My research is on the development of political institutions in 19th and early 20th century Europe; in particular, I use quantitative methods to shed light on long-term historical processes such as democratization and party development.
In 19th and early 20th century Europe, legislative reform was one of the key ways in which democratization advanced. I analyse legislators’ roll call votes and parliamentary speeches on both democratizing and ‘autocratizing’ bills, such as suffrage expansions and civil liberty restrictions, respectively, in order to test competing theories of democratization on some of the earliest cases, including the UK, Germany and Norway. By examining the patterns in and motivations for democratizing (or retrenching democracy) in these different institutional contexts, I look at how these contexts shape the incentives faced by legislators when making these consequential decisions.
In a joint project with Daniel Ziblatt, I am also investigating the development of parties and their electoral campaigns in the UK between 1892 and 1931.
“Democracy – Canvas or Collage? Testing the dimensionality of democracy in Victorian Britain”
"Picky progressive: why did MPs support some aspects of democracy but not others?"
"Inequality and inclusion: democratization in 19th century Germany and Norway"
(with Øyvind Skorge and Valerie Belu)