Dr. Svenja Hense

Research Fellow

Goethe University Frankfurt am Main
Department of Social Sciences
Institute for Sociology

Campus Westend - PEG Gebäude
Hauspostfach 15
Theodor-W.-Adorno-Platz 6
60323 Frankfurt am Main

Office: PEG 1.G 063
Tel: (069) 798-36712
E-Mail: hense[at]soz.uni-frankfurt.de


Researcher for the Project POLAR




Svenja Hense is a postdoctoral researcher at the Chair of Social Stratification and Social Policy since April 2020 and works on the ERC project “POLAR (Polarization and its discontents: does rising economic inequality undermine the foundations of liberal societies?)”. Before coming to Frankfurt, she studied Political Science and Sociology in Duisburg, Düsseldorf and Utrecht, worked as a researcher in the field of Political Science at the Universities of Osnabrück and Münster and was a guest researcher at MIT. She obtained her doctorate in 2019 with a thesis dealing with the question whether the growing dualization of the German labor market is likely to produce a new stable political cleavage.

Her main research interests are the relation between economic and political inequalities, as well as welfare state reforms and their consequences. She is also interested in questions of voting behavior and political attitudes.

Publications and Presentations


  • Elsässer, Lea; Hense, Svenja; Schäfer, Armin (2020): Not just money: unequal responsiveness in egalitarian democraciesJournal of European Public Policy. DOI: 10.1080/13501763.2020.1801804.
    See also: Why MPs do not represent everyone equally well. LSE EUROPP Blog, October 2nd, 2020.
  • Elsässer, Lea; Hense, Svenja; Schäfer, Armin (2018): Government of the People, by the Elite, for the Rich. Unequal Responsiveness in an Unlikely Case. MPIfG Discussion Paper 18/5.
  • Elsässer, Lea; Hense, Svenja; Schäfer, Armin (2017): 'Dem Deutschen Volke'? Die ungleiche Responsivität des Bundestags. Zeitschrift für Politikwissenschaft (ZPol) 27 (2): 161–180.


  • Hense, Svenja (2020): The Not-So Dualized Society: Chances of a Cleavage Formation from Labor Market Dualization. Münster: University and State Library of Münster.
  • Hense, Svenja (2015): Politische Kultur in Kroatien im europäischen Vergleich: Eine Analyse auf Basis der European Values Study. Hamburg: Diplomica. 

Book Chapter

  • Elsässer, Lea; Hense, Svenja; Schäfer, Armin (2019): Politische Ungleichheit in Deutschland. Eine Untersuchung der Entscheidungen des Bundestags von 1998 bis 2013. In: Thomas Hartmann / Jochen Dahm / Frank Decker (ed.): Die Zukunft der Demokratie. Erkämpft. Verteidigt. Gefährdet? Bonn: Verlag J.H.W. Dietz Nachf., pp. 151–168.

Presentations at conferences

  • Dualisierung=Polarisierung? Policy-Präferenzen von Insidern und Outsidern. DVPW Conference, Frankfurt (Main), 25–28 September 2018.
  • „Dualization as Destiny“ or as an Intended Decision? Evidence from Germany. SASE 30th Annual Meeting, Doshisha-Universität Kyoto (Japan), 23–25 June 2018.
  • „Dualization as Destiny“ or as an Intended Decision? Evidence from Germany. Rhein-Ruhr-Promovenden-Symposium 2018, Duisburg, 8/9 March 2018.
  • Labour Market Dualization and Its Consequences: Political Mobilization Potential of Insiders and Outsiders in Germany. Workshop „Democratic Anxiety – Democratic Resilience“, Mainz, 15–17 June 2017.
  • Gleiche Rechte, ungleicher Einfluss? Die Responsivität des Deutschen Bundestages von 1998 bis 2015. „Demokratie Revisited. Theorien – Befunde – Perspektiven“, Akademie für Politische Bildung Tutzing, 28–30 October 2016.