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Department of Comparative Politics

New post-doc

New Post-Doc will research political responsiveness

- Although elections are essential for the relationship between citizens and the political elite, the post-election phase and the subsequent correspondence between citizens’ expectations and policy outcomes is also fundamental, says new post-doc Andrea Fumarola.

New post-doc
Andrea Fumarola's earlier research has been centered around political accountability. For his new position at Sampol, he's connected to a research project focused on political responsiveness, two oncepts he sees as strictly interrelated dimensions of democratic quality.
Photo:
Mariana Q. Rød

Originally from Taranto, a seaside town in south-eastern Italy, Fumarola has spent the last six years in Rome. Here he completed his PhD with a thesis entitled “Beyond Economy: Determinants of Electoral Accountability in Central and Eastern Europe (1993-2015)”, where he focused on the non-economic determinants of accountability in eleven EU member states belonging to the former ‘Socialist bloc’. His research interests are related to elections, representation and political behavior, issues that he worked with during his research experience abroad with the Electoral Integrity Project directed by Prof. Pippa Norris at the University of Sydney (Australia) and the GESIS Eurolab in Cologne (Germany) directed by Prof. Ingvill Mochmann.

Fumarola’s post doc position at the department is connected to the project “The Politics of Inequality”, led by researcher Yvette Peters, which is focused on political responsiveness.

- I applied for my position a few months before the public defense of my doctoral thesis. The project, with its main focus on government responsiveness, represented the perfect extension of my research since I consider these concepts as two distinct but strictly interrelated dimensions of democratic quality. In fact, even if elections are the pinnacle moment on the relationship between citizens and the political elite they do not resolve such relations. Instead, the post-election phase in which the correspondence – i.e., the responsiveness – between citizens’ expectations and policy outcomes is fundamental. In turn, voters’ retrospective evaluation of government performance – in terms of achieved policy outcome – constitutes the essence of electoral accountability that, in a circular perspective, could be considered the other side of the same coin.

Fumarolas research for the project will follow different lines within a common path. He will mostly focus on the variation of responsiveness and how we could account for it. To do so, he’ll use data collected by both the well-established Norwegian Citizen Panel and the new Panel of Elected Representatives with questions designed also for this specific research. He will also bridge his studies on electoral accountability with his recent interest in responsiveness to analyze the interplay between these dimensions and party system in a comparative study on 25 European countries.

Fumarola has settled well in Bergen, and the city reminds him somewhat of his own hometown;

- with its seaside, terrific fish quality, strong winds and breathtaking sunsets. However, I’m also enjoying Bergen’s peculiarities such as the recurrent rain – whose sound has made some days in my office less monotonous – and the magic light of some sunny, even if short, winter days.

On his spare time, Fumarola likes to watch football and basketball with friends and colleagues. He is also passionate about running, and considers Bergen with its hills and seaside landscapes to make running even cooler, even if more challenging. Another goal of his postdoc term is to run the Bergen City half-marathon.