Chitralekha Basu, Ph.D.

University of Barcelona

Country: Spain

About Me:

I am currently a Postdoctoral Researcher with the Institutions and Political Economy Research Group at the University of Barcelona. In September 2019, I will join the Cologne Center for Comparative Politics as an Assistant Professor in Empirical Democratic Theory. I study electoral politics, voting behaviour, party system dynamics and representation in democracies, with a particular emphasis on British politics.

Research Interests

Elections, Election Administration, and Voting Behavior

European Politics

Political Parties and Interest Groups

Countries of Interest

United Kingdom


Journal Articles:

(2019) Bridging Spatial and Saliency Theory: Party Size and Issue Selection in Campaigns, Political Science Research and Methods

I propose a unified explanation for parties' joint policy and emphasis decisions which bridges saliency theory and spatial analyses of party campaigns. Party platforms are anchored by the policy preferences of activists, core supporters and target voters, leading parties to disproportionately emphasize issues where their policies are popular with all key constituencies. However, which voters a party targets relates to its historical electoral performance (“party size”). Traditionally successful (“major”) parties emphasize issues where the policies preferred by activists and core supporters are generally popular, but smaller (“minor”) parties emphasize issues where their preferred policies may be unpopular but are distinctive. Using recent European data and various empirical strategies, I show that this account has significant explanatory power beyond existing party typologies and theories of issue selection.