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Methodology of Political Science with due regard to Democracy and Political Socialization Research

General Information

Research at this professorship is coined by a simultaneous interest in methodological as well as content-related questions. On the content-related level, the team is conducting empirical research on the relation of citizens to politics and democracy in general. How do individual political belief systems – political attitudes, behaviour and democratic support – emerge and how can we explain actual political behaviour of citizens? Within this field of research we are focusing on political socialization processes and information processes. Hereby, we do relate our research to theories, concepts and method techniques within the research field of Political Socialization, Political Psychology and Political Culture.
Methodologically speaking, we are interested in appropriate methods of data acquisition within the area of political socialization research (especially concerning children and youth) and on multivariate techniques of data analysis on the basis of survey data.


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Research Projects

G-EPIC: Gender Empowerment Through Politics in Classrooms

Duration: 02/2023 - 01/2026
Funded with means of EU-Horizon
Project Head: Simone Abendschön (Germany)
Project Staff: Philipp Kleer, Tim Schmidt

G-EPIC aims to support the development of political self-confidence of girls who are experiencing multiple forms of disadvantage. Therefore, the project will begin by establishing the state of play through classroom observations and reanalysis of existing quantitative data to understand how inequalities in attitudes and dispositions towards political engagement are learnt. G-EPIC will then create experiments in schools and pilot design-based interventions co-developed with civil-society, teachers and students. These experiments and interventions will be rigorously evaluated in comparisons with control groups and will lead to the development of the Gender Empowerment in Classroom intervention. The toolbox generated during the project will become an international reference of best practice to foster gender equity in politics from the classroom onwards boosting more girls to get involved in politics when they reach adulthood. It will be disseminated and delivered in schools across Europe creating the possibility for real change and the reduction of gender inequalities in political leadership.

Demokratie Leben Lernen 2.0: Politische Sozialisation zu Beginn der Sekundarstufe I

Duration: 3 years (starting spring 2022)
Funded with means of DFG
Project Heads: Simone Abendschön, Markus Tausendpfund (FU Hagen)
Project Staff: Mical Gerezgiher, Patricia Kamper

In this DFG-project we focus on the transition from primary to secondary schools and its effects from a political socialization perspective. In addition this project focusses on the influence of different types of secondary schools and other school factors as well as the social background on the development of political value orientations and political knowledge at the beginning of the secondary education. At the same time, this research connects the research of political value orientations and political knowledge from a socialisation perspective.

Informing about politics in the pandemic

Project on political interest, media use, and political knowledge in the pandemic of 15 to 24 year old youth (online survey, non-randomized sample).

Children in a German State Parliament: lasting learning experiences of primary school children?

Duration: 12/2017 – 08/2018
Project Head: Simone Abendschön, Thorsten Faas (FU Berlin)
Project Staff: Luisa Wingerter, Philipp Kleer

Research project in cooperation with the State Parliament of Rhineland-Palatinate (funded with means of the state of Rhineland-Palatinate). In this project, we evaluated a newly introduced visiting program for primary schoolchildren at the Landtag.

Abendschön, S., Kleer, B. P., & Faas, T. (2022). Out-of-school learning as an effective tool of civic education in elementary school? Evidence from Germany. Citizenship, Social and Economic Education, 21(3), 153–171. 

Research association antidemocratic attitude (Faculty 03, Justus-Liebig-University Giessen)


Teaching projects

Hilfe zur Selbsthilfe in der angewandten Statistik mit SPSS (Teaching project)

Duration: 02/2023 – 09/2023
Funded by means of HessenHub - Netzwerk digitale Hochschullehre Hessen
Project Head:
Simone Abendschön
Project Staff: Philipp Kleer
Project Student Staff: Oliver Platt

In this project, additional learning material will be created as web-based training that covers the canon of social science introductory courses in SPSS and will thus also be made available to other teachers/universities as OER. For students, this web-based training to be created will also serve as a reference work.

Statistik+: Einstieg in R erleichtern (Teaching project)

Duration: 10/2021 – 09/2022
Funded with means of QSL-D
Project Heads: Philipp Kleer, Simone Abendschön
Project Student Staff: Leon Klemm, Meike Schulz-Narres

The aim of this project to renew and upgrade the course of "introduction to R" and its teaching materials considering recent research on how to teach statistics in higher education. Special focus of this project is on students who do not have much programming or computer experience (except of smartphones and tablets).

Method Days and Method Consulting (Teaching project)

Duration: 04/2019 – 03/2022
Funded with means of QSL-D/QSL-Z
Project Heads: Simone Abendschön, Elmar Schlüter
Project Staff: Philipp Kleer, Manuel Kleinert

In this special project, we introduced method days (one week of workshops) on which students could gain practical knowledge about specific methods (such as logistic regression, structural equation modelling, multi-level-modelling, text analysis). Aim of these method days was to further strengthen students' ability to apply learned methods on their own research interests. Furthermore, we launched the method consulting, where students (all levels from BA to PhD) could get consulting for their works (seminar paper, thesis, research paper, PhD) regarding the empirical methods they used. 

Introducing/ creating a web-based training within the Master Degree Democracy and Governance 

Duration: 03/2018-02/2019
Funded with means of QSL-D
Project Heads: Simone Abendschön, Philipp Kleer
Project Student Staff: Lena Müller, Charlotte Gemmeke, Dennis Klose

In this project, we created and introduced an extensive web-based-training for MA students, who studied Politics or Sociology only as minor in their BA studies. Students can go through five comprehensive module in this web-based-training to gain basic knowledge of empirical social research. 

Centers and Sections