah Harrison is the Deputy-Director of the Electoral Psychology Observatory. She is an Assistant Professorial Research Fellow in the Department of Government at the LSE and Deputy Director of the Electoral Hostility Observatory (ELHO). She is a leading scholar in the fields of political psychology, extreme right politics, and youth political behaviour. Her recent publications Youth Participation in Democratic Life (2016, with Cammaerts, Bruter, Banaji, and Anstead), articles in Comparative Political Studies, American Behavioural Scientist and Parliamentary Affairs. She is editor of a forthcoming special issue of Societies on “Electoral Psychology” and of a forthcoming book entitled ‘Inside the Mind of a Voter’ (Princeton University Press with Michael Bruter. Her research has been recognised by prestigious awards and honorable mentions from the Economic and Social Research Council, the Michael Young Award, and the political psychology section of the American Political Science Association. She has also advised multiple Electoral Commissions worldwide and worked as an expert or authored reports for multiple prestigious international organisations including the European Commission, Council of Europe, the Committee of the Regions, the European Youth Forum, and All Parties Parliamentary Group on the Vote at 16 in the British Parliament.

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Adam Ozer is a Research Officer at the Electoral Psychology Observatory. He received his Ph.D. from the University of Houston and his research focuses primarily on source credibility, partisanship, public opinion, and experimental methodology. His recent work focuses on experts in political media, and how subtle cues can help facilitate the flow of important political information in a partisan polarized environment.

Sandra Obradović is an Associate Researcher at the Electoral Psychology Observatory. She is a Lecturer in Psychology at the Open University. Her research examines the nature of group identities and the implications this has for public opinion and political participation. Her recent work focuses in particular on the role of perspective-taking in politics, and how engaging with the mind of the ‘other’ can shape intergroup relations in the aftermath of a polarizing election.  She has published articles in European Journal of Social Psychology, British Journal of Social Psychology and Peace and Conflict: Journal of Peace Psychology, and has edited a volume on the role of temporalities in shaping human thought and behaviour (Imagining Collective Futures. 2018, with Constance de Saint-Laurent & Kevin Carriere). Besides research and teaching, Sandra is an avid fan of crime documentaries and coffee, preferably consumed simultaneously.

Asli Ceren Cinar is a first-year student in the MRes/PhD program in Political Science in the Department of Government at London School of Economics and Political Science. She received a BA in Economics from Bogazici University and an MA in Economics at Sabanci University in Istanbul, Turkey. Her research focuses on the effect of political candidates’ physical traits on voting behaviour using experimental and empirical methodologies.

 

Associate Members

Mukulika Banerjee is currently finalising a monograph entitled Cultivating Democracy (OUP: New York) based on 15 years of ethnographic data of rural voters and their multivalent engagement with elections and voting activities in West Bengal, India. It is part of her wider interest in the cultural meanings of democracy in South Asia, especially India, and in political anthropology more generally. Her most recent book Why India Votes? (Routledge 2014), the outcome of a major ESRC Grant, breaks several new grounds both conceptually and methodologically: it examines the reasons why despite varying odds, India’s voter graph continues to rise, making India the largest electoral democracy in the world. Voters across 12 states were asked the same set of questions, and their responses compared and woven into a socio-politico-anthropological narrative on the sacredness of participative political behaviour in a country marred by extreme income inequality, skewed access to resources, and dystopic infrastructural developments, intensified by an asymmetrical rural-urban divide. As part of this interest, Mukulika also prepared a BBC Radio 4 documentary ‘Sacred Election’ for the Indian national elections in 2009; and a grant from the Indo-European Networking Programme in the Social Sciences entitled EECURI (Explanations of Electoral Change in Urban and Rural India) has allowed her to expand this analysis to cover state and Panchayat elections. Her applied knowledge of anthropological methods to political behaviour led her to be the founding Series Editor of the hugely successful ‘Exploring the Political in South Asia’ (Routledge) which is a platform for scholars to publish political-ethnographic studies on India.

Eri Bertsou is a Postdoctoral Researcher in Comparative Politics at the University of Zurich. She received her PhD in Government from the London School of Economics Department of Government, in 2016. Her doctoral research focused on political distrust in established democracies and her postdoctoral project studies technocratic politics, technocratic attitudes among citizens and challenges to party-based representative democracy. Her work has been published in West European Politics and the European Political Science Review among others, and she expects the publication of the volume The Technocratic Challenge to Democracy in spring 2020. Her research belongs to the fields of comparative political behaviour and political psychology, specifically citizen attitudes towards democracy, populism and technocracy, representation and partisanship in a comparative perspective. She has been involved with the research initiative in Electoral Psychology at the LSE since 2012 and also holds an MSc in Political Communication from the LSE, a BA in Philosophy and Literature from the University of Warwick.

Florian Foos is an Assistant Professor in Political Behaviour in the Department of Government at the LSE. He uses field experiments to study the effects of campaign methods and interpersonal interactions on political persuasion, mobilisation and political activism. His work has appeared in the AJPS, the QJPS, and PSRM, among other outlets. He is a member of EGAP, and teaches widely on experimental methods and political behaviour.

Sara Hobolt is the Sutherland Chair in European Institutions and professor in the Department of Government at the LSE. She is the Chair of the European Election Studies (EES), and the Principal Investigator of the ERC-funded project EUDEMOS: Constrained Democracy: Citizens’ Responses to Limited Political Choice in the European Union. Sara has published extensively on elections, referendums, public opinion and European Union politics. Her most recent book (co-authored with Catherine De Vries) is Political Entrepreneurs. The Rise of Challenger Parties in Europe (Princeton University Press. 2020).

Sophie Lecheler is Professor of Political Communication at the Department of Communication at the University of Vienna. Her work focuses on digital political journalism, emotions, and news effects. She has published in a wide range of international journals, such as Communication Research, Journal of Communication, New Media & Society, Journalism Studies, Journalism & Mass Communication Quarterly, Journal of Media Psychology, International Journal of Public Opinion Research, Journalism, Communication Monographs, Communication Yearbook, and the International Journal of Press/Politics. She currently functions as Associate Editor of the International Journal of Press/Politics and Vice-Chair of the Political Communication Division of the International Communication Association.

Annick Masselot is a Professor of Law at the School of Law of University of Canterbury, New Zealand. Her research interests notably focus on gender equality and equal treatment, social and employment law, reconciliation between work and family life, diversity in the sciences, democratisation and public representation. Professor Masselot is the author of Reconciling Work and Family Life in EU Law and Policy (Palgrave Macmillan, 2010) and Caring responsibility in EU law and policy: who cares? (Routledge, forthcoming 2020) both with E. Caracciolo di Torella. She has co-edited Importing EU Norms? Conceptual Framework and Empirical Findings (Springer, 2015) and Perspectives on Commercial Surrogacy in New Zealand: Ethics, Law, Policy and Rights (Centre for Commercial and Corporate Law 2019). She is the author of over 20 reports to the European Commission and co-editor of the Journal of Common Market Studies.

 

Research Assistants

Claire Cappaert is a fourth-year student at the University of Chicago, studying Public Policy and Russian & East European Studies. Her academic interests are in democratic governance and transitional justice; she is currently writing her undergraduate thesis on the relationship between paradiplomacy and the political climates of democracies and autocracies. At UChicago, Claire is on the editorial board of the undergraduate political review The Gate and the student advisory board of the Institute of Politics.

Vida Fatemi is a third year BSc Government student at LSE. She is currently working with the team on a project to capture the concept of electoral atmosphere. She is particularly interested in the role of social media in facilitating and influencing political debate among voters.

Quido Haškovec is a final year politics and philosophy student at the LSE. Growing up in the Czech Republic he has adopted a particular research interest in democracy development in the post-communist states, as well as lately in the unfortunate trend of democratic backsliding and autocratization. He has recently conducted an in-depth policy analysis report on the approach of the European Union to these issues. Apart from dealing with overtly ambitious oligarchs, he enjoys playing chess and reading post-modern fiction.

Eponine Howarth is primarily collecting and inputing data for our Almanac of Electoral Ergonomics. She is currently studying for an LLB student at the London School of Economics having already completed a Bsc in Politics and International Relations. She has worked as a Research Assistant for several LSE-based project and was also part of the Editorial Board of the LSE Undegraduate Political Review. Eponine has published articles with the McGill International Review, the Queen Mary Philosophy Society Student Journal, the earth rise journal, the LSE Undergraduate Political Review and the LSE Newspaper ‘the Beaver’ on international relations, European politics and criminal justice. Eponine is a longstanding (and very successful) forward for the LSE Women’s Football Club and the LSE Futsal Club. Just like our Observatory, “Epo” is also coincidently her nickname!

Courtney Leung is a second-year undergraduate student at the University of Chicago where she is majoring in environmental science and psychology. She is interested in studying climate change and conservation, as well as positive psychology and how people view emotions like happiness. Beyond research, Courtney enjoys listening to music, spending time with friends and family, and learning new languages.

Sophia Michel is a third-year Political Science and Economics student at the University of Chicago. Her Colombian-Chilean-Swiss heritage has tied her identity and passions with the world of politics. She is currently working with the team to conduct family focus groups with first-time voters. When she is not working to improve electoral democracy, you can probably find her reading, writing, or playing sports.

Luke Mansillo is a PhD Candidate and Sessional Academic in the Department of Government and International Relations at the University of Sydney. He is completing is doctoral thesis on the role of ethnocentrism in Australian electoral competition. He holds a Bachelor of Arts with First Class Honours in political science and a Master of Social Research from the Australian National University. For the Guardian he built a model to aggregate polls for the 2016 Australian federal election. In 2018, he was an associate in the Department of Government at Harvard University. For four years Luke was a research assistant at the United States Studies Centre at the University of Sydney where he worked on data collection and analysis; in 2017 he wrote and fielded public opinion surveys in six countries. Despite studying European politics as an undergraduate Luke speaks Japanese. He is substantively interested in elections, political behaviour, political psychology, political geography, public opinion and parties in Australia and other advanced democracies in addition to quantitative social research design. Luke has published several book chapters and articles in the Australian Journal of Political Science and Journal of Australian Political Economy.

Ginny Moruzzi is a politics and economics student at the LSE. Of Italian origin, Ginny has participated in a report on citizens’ settled status for New Europeans. In addition to academic questions, Ginny’s talents range from competitive tennis to the piano.

Rania Putri is a final-year Government and Economics student. Owing much to her upbringing in Qatar, her primary research interests lie in the ever-changing political landscape of the Middle East—particularly those pertaining to the younger generation’s political activism. On her off days, she enjoys reading science fiction and composing badly-written romantic poetry.

Goksu Zeybek is a second-year at the University of Chicago where she studies Economics and Mathematics. On campus, Goksu is an Executive Board Member at The University of Chicago Behavioral Economics Association and enjoys exploring how human behavior can be influenced by different social and political contexts. In her free time, she likes to play tennis and watch space documentaries.

Anne-Sophie Neyra, often going by Sophie, is a curious individual in her final year of Politics and Philosophy at the LSE. She has had had brief stints in communication and journalism before joining Flamingo’s Human Insights team in May 2021. She spent her formative years between Uruguay, Argentina, and Poland. This allowed her to develop her strong language skills and enhance her adaptability to new cultures. Sophie’s undergraduate dissertation uses qualitative research in the form of focus groups and individual interviews and focuses on the way in which narratives of electoral hostility are structured within polish society.