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Katrin Praprotnik portrait
I am a researcher at the Danube University Krems in Austria and, together with my colleague Christina Hainzl, head of the Austrian Democracy Lab (ADL). Before I came to Krems, I worked as a post-doctoral researcher at the University of Hamburg's department of political science. My research focuses on Austrian politics, political representation, turnout as well as the formation and success of new political parties in Europe. These topics combine two of the most central actors in representative democracies - namely voters, on one hand, and parties, on the other. Within the ADL, we conduct a semiannual survey on democracy in Austria (Democracy Radar). I have already worked on political representation in my dissertation, where I have examined parties' abilities to fulfil their electoral promises in Austria. Today, within the Comparative Party Pledge Group (CPPG), I cooperate with a team of international researchers to analyse pledge fulfilment from a comparative perspective in order to enhance our knowledge about the mechanisms in representative democracies. Furthermore, I examine the factors that might help explaining why some people participate at elections while others abstain. I am especially interested in the effects of voting facilities such as electronic or postal votes on turnout. Finally, I focus on political elites and their decisions to launch new parties. The formation of a new party extends a country's policy supply and therefore affects the functioning of the democratic system.
I hold a PhD from the University of Vienna. During my time in Austria, I worked within two research projects: I was a member of the Austrian National Election Study (AUTNES) and the Legislative Economy of Political Reforms project, which is part of the SFB 884: Political Economy of Reforms at the University of Mannheim.
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Katrin Praprotnik