Simon Bienstman

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) 798-36713
E-Mail: bienstman[at]


Researcher for the Project POLAR



Simon Bienstman is a researcher at the Chair for Social Stratification and Social Policy. Since April 2020 he works on the ERC project "POLAR (Polarization and its discontents: does rising economic inequality undermine the foundations of liberal societies?)" headed by Prof. Markus Gangl. Simon studied Politics and Administration together with Sociology (B.A.) at the University of Potsdam, as well as Sociology (M.Sc.) und Statistics (M.Sc.) at KU Leuven. His master’s thesis in Sociology ("Welfare State Performance and Political Support for Democracy: Social Protection, Economic Vulnerability and Democratic Legitimacy") is a comparative study on the consequences of economic insecurity and the effectiveness of social protection systems for attitudes towards democracy. His master’s thesis in Statistics ("Does Economic Inequality Erode Political Trust?") examines to what extent and by which mechanisms varying degrees of income inequality between and within European countries influence public confidence in institutions of representative democracy.

In addition to political attitudes and behavior, his research interests include comparative welfare state research, with a special focus on attitudes towards redistribution and distributive justice.


2022 Populism and Layers of Social Belonging: Support of Populist Parties in EuropePolitical Psychology. doi: 10.1111/pops.12827 (with Alexander Langenkamp)