CSES Secretariat

The CSES Secretariat is the operational hub of the CSES project.

The CSES Secretariat is under the leadership of the Chair of the CSES Planning Committee and is led in day to day operations by the CSES Director of Studies and supported by the CSES Project Manager, both of whom serve as ex-officio members of the CSES Planning Committee.

In the early years, the CSES Secretariat was a voluntary enterprise courtesy of the staff at the Center for Political Studies, University of Michigan. In 2001, NSF providing funding that institutionalized the CSES Secretariat. Since June 2011, the CSES Secretariat has been a collaboration between the GESIS – Leibniz Institute for the Social Sciences in Germany and the Center of Political Studies at the University of Michigan.

Contact the CSES Secretariat by cses@umich.edu.

Center for Political Studies

Center for Political Studies logoThe Center for Political Studies (CPS) at the University of Michigan, USA is the American hub of the Comparative Study of Electoral Systems (CSES) project, having hosted the CSES Secretariat since 2002 (co-hosted since 2011). Founded in 1970, the Center for Political Studies (CPS) brings rigorous data analysis to bear on issues surrounding the integrity of democratic institutions, the role of media in society and government, and citizens’ perception of information and truthfulness in civil discourse. The CPS is a leader in the development and dissemination of public goods for the benefit of science, policy, and society. The CPS is diverse in its intellectual agendas and methodologies – building links between comparative, world, and American politics, and building bridges between the study of individual behavior and political and economic institutions. The center’s mission has further extended to helping develop local capacity for social science research in other institutions and countries, training in quantitative analysis and survey research methods, and interdisciplinary collaboration with other fields on common issues and scientific problems.

GESIS

GESIS logoThe GESIS – Leibniz Institute for the Social Sciences is the European hub of the Comparative Study of Electoral Systems (CSES) project, co-hosting the CSES Secretariat since 2011. GESIS is a global infrastructure institution for the social sciences committed to the promotion of social science research. Founded in 1986 as three independent institutes, which were later merged in 2007 to form GESIS, the Institute is a member of the Leibniz Association. It is the largest German infrastructure institute dedicated to social science research, with bases in Mannheim and Cologne, Germany. GESIS’s focus is collecting research data and making them available and on related activities and information that enable the social sciences to research socially relevant issues. GESIS is diverse in its research agenda, focusing on survey methodology, applied computer science, research data management, psychology, politics, and sociology. GESIS also sponsors the annual CSES award – the GESIS Klingemann Prize for best CSES Scholarship. 

The responsibilities of the CSES Secretariat include:

  • Supporting the CSES Planning Committee, the project’s governing board, in the development of CSES products and administration of the project.
  • Managing the creation, development, and implementation of CSES data products and documentation.
  • Liaising and supporting project collaborators in the implementation of the CSES in their national study.
  • Collection and creation of the district and macro data components of CSES data.
  • Harmonizing CSES data for comparative use and ensuring that study standards and data quality conventions are met.
  • Archiving and preserving CSES data.
  • Supporting the pre-testing of CSES modules.
  • Organizing the project’s scientific meetings, project events, and CSES panels at international academic conferences.
  • Monitoring the use of CSES data products.
  • Responding to user queries.
  • Promoting CSES and communicating with user community.

The Current CSES Secretariat

(Listed in alphabetical order)

Katharina Blinzler, Data Processing Specialist

Katharina Blinzler is a data processing specialist for CSES based in the Department of Survey Data Curation and Enhancement at GESIS Köln, Germany. Katharina holds a bachelor’s and master’s degree in political science from the University of Mannheim, Germany, and joined CSES in April 2018. Katharina is responsible for processing CSES micro data, data documentation, collecting district data, data harmonization, data quality checks, online analysis tools, website content, archiving, and responding to user queries. Katharina’s research interests are comparative politics and EU politics. Before joining the CSES Secretariat, Katharina worked as a data processing specialist for the German Longitudinal Election Study (GLES) at GESIS in Köln.

Klara Dentler, Data Processing Specialist

Klara Dentler is a data processing specialist for CSES based in the Department of Monitoring Society and Social Change at GESIS Mannheim, Germany. Klara holds a bachelor’s degree in political science and business administration and a master’s degree in political science, both from the University of Mannheim, Germany, and joined CSES in September 2019. Klara is responsible for processing CSES micro data, data documentation, collecting district data, data harmonization, data quality checks, website content, and responding to user queries. Klara is also pursuing a Ph.D. in political science at the Graduate School of Social Sciences at the University of Mannheim, Germany. Her research interests are comparative politics focusing on voting behavior, especially political leaders, economic voting, and political attitudes. Before joining the CSES Secretariat, Klara worked as a Research Assistant for the CSES project at GESIS.

David Howell, Director of Studies

David Howell is Director of Studies for the CSES and Associate Director of the Center for Political Studies at the University of Michigan, the American Hub of the CSES Secretariat. David holds a bachelor’s degree in engineering from the University of Michigan and a master’s degree in business administration from Eastern Michigan University and joined CSES in 2001. He has worked on several other leading social science projects including the US Health and Retirement Study (HRS) and the American National Election Study (ANES), where he is also currently the ANES Director of Studies.

As Director of Studies of CSES based at the Center of Political Studies in Michigan, David sits as an ex-officio member of the CSES Planning Committee and works in conjunction with the CSES Planning Committee on the advancement of CSES Modules and data products, liaising with national collaborators on the implementation of CSES Modules within their national study, data dissemination, collaborator recruitment, project funding, and project communications, promotion, and organization. David is interested in building social science research capacity in international settings, public opinion and cross-national research, survey methodology, and research methods generally. 

Stephen Quinlan, Project Manager

Stephen Quinlan is the Project Manager of the CSES and Senior Researcher based in the Department of Monitoring Society and Social Change at GESIS Mannheim, Germany. Stephen holds a Ph.D. in political science from the University College Dublin, Ireland (2012) and joined CSES in May 2014. As Project Manager of the CSES, Stephen sits as an ex-officio member of the CSES Planning Committee. He is responsible for project development and staff management and works in conjunction with the CSES Planning Committee on the advancement of CSES Modules and data products. His other responsibilities include being a macro data and data quality specialist, data harmonization and linkage, liaising with national collaborators on the implementation of CSES Modules within their national study, and project promotion and organization.

Stephen has been a visiting research fellow at Stanford University (2015), the Australian National University, Canberra (2019), and the University of Iowa (2020). His research interests are comparative electoral behavior, specifically economic voting, political leaders, electoral participation, referendums, election forecasting, electoral systems, and social media’s impact on politics. Before joining the CSES Secretariat, Stephen worked as a Research Fellow at Strathclyde University, Glasgow, Scotland.

Bojan Todosijević, Macro Data and Data Quality Specialist

Bojan Todosijević is macro data and data quality specialist for CSES and is Senior Research Fellow at the Institute of Social Sciences, Belgrade, Serbia. Bojan holds a Ph.D. in political science from the Central European University, Budapest, Hungary (2006) and joined CSES in 2004, when he was a fellow at the Center for Political Studies (CPS) at the University of Michigan. In his near 20-years with the Secretariat, Bojan has had various responsibilities including processing CSES micro data, data documentation, data harmonization, and data quality checks. Currently, his principal responsibility are the collecting and coding of macro data and data quality assurance. Since 2012, he has been the CSES Collaborator for Serbia and most recently was a co-investigator of the CSES Module 5 study implemented in Hungary (2018), as well as serving as an advisor to various studies implementing CSES in the Balkan region. His research focuses on the psychological underpinnings of political attitudes and behavior, and on politics in Serbia.

Slaven Živković, Data Processing Specialist

Slaven Živković is a data processing specialist for CSES based in the Department of Survey Data Curation and Enhancement at GESIS Köln. Slaven holds a bachelor’s and master’s degree in political science, both from the University of Montenegro, and joined CSES in November 2017. Slaven is responsible for processing CSES micro data, data documentation, collecting district data, data harmonization, data quality checks, archiving, and collating information on the use of CSES data. Slaven is also pursuing a Ph.D. in political science at the University of Mainz, Germany. Slaven was a DAAD research fellow at the University of Missouri (2021) and was an Erasmus exchange student for one year at Humboldt University Berlin (2015-6). His research interests are comparative politics with a focus on economic voting, political participation, referendums, and the politics of post-communist states. Before joining the CSES Secretariat, Slaven worked as a Researcher for the Montenegrin National Election Study.

Previous Members of the CSES Secretariat

The CSES wishes to express its gratitude towards former members of the CSES Secretariat for their service and commitment to the project. Previous members are listed in alphabetical order.

  • Rosario Aguilar
  • Andrei Artimov
  • Matias Bargsted
  • Kathrin B. Busch
  • Kathryn Cirksena
  • Jessica Fortin-Rittberger
  • Ashley Grosse
  • Karen Long Jusko
  • Patricia Luevano
  • Sherry Martin
  • Sebastian Netscher
  • Laurie Pierson
  • Angela Pok
  • Christian Schimpf
  • Hannah Schwarz
  • Santa Traugott
  • Michio Umeda
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