Hello and Welcome to Cyrill Otteni

My name is Cyrill Otteni (he/him) and I am a Ph.D. Candidate in Political Science at the Goethe University Frankfurt am Main. My dissertation explores how women’s political empowerment affect political attitudes and behavior.

I am also a research assistant employed at the Mercator Forum Migration and Democracy, located at the Political Science Department at the Technical University Dresden.

Previously, I completed my MA and MSc in Political Science and European Studies at Maastricht University and the University of Cologne and my BA at Mannheim University.

Broadly speaking, I am interested in comparative politics and political behavior. In my dissertation, I utilize quantitative analyses to assess how women’s political empowerment affects political attitudes and behavior. Apart from that, I am interested in analyzing the drivers of far-right support that go beyond immigration, but involve gender, climate change and emigration. My research page gives an overview of ongoing and completed projects.


Peer reviewed articles

Otteni, Cyrill, and Manès Weisskircher. (2022). Global warming and polarization. Wind turbines and the electoral success of the greens and the populist radical right. European Journal of Political Research, 61(4): 1102-1122.

Otteni, Cyrill, and Manès Weisskircher. (2022). AfD gegen die Grünen? Rechtspopulismus und klimapolitische Polarisierung in Deutschland. Forschungsjournal Soziale Bewegungen, 35(2): 317-335. (engl. AfD against Greens? Right-wing populism and the polarization of climate policy in Germany).

Brieger, Stefan, Maik Herold, Cyrill Otteni, and Isabelle Christin Panreck. (2022). Auf Abstand zur Demokratie? Coronakritische Einstellungen und ihre Mobilisierung in Sachsen. Totalitarismus und Demokratie, 19(2), 305-326. (engl. At a distance from democracy? Corona-critical attitudes and their mobilization in Saxony).

Angeli, Oliviero, and Cyrill Otteni. (2021). Der Zusammenhang zwischen Migration und Rechtspopulismus: Drei Erklärungsansätze. Migration und Soziale Arbeit 2/2021. (engl. The link between migration and right-wing populism: three explanatory approaches).

Chapter in edited volumes

Angeli, Oliviero, and Cyrill Otteni (2022). Migration und Wahlverhalten in Deutschland. In: Brinkmann, Heinz Ulrich, and Karl-Heinz Reuband (eds.) Rechtspopulismus in Deutschland: Wahlverhalten in Zeiten politischer Polarisierung. Wiesbaden: Springer Fachmedien Wiesbaden, 371-393. (engl. Migration and voting behavior in Germany).

Working Papers

Past and Present? How Women’s Political Empowerment Closes the Gender Gap in Political Participation

Abstract: This study explores the relationship between women’s political empowerment and the gender gap in political participation. It argues that gender differences in non-institutionalized political participation (protest, boycott petition signing) decrease as women gain political empowerment, which is defined as increasing equality in civil liberties, agency in civil society and public discourse, and political representation. Moreover, this paper emphasizes the importance of women’s political empowerment during the formative years in young women’s political socialization. Using two large comparative survey-data sets merged with data on female political empowerment from Varieties of Democracy (V-Dem), this study analyzes a period of nearly forty years in 100 countries. Applying multilevel modeling, the empirical results show that women’s political empowerment indeed moderates inequalities in non-institutionalized political participation. Moreover, the study reveals that the level of empowerment during women’s adolescence and early adulthood is much more crucial than the current level of empowerment. Overall, the study contributes to research on the gender gap of political participation by highlighting the importance of women’s political empowerment and political socialization, which posits that the impact of political context is greatest during the formative years of adolescents and in early adulthood.

Exploring the Relationship between Gender Equality, Polarization, and Voting Behavior in Europe

Abstract: As women’s empowerment advances, many countries face growing opposition to measures for greater gender equality, particularly from conservative and populist radical right parties and actors. As a result, gender becomes increasingly politicized. What we do not know, however, is to what extent this issue divides European societies. This is surprising, since a growing body of literature focuses on the levels of issue polarization. To address this gap, this study employs a unique approach to measuring levels of support and opposition for gender equality and the extent to which this issue polarizes affectively. Leveraging original survey data fielded in ten countries in autumn 2022 this contribution maps the division around the issue across Europe and analyzes how different stances on state measures for more gender equality relate to voting behavior. This paper adds to the literature by providing a theoretical link between polarization and gender equality and by introducing a new approach to measure polarization of issues. Overall, the empirical findings contribute to a better understanding of the relationship between gender equality, politicization, and polarization in Europe.

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