Profile Profile
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Prof. Dr. Bernhard Weßels

Portrait Prof. Dr. Bernhard Weßels (Photo: David Ausserhofer)
Research Fields
  • Comparative political behavior
  • Research on elections and political attitudes
  • Interest intermediation, and comparative studies on political representation
  • Comparative politics
  • Democracy
fon: +49 30 25491 315
fax: +49 30 25491 345
mail: bernhard [dot] wessels [at] wzb [dot] eu
Reichpietschufer 50
D-10785 Berlin
Research Fellow of the Research Unit

since 2003
Senior research fellow, Social Science Research Center Berlin (WZB), research unit "Democracy and Democratization", formerly "Democracy: Structures, Performance, Challenges"

Deputy director, research unit "Democracy and Democratization", formerly "Democracy: Structures, Performance, Challenges" at the WZB (Director of the research unit: Wolfgang Merkel)

since April 2013
Professor, Humboldt-University Berlin, Institute for Social Sciences

since 2008
Faculty member, Berlin Graduate School of the Social Sciences (BGSS), Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin, Privatdozent at the Institute for Social Sciences

Privatdozent at Freie Universität Berlin, Department of Political and Social Sciences

1992-3/2003 (completion of the research unit)
Deputy director, research unit "Institutions and Social Change" at the WZB (director of the research unit: Hans-Dieter Klingemann)

1989- 2003
Senior research fellow, Social Science Research Center Berlin (WZB), research unit "Institutions and Social Change"

Research fellow, Zentralinstitut für sozialwissenschaftliche Forschung, Freie Universität Berlin

Selected Publications
  • Giebler, Heiko/Weßels, Bernhard (2017): "If You Don't Know Me by Now. Explaining Local Candidate Recognition". In: German Politics, Vol. 26, No. 1, S. 149-169. (vorab online publiziert 15.06.2016)
  • Schoen, Harald/Weßels, Bernhard (Hg.) (2016): Wahlen und Wähler. Analysen aus Anlass der Bundestagswahl 2013. Wiesbaden: Springer VS, XIII, 515 S.
  • Weßels, Bernhard (2016): "Democratic Legitimacy. Concepts, Measures, Outcomes". In: Mónica Ferrín/Hanspeter Kriesi (Eds.): How Europeans View and Evaluate Democracy. Series Comparative Politics. New York, NY: Oxford University Press, S. 235-256.
  • Weßels, Bernhard (2015): "Political Culture, Political Satisfaction and the Rollback of Democracy". In: Global Policy, Vol. 6, No. S1, Special Issue "Changing the European Debate. A Rollback of Democracy", edited by Helmut K. Anheier, S. 93-105.
  • Weßels, Bernhard (2015): "Politische Ungleichheit beim Wählen". In: Wolfgang Merkel (Hg.): Demokratie und Krise. Zum schwierigen Verhältnis von Theorie und Empirie. Wiesbaden: Springer VS, S. 67-94.
  • Weßels, Bernhard/Schmitt, Hermann (2014): "Meaningful Choices. Does Parties' Supply Matter?". In: Jacques Thomassen (Ed.): Elections and Democracy. Representation and Accountability. New York, NY: Oxford University Press, S. 38-59.
  • Weßels, Bernhard/Rattinger, Hans/Roßteutscher, Sigrid/Schmitt-Beck, Rüdiger (Eds.) (2014): Voters on the Move or on the Run?. New York, NY: Oxford University Press, IX, 357 S.
  • Giebler, Heiko/Weßels, Bernhard (2013): "Campaign Foci in European Parliamentary Elections. Determinants and Consequences". In: Journal of Political Marketing, Vol. 12, No. 1, S. 53-76.
  • Wagner, Aiko/Weßels, Bernhard (2012): "Parties and Their Leaders. Does it Matter How They Match? - The German General Elections 2009 in Comparison". In: Electoral Studies, Vol. 31, No. 1, S. 72-82. (Vorab online publiziert 14. Juni 2011)

German Longitudinal Election Study (GLES), funded by the German Research Foundation (DFG)
Co-Director: Bernhard Weßels
Participating scientists: , Aiko Wagner, Heiko Giebler
In cooperation with: Hans Rattinger (University of Mannheim), Sigrid Roßteutscher (University Frankfurt am Main), Rüdiger Schmitt-Beck (University of Mannheim)

PIREDEU - Providing an Infrastructure for Research on Electoral Democracy in the European Union, FP7 Project, funded by the European Commission; study component "European Candidate Study"
Co-Director: Bernhard Weßels
Participating Scientists: Heiko Giebler
In cooperation with: European University Institute, Florenz; Mannheimer Zentrum für europäische Sozialforschung (MZES), University of  Mannheim

since 2005
Democracy Barometer, NCCR Democracy, University of Zurich, funded by the Swiss National Science Foundation
Project leaders:  Wolfgang Merkel, Daniel Bochsler (Centre for Democracy Studies Aarau)
Participating scientists: Marc Bühlmann (University of Berne), Heiko Giebler, Bernhard Weßels
Doctoral student: Lisa Müller (Centre for Democracy Studies Aarau)

since 1998
Post-electoral studies to the German federal elections in 1998, 2002, 2005, 2009, and 2013
The Comparative Study of Electoral Systems
- German part
in cooperation with the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor,
cooperative project with electoral study teams in 36 countries.
Funding: WZB and German Research Foundation (DFG)
Director: Bernhard Weßels
In cooperation with Herrmann Schmitt (University of Mannheim, 1998-2005); since 2009 the project ist pursued in the framework of GLES.
Downloads from the project