Verena Fetscher is a PhD candidate at the University of Mannheim, working at the intersection of political economy and political behavior. Her research focuses on inequality and redistribution, and the influence of institutional differences on preference formation. In her dissertation, she poses the following questions: Why do high-income earners support redistribution? What are motives driving preferences for redistribution? How does the social policy design intervene? She approaches these questions with experimental methods, mainly in laboratory settings. Verena holds a M.Sc. in Social Sciences from Uppsala University and a B.A. in Political Science from the University of Mannheim.


Marcela Ibáñez is a doctoral student and a research fellow at the Professorship in Empirical Democracy Research at the University of Mannheim. She is also a doctoral candidate at the Graduate School of Economic and Social Sciences (GESS), and a research assistant at the Mannheimer Zentrum für Europäische Sozialforschung (MZES). Her research focuses on political methodology, particularly, causal inference, experimental designs in comparative politics, and formal modeling. Her core research interests include authoritarianism, decision-making processes, and coalition and legislative politics, with a particular focus on Latin America. However, she has also done research in the field of international security studies on topics such as transnational and national security policy, legislation and implementation. Marcela holds a Masterʼs degree in Political Science from the University of Mannheim, a Masterʼs degree in Security Studies from the Charles University in Prague, and a Bachelorʼs degree in Political Science from the University of West Bohemia.


Kai Jäger is a Post-Doctoral fellow at the Chair for Empirical Democracy Research. He has recently defended his Ph.D. dissertation in Economics at the University of Munich. Jäger previously worked at the Ifo Center for Public Finance and Political Economy. He has studied Economics and Political Science in Germany, the United Kingdom, and the United States. His research interests lie at the intersection of political economy, party politics, and democratization. Jägerʼs work has appeared in Democratization, the European Journal of Political Economy, and European Union Politics.


Mark Mazureanu is a Ph.D. candidate at the Department of Political Science at Rutgers University in New Jersey, USA. His dissertation, “Emigrants as Resources for Democratic Accountability”, investigates the effects of out-migration on the process of democratization in countries of origin. In parallel, he is involved in a research project at MZES, entitled “The Hybrid Wars of Information” that investigates methods to decrease effects of propaganda usage. Other pursued research projects include “Remittances, Diasporas, and Democratic Accountability” funded by Open Society Foundations; “Evolution of National and Ethnic Minorities in Poland and the Czech Republic after the 2004 European Union Enlargement”, funded by International Visegrad Fund; “Best practices of social integration of Roma people in the Slovak Republic, and Evolution of ethnic and national minorities in Slovakia” both funded by the Ministry of Education of the Slovak Republic, Bratislava, and the Slovak National Scholarship Program. Mark taught at Rutgers University, University of Konstanz, and University of Mannheim courses on Russian Foreign Policy, Globalization, Migration and Democratization, Politics and Culture, and Lobbying in the United States.


Federico Nanni is a final year PhD Student in Digital Humanities at the University of Bologna, with a background on contemporary European history. His thesis, which is supervised by professors Maurizio Matteuzzi and Simone Paolo Ponzetto, is focused on defining new methodologies for dealing with the issues that arise when using born digital documents a s primary sources to conduct research in contemporary history. During his PhD, he have been a visiting scholar at the Centre for Internet Studies ( Aarhus University), at the Human Language Technology Group (Foundation Bruno Kessler), at the Data and Web Science Group (University of Mannheim) and at the Computer Science Department (University of New Hampshire). Since May 2016, he has also been a researcher at the Data and Web Science Group and at the Political Science Department of the University of Mannheim, working with professors Laura Dietz and Nikolay Marinov. In this project, he is working on an information retrieval (IR) task focused on creating event- collections from large-scale datasets, for supporting research on the international relations (IR) of the United States. Basically, itʼs IR for IR!


Nikolay Marinov is Professor of Political Science and holds the Chair of Empirical Democracy Research at the University of Mannheim, Germany. Marinov's research is at the nexus of international relations and comparative politics. His book looks at what happens when elections turn proxy wars, in which great powers intervene to promote democratic processes, or to push their local allies. His published research includes work on countriesʼ post-coup trajectories, on peacekeeping and electoral business cycles, on foreign aid, election observation and economic sanctions. Marinov has helped collect, with Susan Hyde, the NELDA dataset of elections around the world. He received his BA from the American University in Bulgaria. He holds a PhD in Political Science and a Masterʼs in Economics from Stanford University. Previously, he has held position at University of Sydney, UCLA and Yale.


Kirsten Jonasson-Vree
Secretarial and Administrative Support

Professorship in Political Science
Empirical Democracy Research

University of Mannheim
A5 6, Room 333 (3rd floor)
D-68159 Mannheim

Phone: +49-621-181-3961


Office hours: by appointment