Jessica Fortin-Rittberger, Ph.D.

University of Salzburg

City: Salzburg - 5020

Country: Austria

About Me:

Jessica Fortin-Rittberger, Ph.D. is a Professor of Comparative Politics at the University of Salzburg. She completed a Ph.D. in political science at McGill University in 2008, after which she was awarded a post-doctoral research fellowship from the Fond Québécois de Recherche sur la Société et la Culture, which she held at the University of Lüneburg. She also held positions as visiting chair in Comparative Government at the University of Mannheim (2010-11) and was a Senior Researcher at GESIS - Leibniz Institute for the Social Sciences (2009-2013). Her main areas of research interest include political developments in former communist countries, political institutions and their measurement, women's political representation, as well as the impact of state capacity on democratization. Her work has appeared in Comparative Political Studies, European Journal of Political Research, Democratization, and West European Politics. Current research projects she has initiated deal with the effects of electoral systems.

Research Interests

Comparative Democratization

Comparative Political Institutions

Elections, Election Administration, and Voting Behavior

Gender and Politics

Public Opinion

Research Methods & Research Design

Research Methods & Research Design

Countries of Interest




Journal Articles:

(2017) The Costs of Electoral Fraud. Establishing the Link between Degrees of Electoral Integrity, Winning an Election, and Satisfaction with Democracy, Journal of Elections Public Opinion and Parties

Previous research has shown that voters’ perception of electoral fairness has an impact on their attitudes and behaviors. However, less research has attempted to link objective measurements of electoral integrity on voters’ attitudes about the democratic process. Drawing on data from the Comparative Study of Electoral Systems and the Quality of Elections Data, we investigate whether cross-national differences in electoral integrity have significant influences on citizens’ level of satisfaction with democracy. We hypothesize that higher levels of observed electoral fraud will have a negative impact on evaluations of the democratic process, and that this effect will be mediated by a respondent’s status as a winner or loser of an election. The article’s main finding is that high levels of electoral fraud are indeed linked to less satisfaction with democracy. However, we show that winning only matters in elections that are conducted in an impartial way. The moment elections start to display the telltale signs of manipulation and malpractice, winning and losing no longer have different effects on voter’s levels of satisfaction with democracy.

(2016) Cross-national Gender-gaps in Political Knowledge: How Much is Due to Context?, Political Research Quarterly

Although the majority of studies on political knowledge document lingering gender-based differences in advanced industrial democracies, most contributors have drawn such conclusions from a single or a handful of countries, using limited batteries of political information items. Exploiting a pooled data set of the Comparative Study of Electoral Systems encompassing 106 post-election surveys in forty-seven countries between 1996 and 2011, this article demonstrates that survey instrument–related factors, such as question format and content, as well as the overall difficulty of questions, are more consequential in shaping the size of gender gaps in political knowledge than institutional factors, such as electoral rules or opportunity structures. The research design of this article draws from almost three hundred different items measuring factual political knowledge using the broadest country coverage and most comprehensive approach to measurement to date.