CURRENT PROJECTS / AKTUELLE PROJEKTE

  • Courts under pressure: How social media change political discourse about the rule of law in modern democracies (VW Stiftung/MWK)

    COURTS UNDER PRESSURE: HOW SOCIAL MEDIA CHANGE POLITICAL DISCOURSE ABOUT THE RULE OF LAW IN MODERN DEMOCRACIES

    Social media is fundamentally changing the nature of political discourse in modern democracies by allowing political actors to circumvent media gatekeepers. Especially right-wing populists have benefited from the changing media landscape. Given their disdain for an independent judiciary, social media has allowed populists to attack high courts in a way that was inconceivable under the conventional model of journalistic gatekeeping. On a theoretical level, our project highlights the potentially detrimental effects of elite discourses on social media, while focusing on high courts as a key pillar of liberal democracy. Showing how social media are abused to undermine the rule of law is particularly worrisome for new democracies where independent judiciaries are viewed as a last line of defence against authoritarian tendencies. The project compares elite discourses on high courts in Germany, the UK, Poland and Estonia over a ten-year period by analyzing print media content and social media use by political actors. The project makes use of large-scale web data collection and automated text analysis to systematically trace discourses on the rule of law. Based on the results, the project will seek to raise awareness among journalists about the challenges associated with an overreliance on social media in their reporting.

    Principal Investigators
    Prof. Dr. Christoph Hönnige, Leibniz Universität Hannover, Institut für Politikwissenschaft
    Dr. Philipp Köker, Leibniz Universität Hannover, Institut für Politikwissenschaft
    Prof. Dr. Dominic Nyhuis, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill

    Duration: 2021-2024

    Sponsor: VW Stiftung / MWK Niedersachsen (Die Digitale Gesellschaft)

  • Verbund BiK: Bedeutung des institutionellen Kontextes für Studienabbruch und Langzeitstudium (BMBF)

    BEDEUTUNG DES INSTITUTIONELLEN KONTEXTES FÜR STUDIENABBRUCH UND LANGZEITSTUDIUM (VERBUND BIK), TEILVORHABEN FALLSTUDIE (INSTITUTIONELLER KONTEXT FACHBEREICHSEBENE)

     

    Das Projekt "Bedeutung des institutionellen Kontextes für Studienabbruch und Langzeitstudium" (BiK) fragt nach den Effekten des studienbezogenen institutionellen Kontextes auf Studienverlauf, Abbruchintention, Langzeitstudium und Studienabbruch. Das Ziel besteht darin, Korrelationen zwischen konkreten Ausprägungen studienverlaufsrelevanter Regelungen und hohen Anteilen von Langzeitstudierenden und Studienabbrüchen zu identifizieren. Der institutionelle Kontext wird dabei auf den drei Ebenen Land, Universität, Studiengang anhand von bestehenden Datenquellen untersucht. 

    Das Teilvorhaben der Leibniz Universität Hannover (LUH) besteht aus zwei Teilstudien. Teilstudie 1 "Explorative Fallvergleiche des Studienverlaufs” beinhaltet die Analyse und den Vergleich von vier Studiengängen der LUH über 6 Jahre. Sie untersucht Effekte hochschulweiter und studiengangsbezogener Regelungen auf die Studiendauer sowie den Studienabbruch anhand des tatsächlich beobachtbaren Studienverlaufs von Studierenden. Die Teilstudie nutzt einen innovativer Datensatz zum empirisch beobachtbaren Studierendenverhalten von vier verschiedenen Studiengängen der LUH (BSc Maschinenbau, BSc Elektro- und Informationstechnik, BA Politikwissenschaft und BA Sozialwissenschaft) bestimmt. 

    Verbundleitung
    Prof. Dr. Monika Jungbauer-Gans (DZHW)

    Teilprojektleitung
    Prof. Dr. Christoph Hönnige

    Dauer: 2021-2024

    Mittelgeber: BMBF

  • Digitalisierung in einer Massenveranstaltung (MWK)

    DIGITALISIERUNG IN EINER MASSENVERANSTALTUNG (MWK)

    Digitalisierung in einer Massenveranstaltung. Peer-begleitetes E-Learning in der politikwissenschaftlichen Statistikausbildung mit der Programmiersprache R

    Kurzbeschreibung: Das Projekt wird die vorlesungslastige und mathematisch orientierte Statistikausbildung im Fach Politikwissenschaft verbessern. Ziel ist es, dass die Studierenden der gesamten Kohorte im Bachelor Kenntnisse in der Programmiersprache R und in der eigenständigen Analyse von Daten mit diesem Werkzeug erwerben. In Verbindung mit den theoretischen Hintergründen aus der Vorlesung können sie somit sowohl selbständig Analysen vornehmen als auch gegebene Analysen kritisch hinterfragen. In der Konsequenz können die Studierenden direkt anwendungsorientiert Fragen der deskriptiven und Inferenzstatistik beantworten. Kenntnisse in R sind auch Grundlage für Big Data Analysen im fortgeschrittenen Bachelor und im Master. Hierzu erfolgt die Konzeption und Implementation einer Online-Praxisübung im Umfang von 2 SWS für eine beispiel-und anwendungsorientierte Programmierausbildung in R. In dieser E-Übung werden die Studierenden die Grundlagen des Programms erlernen, Datensatzaufbereitung, deskriptive und multivariate Statistik sowie erste Elemente von Big Data. Dies geschieht anhand von vorbereiteten politikwissenschaftlichen Datensätzen. In der praktischen Bearbeitung und eigenständigen Analyse dieser Datensätze können die Studierenden sich mit dem Thema Statistik und dessen Nutzen identifizieren. Bisher fehlt eine konkrete Praxisübung für Studierende vollständig in der Ausbildung.

    Projektleitung: Prof. Dr. Christoph Hönnige

    Leitender Mitarbeiter: Philipp Meyer

    Laufzeit: 2021-2022

    Förderung: MWK Niedersachsen, Innovation Plus 2021/22, Projekt Nummer 25

  • Political attention and the substance of legislative reform (DFG)

    POLITICAL ATTENTION AND THE SUBSTANCE OF LEGISLATIVE REFORM (DFG)

    Political attention and the substance of legislative reform (DFG)

    This project aims to investigate how the substance of legislative reform is shaped during parliamentary consideration by the salience attributed to individual proposals. The project speaks to studies that have  analyzed factors determining the content of legislative proposals across their legislative life cycles (Martin and Vanberg 2005, 2014; Pedrazzani and Zucchini 2013). We suggest that while assessing the content of specific legislative proposals is an important step forward in understanding the dynamics of parliamentary reform, previous work has paid insufficient attention to the importance that political actors ascribe to specific reform projects. This is to say that bargaining is not only determined by actors’ preference profiles, but crucially, by how much they believe to be at stake in individual reform proposals (Thomson et al. 2006). We argue that bargaining on individual reform proposals is heavily influenced by salience attributions, such that actors make greater efforts to shape the content of legislative reform when the stakes are high. This effect should be evident in interactions between government and opposition, but also within governing coalitions. Coalition partners try to influence the substance of reform proposals, even after they are introduced into the legislative process, particularly when they have farreaching policy consequences. Thus, the project also contributes to attempts to study interaction patterns within coalition governments (Carroll and Cox 2012; Kim and Loewenberg 2005; Martin 2004; Martin and Vanberg 2004; Thies 2001). 
    Read more under  https://uni-mannheim.de.

    Principal Investigators: Dr. Dominic Nyhuis (Hannover), Prof. Dr. Thomas Gschwend & Prof. Dr. Rainer Stiefelhagen 

    Sponsoring: Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft

  • Verwaltung und Wissenschaft. Konkurrierende oder komplementäre Rationalitäten? (LCSS)

    VERWALTUNG UND WISSENSCHAFT. KONKURRIERENDE ODER KOMPLEMENTÄRE RATIONALITÄTEN? (LCSS)

    Verwaltung und Wissenschaft. Konkurrierende oder komplementäre Rationalitäten?

    Kurzbeschreibung: Universitäten haben als primäre Organisationsziele die Produktion von Forschungsleistungen und Ausbildung von Studierenden und eine Reihe von weiteren Sekundärzielen. Um diese Ziele zu erreichen, sind Universitäten funktional in Wissenschaft und Verwaltung, sowie sektoral in Fakultäten spezialisiert. Im Umkehrschluss bedeutet das, dass das Erreichen der Organisationsziele auch von einer erfolgreichen Kooperation der ausdifferenzierten Teile abhängig ist. Das Projekt befasst sich aus politik- und verwaltungswissenschaftlicher sowie soziologischer Perspektive mit der Frage, wie Koordinationsprozesse innerhalb von Universitäten funktionieren und welche Rolle der Wissensstand der  Verwaltung über wissenschaftliche Prozesse dabei spielt. Das Projekt basiert auf der Grundannahme, dass die starke Trennung durch unterschiedliche Aufgaben und Karriereverläufe in Verwaltung und Wissenschaft dazu führen, dass die Verwaltung ihre Leistungen dann gut erbringen kann, wenn sie über einen hohen Wissensstand über wissenschaftliche Prozesse verfügt, der damit indirekt zum Erreichen der Organisationsziele von Universitäten beiträgt.  Zum empirischen Test wird in einer großen Universität Zufriedenheit, Informationsstand und deren Determinanten empirisch mittels einer Organisationsfallstudie und eines quantitativen Surveys überprüft.

    Projektleitung: Prof.Dr. Marian Döhler, Prof.Dr. Christoph Hönnige, Prof. Dr. Anna Kosmützky, Prof. Dr. Eva Ruffing

    Mitarbeiter/in: Helge Staff, Angela Kipf

    Laufzeit: 2019-2021

    Förderung: Leibniz Center for Science and Society (LCSS)

    Link zur LCCS Projekthomepage: Verwaltung und Wissenschaft – Konkurrierende oder komplementäre Rationalitäten?

COMPLETED PROJECTS / ABGESCHLOSSENE PROJEKTE

  • The German Constitutional Court as Veto Player (DFG)

    THE GERMAN CONSTITUTIONAL COURT AS VETO PLAYER (DFG)

    The German Constitutional Court as Veto Player

    The project wants to investigate when and under which conditions the German Federal Constitutional Court annuls statutes and in doing so becomes an effective veto player in Germany’s political system. A veto player is a political actor that can obstruct changes in the law. Due to its power of judicial review the Federal Constitutional Court is such an actor. Empirically it has remained unclear, however, how often and under which conditions the court exercises its power. Furthermore, it is still an unsolved puzzle to what extent the court’s actions within the complex institutional system of the Federal Republic of Germany contribute to stabilizing the status quo and to making the system incapable of reform. So far, research argues that the Federal Constitutional Court does constitute a veto player. However, it explains the court’s behavior almost exclusively by means of jurisprudential approaches. In contrast to these lines of arguments, the project introduces concepts used specifically in political science, namely judges’ political preferences as explanatory factors. These are employed to predict under which conditions the Federal Constitutional Court declares statutes void and hence does or does not make use of its veto power. There are differing constellations of actors which are expected to make the court less or more likely to act as a veto player. They can be observed when looking at government compositions, legislative procedures, majorities in the Bundesrat, and preferences of judges resulting in changing court majorities. To examine this empirically the project will conduct studies on the basis of legislative procedures and rulings of the Federal Constitutional Court from 1976 to 2009.

    Principal Investigator:
    Prof. Thomas Gschwend
    Prof. Dr. Christoph Hönnige

    Staff: Benjamin G. Engst, Caroline E. Wittig, Katja Heeß, Philipp Meyer

    Duration: 2011-2015

    Sponsor: Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft

  • Voice Without Vote - Consultative Committees (Fritz Thyssen Foundation)

    VOICE WITHOUT VOTE – CHALLENGES FOR THE EUROPEAN ECONOMIC AND SOCIAL COMMITTEE AND THE COMMITTEE OF THE REGIONS? ANALYSING THE INFLUENCE OF CONSULTATIVE COMMITTEES

    Voice Without Vote – Challenges for the European Economic and Social Committee and the Committee of the Regions? Analysing the influence of consultative committees

    Committees play an important role in national and international legislative processes: they are set up to increase effectiveness of decision-making, enable logrolling and partisan coordination, and increase the expertise or the legitimacy of decision-making (Mattson/Strom 1995). There are two types of committees: decision-making committees and consultative committees. Decision-making committees, especially parliamentary committees as pas pro toto of the whole house, have long been the center of attention regarding their composition, jurisdiction and decision-making rules (e.g. Shepsle and Weingast, 1987, Mattson and Strom, 1995). Decision-making committees are de facto able to make binding decisions. They are important in the legislative process since they usually either have a gate-keeping or a gate-opening function.

    In line with the principle ‘voice, but no vote’, consultative committees have access to decision-making arenas, but lack formal voting power. Thus, their recommendations or conclusions are not binding in character. But while we know a lot about decision-making committees, there are only a few studies on the role and influence of consultative committees. Research on consultative committees looks either at internal decision-making procedures and compositions of actors or provides general information on the institutions. So far, however, the influence of consultative committees has been neglected. This is also the case at the international level. The principle ‘voice, but no vote’ not only applies to consultative committees, but also for non-governmental organizations (such as Amnesty International, Acted, ActionCarbone, Democracy International, Friends of the Earth, Greenpeace, Medair). While non-governmental organizations are often subject to research, the role of consultative committees within governance arrangements on international level has not been studied in detail, so that we do not know how and under which conditions consultative committees are able to exert influence.

    This project aims to close this gap in our knowledge and answer the following research question: How and under which conditions can consultative committees influence policies even though they have no formal voting-powers?

    In order to answer this research question and shed light on the scope conditions under which consultative committees can exert influence and shape the content of policy outcomes, the project draws on neo-institutionalist theory and develops a sender-receiver model. In the project, we specify a sender-receiver-model focusing on the exchange of information for influence. Consultative Committees have access to formal decision-making bodies (voice), but cannot decide upon policies as they lack formal decision-making power (votes). Thus, expert-based and political consultative committees are bound to exert influence via an indirect route. They operate as senders and have to persuade the legislative decision-making bodies as receivers to take on the information provided in the recommendations in order to influence policy-outcomes. Whether this endeavor is successful depends on how far supply of recommendations meets demands for information, which is influenced by the preference configuration between senders and receivers, the distribution of a set of different capacities as well as the incentives to develop recommendations and to adopt them respectively at play.

    The distinct capacity, incentive and preference hypotheses for the sender-side, the receiver-side, and the interactions between senders and receivers are put to a comprehensive empirical test. To this end, the project applies a mixed-methods approach and combines quantitative regression analysis with qualitative case studies. This has the advantage of getting insights into the bigger picture on the basis of a large-N analysis as well as inquiring the causal mechanisms underlying the hypotheses in great depth through process-tracing case studies.
    The quantitative part is based on a comprehensive and representative survey conducted in 2010. In this survey, actors in the European Parliament and the Council of Ministers as the two legislating receiving institutions were asked about the role and influence of the CoR and the EESC as the two consultative committees as senders institutions across eleven different policy areas. The survey shows that the influence of consultative committees varies across receiving institutions and policies and the quantitative hypothesis test shows that this variation can indeed be accounted for with the sender-receiver model.

    The qualitative part is based on two case studies selected according to a most similar systems design that varies the major explanatory variables but keeps all other alternative explanations constant. The legislative processes took place between 2006 and 2010, were all decided under the co-decision procedure and both consultative committees were involved on a mandatory basis and actually delivered opinions. However, the cases differ with regard to the policy area. We decided to choose two case studies on the ground of three considerations: Firstly, a case study from the core policy area of each institution, secondly, case studies where both institutions delivered opinions in time, and thirdly, legislative acts in which the committees made sufficient amendments to enable us to trace processes.

    Principal Investigators:
    Prof. Dr. Diana Panke
    Prof. Dr. Christoph Hönnige

    Staff: Julia Gollub

    Duration: 2010-2013

    Sponsor: Fritz Thyssen Stiftung

     

     

  • Verwaltungsreformen an Universitäten

    VERWALTUNGSREFORMEN AN UNIVERSITÄTEN

    Verwaltungsreformen an Universitäten

    Das Projekt konzipiert Verwaltungsreformen im Bereich der Verbesserung der Studierendenservices (Beschleunigung und Optimierung der Einschreibungsverfahren, Verbesserung der Angebote für Erstsemester) sowie der finanziellen Steuerung von Universitäten (Einführung einer Vollkostenrechnung für die EU-Projektabrechnung und die Erfüllung der EU Beihilfeanforderungen) in Kooperation mit Horváth & Partners.

    Principal Investigator: Prof. Dr. Christoph Hönnige 

    Project Duration: 2008-2012

    Sponsoring: Horváth & Partners Management Consultants