Alex Mierke-Zatwarnicki

Welcome! I am a Ph.D. candidate in the Department of Government at Harvard University where I research the politics of advanced democracies.

I am currently working on my book-length dissertation project, which combines quantitative text analysis with qualitative case studies to understand the group bases of politics: why do political parties' incentives to appeal to identity groups vary over time? Focusing on the evolution of political competition in Western Europe across the course of the 20th century, I seek to provide new insights into this topic. My approach to research applies the theoretical tools of historical institutionalism towards the typical subject matter of political behaviour, in the tradition of political sociology.

During my time at Harvard, I've been lucky to receive financial support for my research from the Minda de Gunzberg Center for European Studies (CES), the Weatherhead Center’s Canada Program, the Institute for Quantitative Social Science (IQSS), and the Center for American Political Studies (CAPS).

For the 2020-2021 academic year, I have been based in Montreal as a visiting student at McGill University and the Center for the Study of Democratic Citizenship (CSDC-CEDC). This Fall, I will relocate to Germany for a year of fieldwork supported by the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) and the Weatherhead Center.

Prior to my doctoral work, I completed my Bachelor’s at the University of British Columbia and my Master’s degree at the University of Toronto, both in political science. During this time, I co-authored two articles on Canadian political behaviour that have been since published in the Canadian Journal of Political Science.