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Sabine Kropp and Antonios Souris presenting at the MPSA

News from Apr 20, 2023

Sabine Kropp and Antonios Souris presented their results from the COVFED-Project at this year's Conference of the Midwest Political Science Association (MPSA) in Chicago.


Sabine Kropp also presented a paper from the GOVRUS-Projekt.


The Resilience of Federal Institutions in Times of Crisis  – Evidence from Germany during the Covid-19 Pandemic


By Sabine Kropp, Antonios Souris and Christoph Nguyen


Designing resilient and robust institutions is a crucial challenge for federal democracies. In Federalist No. 10, the federal principle is advocated as precaution against arbitrary rule by self-interested elites. Recent studies cast doubt on this positive conception, pointing out that the federal structure of government even provides incentives for self-serving strategies. For keeping the federation together, its institutions must contain such strategies, particularly in times of crisis when political tensions accelerate. In our contribution, we seek to understand the effects of federal institutions on political behavior during the Covid-19 pandemic. Germany is a particularly instructive case because its federal system sets highly conflicting incentives, linking party competition with multi-colored coalition governance and cooperative norms. While existing research focuses on decision-making, we suggest a novel approach, investigating how parties employ federal institutions in communicative discourses with the public. Based on 4,532 statements gathered in a large-scale qualitative content analysis of parliamentary debates, we develop five discursive strategies and analyze how parties employed them. We find the resilience of federal institutions in times of crisis, curbing self-serving behavior of political elites as far as they adhere to the corresponding terms and norms.


Why are state-business relations formalized in Russia’s authoritarian regime? A set-theoretic analysis


By Benedikt Bender, Katharina Bluhm, Stanislav Klimovich, Sabine Kropp, Ulla Pape and Claudius Wagemann


Scholars usually highlight the high degree of informality in Russian state-business relations (SBR). In contrast, this study reveals that there is a strong tendency to formalize SBR interactions. Today, SBR in Russia’s regions build on various institutionalized forms, including socio-economic development agreements, public private partnerships and consultation procedures. Based on a fuzzy-set Qualitative Comparative Analysis (fsQCA), the study identifies different degrees of institutionalized SBR in Russia’s 83 federal subjects. It analyses various combinations of economic and political conditions leading to the same outcome – strongly institutionalized SBR – which occurs in about 75% of Russia’s regions. The analysis carves out four distinct pathways: monopolized economy, hegemonic authoritarian politics, personalist politics, and competitive authoritarian politics. It gives reasons for why state and business formalize their collaboration under the terms of an authoritarian regime, and thus provides a contribution to key questions in comparative research on authoritarianism.

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SFB 700