Chitralekha Basu, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor

Universität zu Köln

Year of PhD: 2017

Address: Herbert-Lewin-Str. 2

City: Cologne - 50931

Country: Germany

About Me:

I am the Assistant Professor for Empirical Democratic Theory at the Cologne Center for Comparative Politics at the University of Cologne. I study electoral politics, voting behaviour, party system dynamics and representation in both historical and contemporary societies, with a particular emphasis on European, and especially British, politics. My research has been published in Political Science Research and Methods​. I received my PhD in Political Science from the University of Rochester. Prior to my doctoral studies, I received a BA (Hons.) in History from the University of Oxford, and an MPhil in Political Thought & Intellectual History from the University of Cambridge. 

Research Interests

Elections, Election Administration, and Voting Behavior

European Politics

Political Parties and Interest Groups

Public Opinion

British Politics

Democratic Theory

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.