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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Sandra Obradović is Associate Researcher at the Electoral Psychology Observatory. She is a postdoctoral fellow in the Department of Psychological and Behavioural Science (PBS) at the LSE. 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 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.

 

Eponine Howarth is a Research Assistant at the Electoral Psychology Observatory 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!

 

Rania Putri is a Research Assistant at the Electoral Psychology Observatory. She 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.

 

Vida Fatemi is a Research Assistant at the Electoral Psychology Observatory and 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.

 

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.

 

Dr 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 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.

 

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.