Dr. Sebastian Hellmeier

Image Sebastian Hellmeier
David Ausserhofer


sebastian.hellmeier [at] wzb.eu
Reichpietschufer 50
D-10785 Berlin

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David Ausserhofer
Former Staff Member of the Research Department
Visiting Researcher of the Research Department


Sebastian Hellmeier was a Postdoctoral Research Fellow in the research unit Transformations of Democracy at the WZB Berlin Social Science Center and a Research Associate at the Varieties of Democracy Institute (V-Dem) in Gothenburg. Prior to joining the WZB, he was a Postdoc at the University of Gothenburg and a Ph.D. candidate at the University of Konstanz, where he worked on the Mass Mobilization in Autocracies Database (MMAD).

His research interests include autocratization processes, political protest and contentious politics as well as the comparative study of authoritarian regimes using quantitative methods. Results from his research have been published in Comparative Political Studies, Political Communication, European Journal of Political Research, European Journal of International Relations, Democratization and Political Science Research and Methods.

Since 2022, Sebastian Hellmeier is a member of the Junge Akademie supported by the Berlin-Brandenburg Academy of Sciences and Humanities and the German National Academy of Sciences Leopoldina.

Selected Publications

Lachapelle, Jean/Hellmeier, Sebastian (2024): "Pathways to Democracy after Authoritarian Breakdown. Comparative Case Selection and Lessons from the Past". In: International Political Science Review/Revue internationale de science politique, Vol. 45, No. 1, S. 123-143. (vorab online publiziert 15.12.2022)
Leuschner, Elena/Hellmeier, Sebastian (2024): "State Concessions and Protest Mobilization in Authoritarian Regimes". In: Comparative Political Studies, Vol. 57, No. 1, S. 3-31. (vorab online publiziert 29.05.2023)
Hellmeier, Sebastian/Bernhard, Michael (2023): "Regime Transformation from Below. Mobilization for Democracy and Autocracy from 1900 to 2021". In: Comparative Political Studies, Vol. 56, No. 12, S. 1858-1890. (vorab online publiziert 03.02.2023)
Hellmeier, Sebastian/Vüllers, Johannes (2023): "Dynamics and Determinants of Right-Wing Populist Mobilisation in Germany". In: West European Politics, Vol. 46, No. 5, S. 1024-1037. (vorab online publiziert 21.11.2022)
Hellmeier, Sebastian (2022): "Polarisierung auf der Straße. Die politischen Folgen der Dynamiken von Protest und Gegenprotest". In: Forschungsjournal Soziale Bewegungen - Analysen zu Demokratie und Zivilgesellschaft, Jg. 35, H. 2, S. 336-350.
Keremoğlu, Eda/Hellmeier, Sebastian/Weidmann, Nils B. (2022): "Thin-Skinned Leaders. Regime Legitimation, Protest issues, and Repression in Autocracies". In: Political Science Research and Methods, Vol. 10, No. 1, S. 136-152. (vorab online publiziert 05.05.2021)
Boese, Vanessa A./Edgell, Amanda B./Hellmeier, Sebastian/Maerz, Seraphine F./Lindberg, Staffan I. (2021): "How Democracies Prevail. Democratic Resilience as a Two-Stage Process". In: Democratization, Vol. 28, No. 5, Special Issue "Resilience of Democracies. Responses to Illiberal and Authoritarian Challenges", edited by Wolfgang Merkel/Anna Lührmann, S. 885-907. (vorab online publiziert 27.04.2021)
Hellmeier, Sebastian/Cole, Rowan/Grahn, Sandra/Kolvani, Palina/Lachapelle, Jean/Lührmann, Anna/Maerz, Seraphine F./Pillai, Shreeya/Lindberg, Staffan I. (2021): "State of the World 2020. Autocratization Turns Viral". In: Democratization, Vol. 28, No. 6, S. 1053-1074. (vorab online publiziert 24.05.2021)
Lachapelle, Jean/Hellmeier, Sebastian/Lührmann, Anna (2021): How to Build Democracy after Authoritarian Breakdown. Insights from a Mixed Methods Approach. V-Dem Working Papers 122. Gothenburg: The Varieties of Democracy Institute at the University of Gothenburg - V-Dem Institute.

Hellmeier, Sebastian/Johannes Vüllers (2021). "Does Counter-Mobilization Contain Right-wing Populist Movements? Evidence from Germany." In: European Journal of Political Research. Online first.

Hellmeier, Sebastian (2020). "How Foreign Pressure Affects Mass Mobilization in Favor of Authoritarian Regimes." In: European Journal of International Relations, 27 (2): 450-477.

Hellmeier, Sebastian/Nils B. Weidmann (2020). "Pulling the Strings? The Strategic Use of Pro-Government Mobilization in Authoritarian Regimes." Comparative Political Studies, 53 (1): 71-108.

Hellmeier, Sebastian/Nils B. Weidmann/Espen G. Rød. (2018). In the Spotlight: Analyzing Sequential Attention Effects in Protest Reporting." Political Communication, 35 (4): 587-611.