Professor Dr. Jochen Müller

Political Sociology and Methods of Political Science
Ernst-Lohmeyer-Platz 3, Room 3.10
Phone: +49 3834 420 3180

Consultation hour: Wednesday, 9.30-10.30 Uhr (in room no. 3.10)

Prior registration via the online schedule is required.

Professional experience

since 10.2022

Professor of Political Sociology and Methods

Institute for Political Science and Communication Studies, University of Greifswald


10.2020 – 09.2022

Professor of Domestic Policy of the Federal Republic of Germany

Institute for Social Sciences, Humboldt University Berlin


10.2015 - 09.2020

Assistant professor (Juniorprofessor) of political sociology

Department of Political Science and Communication Studies, University of Greifswald.


09.2013 - 09.2015


Department of Government, University of Essex, Colchester, United Kingdom.


09.2012 - 08.2013

Junior Research Fellow

Mannheim Centre for European Social Research (MZES), University of Mannheim.

Project: ‘Intra-party Heterogeneity and its Political Consequences in Europe’


04.2012 - 08.2012

Junior Research Fellow

Work group ‘Political System of Germany’, University of Oldenburg.

Project: ‘Intra-party Heterogeneity and its Political Consequences in Europe’


10.2009 - 03.2012

Junior Research Fellow

Mannheim Centre for European Social Research (MZES), University of Mannheim.

Project: ‘Party Competition in Multi-level Systems: An Analysis of Programmatic Strategy of Parties, Government Formation and Policy Making in European States’


08.2006 - 07.2007

Student assistant

Emmy Noether-Junior research group ‘Comparative Legislation’, University of Konstanz.

Project: ‘Comparative Legislation (II)



Ph.D. (Political Science)

Faculty of Economic and Social Sciences, University of Potsdam

Dissertation: ‘Demokratische Responsivität auf regionaler Ebene: Eine vergleichende Untersuchung des Entscheidungsverhaltens von Wählern und Parteien in europäischen Mehrebenensystemen’

First supervisor: Steffen Ganghof, second supervisor: Thomas Bräuninger


09.2007 - 09.2009

Ph.D. student

Graduate school ‘Institutions and Policies: Patterns of Reciprocity (IPPR)’

Faculty of Economic and Social Sciences, University of Potsdam



Diploma (Politics and Public Administration)

Department of Politics and Public Administration, University of Konstanz

Thesis: ‘Muster und Determinanten der Dynamik von Parteipositionen - Eine Analyse der Parteiensysteme der deutschen Bundesländer’

First supervisor: Thomas Bräuninger, second supervisor: Adrian Vatter


09.2004 - 06.2005

Political science (Erasmus)

Department of Politics and International Studies, University of Warwick, Coventry, United Kingdom.


10.2001 - 07.2007

Politics and Public Administration

Department of Politics and Public Administration, University of Konstanz.

Research project: The populist challenge in parliament

Founding: German Research Foundation

Period: 2018-2024

Project heads: Prof. Dr. Jochen Müller, Prof. Dr. Andreas Blätte (University of Duisburg-Essen), Dr. Marcel Lewandowsky (Helmut-Schmidt-University Hamburg), Dr. Christian Stecker (University of Mannheim, Mannheim Centre for European Social Research)


The enduring electoral success of the Alternative for Germany (AfD) marks the first establishment of a right-wing populist party in the party system of post-war Germany. In light of this historical turning point, political scientists need to investigate the reasons for the AfD’s rise and how it transforms democratic competition in Germany. Many studies have already addressed these questions with a specific interest on the AfD’s electorate, its policy positions, political leadership and strategies. Furthermore, its role in the German state parliaments has been assessed in various case studies and comparative studies.

However, major lacunae remain. Having a strong focus on the AfD, many studies neglect how the AfD interacts with established party groups and how the parliamentary arena has changed under its presence. Moreover, while studies are well informed by the literature on populism, too few insights are derived from the literature on legislative studies and party competition. Existing studies are also limited with regard to the parliaments, behavioural aspects and the period of investigation they study.

Our project aims to fill this gap and pursues three specific goals. First, using various behavioural indicators, we will analyse the patterns of the AfD’s parliamentary behaviour as well as the underlying preferences and strategies. Second, we will examine the interaction between the AfD and established parliamentary party groups to gain a comprehensive understanding of party competition in the Landtage. Third, synthesizing insights from the literature on populism, party competition, and legislative studies, we will explain the variation in the AfD’s behaviour and in the patterns of parliamentary interaction. Our main focus is on parties’ parliamentary rhetoric, the framing of topics, issue attention, and ideological as well as issue-specific positions. We will analyse parliamentary speeches, parliamentary initiatives (e.g. parliamentary questions, resolutions, amendments) and behavioural data (e.g. voting behaviour for specific issues).

Our project advances the state of the art in various respects. First, it provides comprehensive insights into the role of the AfD in parliaments, which will also be of interest to the international study of populism. Second, it employs and enhances the most recent techniques of computer-based text mining in order to compile a novel and extensive data set. These data not only allow for a rich description and robust tests of our hypotheses but will also enable other scholars to investigate questions that are beyond our project. Third, it promises robust and rich insights by using the most recent qualitative and quantitative tools of text analysis, created by the computational social science and eHumanities.