Research of Prof. Sigrid Roßteutscher, PhD


German Longitudinal Election Study – GLES



General Information

As part of their “long-term funding Humanities”, the German Research Foundation is promoting the German Longitudinal Election Study (GLES). This project examines the 2009, 2013 and 2017 parliamentary elections. Since the beginning of the 21st century, a profound change in the German political process can be observed which affects voters, parties, their candidates, as well as their election campaigns, and not least, the mass media. Together, they have led to a considerable increase in the fluidity and instability of the electoral process, with potentially far-reaching implications for representative democracy in Germany. Looking at the Bundestag elections in 2009, 2013 and 2017, the GLES aims to investigate how today’s more mobile electorate responds to the challenges of this new, very complex constellation of electoral politics.

Three of the nine components of this study, the most extensive German election study to date, are implemented at the University of Frankfurt under the leadership of Prof. Dr. Sigrid Roßteutscher: Pre-election Cross-Section, Online-Tracking/State Elections-Boosts and Long-term Media Agenda Analysis. The German National Election Study is a cooperative project and was initiated by Prof. Dr. Hans Rattinger (University of Mannheim), Prof. Dr. Sigrid Roßteutscher (Goethe University Frankfurt), Prof. Dr. Rüdiger Schmitt-Beck (University of Mannheim) and Bernhard Weßels (Social Science Center of Berlin, WZB). At present, the project is managed by Prof. Dr. Sigrid Roßteutscher, Prof. Dr. Rüdiger Schmitt-Beck (University of Mannheim), Prof. Dr. Harald Schoen (Mannheim Centre of European Social Research), Prof. Dr. Bernhard Weßels (Social Science Center of Berlin) and Prof. Dr. Christof Wolf (GESIS). This project originally emerged from an initiative led by the German Society for Electoral Studies (DGfW).

Being the most ambitious research program in German electoral research, the project generates and analyzes a comprehensive and integrated database which is available at GESIS. It is seen as an important contribution towards improving the infrastructure of high-quality programs within social science data collection in Germany. All data is treated as a public good and is made immediately accessible for interested social scientists.

For further information on GLES, please visit the official website of the project.
Project period: 1/2009–12/2021

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The Rural-Urban Divide in Europe (RUDE)


Rising populism and polarization, coupled with declining democratic legitimacy, all point toward a crisis in European democracies. This crisis has a regional dimension: a political and perhaps cultural divide between rural and urban areas. The project examines whether and how urban-rural residency is related to divides in legitimacy beliefs, social identities, perceptions of injustice and threat, political and social attitudes and political behavior of European citizens. It explores “Democratic governance in a turbulent age” from different thematic angles. First, it deals with shifting identities and their consequences for democratic governance and political representation. Stable cleavages only emerge when struggles for identity are accompanied by perceptions of social inequality and unfair resource distribution. Second, it examines the role played by globalization: increasing rural-urban economic divides create social status threats which exacerbate rural-urban political divides. The project will combine a broad comparative study of all European countries with an in-depth analysis of five established European democracies. The project will result in the provision of significant new evidence on rural-urban disparities in European politics, which will allow us to examine the consequences of – and cures for – the current crisis of democracy, thereby engaging both academic and policymaking audiences.

This project is part of the NORFACE Research Programme on “Democratic Governance in a Turbulent Age”.

International cooperation partners are: Christopher Claassen, University of Glasgow, UK; Markus Freitag, University of Bern, Switzerland; Guillem Rico, Autonomous University of Barcelona, Spain; Sonja Zmerli, Université Grenoble Alpes, France

Project Leader: Prof. Sigrid Roßteutscher, PhD together with Jun.-Prof. Dr. Kathrin Ackermann (University of Heidelberg) and Prof. Dr. Richard Traunmüller (University of Mannheim)

Duration: 1.1.2021–31.12.2023

The project “The Rural-Urban Divide in Europe (RUDE)” is financially supported by the NORFACE Joint Research Programme on Democratic Governance in a Turbulent Age and co-funded by DFG and the European Commission through Horizon 2020 under grant agreement No 822166.

Funding: NORFACE/Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG, German Research Foundation)

More information

Job opportunity as a pre-doctoral researcher in this project


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