Publication: The German Federal Election of 2013

WEPIn his latest article, which was recently published in West European Politics, Thorsten Faas analyzes the results of the Bundestags election 2013. The article can be downloaded on the West European Politics website.

  • Thorsten Faas: The German Federal Election of 2013: Merkel’s Triumph, the Disappearance of the Liberal Party, and Yet Another Grand Coalition, in: West European Politics, 38, 2015, S. 238-247.

Report on the Local Election Project in Mainz

Kommunalwahlen_ProjektberichtOn occasion of the local election in May 2014, we conducted a project on “Local elections in Mainz: A Project on voter mobilization”. The project report is now available for download here.

In the run-up to the Mainz local election of 2014, we conducted a field experiment in order to investigate the effectiveness of mobilizing procedures. Door-to-door visits are generally regarded as a successful mobilizing tool but there had not been any empirical studies for Germany before. With the help of different mobilizing treatments (door-to-door and flyers) in randomly chosen districts, we examined to which extent the treatments had an effect on the voting behaviour. The study was accompanied by a survey. The report summarizes the idea and background of the project as well as its structure and implementation. The results are documented in two parts; they show that door-to-door visits in fact help to mobilize voters.

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„Why Scotland voted ‘No’” – Rob Johns as guest at Mainz University

rajohnsDuring this week’s colloquium, Rob Johns from the University of Essex gave a talk on “Why Scotland voted ‘No’”. On the basis of opinion polls, he elaborated why Scottish independence was defeated on 18 September 2014.
One of the most important reasons, according to Johns, was the fear of the consequences of independence rather than a lack of Scottish national pride. The talk was followed by a lively debate to which Johns added some more details of his findings. It became clear: the idea of an independent Scotland will remain part of public discourse.

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Conference: „Internet killed the TV-Star?“

In cooperation with the institutes for media studies and media convergence, the team of empirical political research organizes the conference “Internet killed the TV-Star??. Experts from all relevant fields – science, media, and politics – will discuss latest developments and forward compatibility: How does the internet change TV and TV watching habits? How are hybrid TV forms established in law? Which role will big data play for future TV? How will future TV look like?
The conference will take place from 27 to 28 November. Participation is free. If you want to participate, please make a binding commitment:
For more information, take a look at our website:

PVS Special Issue 2015: „Political Psychology” – Authors’ Conference

PVS Sonderheft 2014Last week, Mainz was the capital of political psychology. In the course of preparation for the PVS Special Issue, edited by Cornelia Frank, Harald Schoen, and Thorsten Faas, more than 20 papers were presented and discussed. Many thanks to all who contributed and especially to the Fritz Thyssen Foundation, Freunde der Universität Mainz, and to DVPW, who made the conference possible!

Julia Range introduces herself

Julia RangeAfter my graduation from Mainz University, where I studied Sociology (B.A) and Political Science (M.A) from 2009 to 2014, I started to work as a researcher at the Department of Empirical Political Science. Previously, I worked as Prof. Faas’ research assistant. During the project “Volksabstimmung Stuttgart 21”, I examined voters’ attitudes concerning direct democratic elements. In doing so I could elaborate on my research interests, which explicitely lie in political sociology and communication research as well as voters’ behavior.

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Summer Trip


We spent our summer trip in the beautiful wine city of Rüdesheim. After the cableway took us to the Niederwald monument where we could enjoy the sun, a nice walk and a boat trip left us with enough energy for the rest of the semester.

Team Denkmal Denkmal_2 Turm

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“Data: The oil of the 21st century“

Edgar Wagner, representative for data protection and freedom of information in Rhineland-Palatine, gave a talk on “data protection in times of Facebook and Snowden” within Thorsten Faas’ “Statistics I” lecture.

2014-06-24 20 31 29Wagner’s task is to ensure data protection concerning the state as well as the private market. In Wagner’s words “even the digital world must be able to forget”. Oblivion, however, is threatened as data increasingly become an important economic issue. Knowing that it is going to be a long way, Wagner promotes a “European way” in the American-dominated internet as suggested by Frank Schirrmacher.

After his talk, Wagner answered the questions of a very interested audience, who for instance wanted to know how studying at JGU could be possible without leaving data traces. Others were interested in the questions of how Wagner and his colleagues sensitize the younger generation for data protection and why firms are willing to pay enormous sums of money for user data.

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Publication: Election Campaigns in Miniature

iwpTV debates following an American format first occurred on German TV in 2002 in the election campaign between Gerhard Schröder and Edmund Stoiber. Since then, TV debates have become an integral part of election campaigns.

In their latest contribution published in the journal “Information. Wissenschaft & Praxis”, Thorsten Faas and Jürgen Maier analyze the question of why TV debates are appreciated by involved politicians, the broadcasting media, the television audience, and the social sciences. Additionally, possible research perspectives in terms of “election campaigns in miniature” are outlined, taking the Bundestag election of 2013 as an example.

  • Thorsten Faas, Jürgen Maier: Wahlkämpfe im Miniaturformat: Fernsehdebatten und ihre Wirkung am Beispiel des TV-Duells 2013 zwischen Angela Merkel und Peer Steinbrück, in: Information. Wissenschaft & Praxis, 65, 2014, S. 163–168.
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