I am a Professor of Political Sociology and Social Policy at the Humboldt University zu Berlin. My main research interests are electoral change, distributive politics and political conflicts.
In this research initiative, we explore the ambivalent dynamics between civic society, social cohesion and polarization. I find the integration of insights from different disciplines from Sociology, Political Science to Political Psychology particularly helpful to understand such dynamics both on the level of social groups and on the level of individual citizens. Our project explores how social cohesion is negotiated in social interactions and under which social and personal conditions these interactions are likely to foster or diminish social cohesion.
Studying social conflicts and its translation into politics is at the heart of Political Sociology. Currently, the debates revolve around understanding how new social conflicts restructure the political space and lead to the politicization of new issues and the emergence of new actors. With this, Political Sociology helps to understand under which conditions specific issue conflicts turn into more fundamental cleavage that divides the society in camps with antagonizing world views and opposite stances on many different issues.