Reinhard K. Heinisch

Univ.-Prof. Dr.


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Personal profile

Research interests

I am Professor of Comparative Austrian Politics at the Department of Political Science and Sociology at the University of Salzburg, which I have chaired since 2009. Previously, I was a faculty member of the University of Pittsburgh (1994-2009) where I have remained an affiliate of the Center of European Studies. I received my PhD from Michigan State University in 1994 and my MA from Virginia Tech in 1987.

My main research interests are centered on comparative populism, Euroscepticism, political parties, the radical right and democracy. My research has appeared in journals such as The Journal of Common Market Studies, Party PoliticsWest European Politics, and Democratization among many others. Recently, I co-edited a special issue of Comparative European Politics on the territorial dimension in party-based populism. My book publications in English include The People and the Nation: Populism and Ethno-Territorial Politics in Europe (Routledge 2019), Political Populism; A Handbook (Nomos 2017), and Understanding Populist Organization: The West European Radical Right (Palgrave, 2016).

Several grants have supported my research including a Marie Curie grant (2012-2016) and most recently a Horizon 2020 grant by the EU. In this project called Populism and Civic Engagement (PaCE), I serve as the leader of the Salzburg Team. Our goal is to study supply and demand side factors facilitating radical populism and examine effective civic countermeasures by using an array methods ranging from traditional survey research to computer simulation, and survey experiments. An interesting experience was also our collaboration with the Brookings foundation on a project about Islam in Europe.

My work has been recognized by different prizes such as in 2017 the Austrian Science Prize (“Wissenschaftspreis”) by the Lupac Foundation of the Austrian Parliament.

External positions

faculty Affiliate University of Pittsburgh Center of European Studies, European Union Center of Excellence; University Pittsburgh

2001 → …

Fields of Science and Technology Classification 2012 (Level 2, 3-digit codes).

  • 506 Political Science

Collaborations and top research areas from the last five years

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