People - 14.01.2022 - 00:00 

SNSF Eccellenza Professorship brings new democracy researcher to the HSG

The SNSF Eccellenza professorship enables democracy expert Dr. Eri Bertsou to deepen her research work at the HSG. The political scientist will focus on the topics of citizen behavior and expertise in politics.
Source: HSG Newsroom

14. January 2022. The SNSF Eccellenza Professorial Fellowships are aimed at highly qualified researchers who aspire to a permanent professorship. Eccellenza enables them to reach their goal as an assistant professor with a generously funded research project under their leadership and their own team at a Swiss university. Eccellenza covers salary at the level of a local assistant professorship and project funding of up to one million Swiss francs for five years. In 2022, Eccellenza will be replaced by SNSF Starting Grants, which are intended as a temporary replacement for the ERC Starting Grants, from whose participation Switzerland is currently excluded (Horizon).

Dr. Eri Bertsou will be conducting research at the University of St.Gallen from August 2022 under the SNSF Eccellenza funding professorship. She will be based at the Institute of Political Science (IPW-HSG) of the School of Economics and Political Science (SEPS-HSG). Currently, she is a Senior Researcher in Comparative Politics and coordinates the research area "Technocratic Politics" at the University of Zurich, a project that explores the relationship between technocracy and democracy. She edited the book volume “The Technocratic Challenge to Democracy”, which represents the first comparative study of technocratic politics.

She received her PhD in Government from the London School of Economics in 2016. Further, she holds an MSc in Political Communication from the London School of Economics, a BA in Philosophy and Literature from the University of Warwick, and has worked in international financial markets

as an analyst.

Expertise, democracy and political behavior

Dr. Eri Bertsou studies comparative political behavior, in particular citizens' attitudes toward independent experts, the relationship between technocracy and democracy, political distrust, and other challenges to democratic politics, such as populism and democratic backsliding. She has published in the American Journal of Political Science, the European Journal of Political Research, and the European Political Science Review, among other outlets.

The role of expertise in democracy

In her Eccellenza research project "Varieties of Expertise", Dr. Bertsou investigates how citizens want expertise to be integrated into democratic political processes. Using survey data, experimental evidence and focus groups, she will test citizen responses to different models of incorporating expert knowledge into democratic decision-making processes. She expects to gain insights that will be of central importance for policy makers, political practitioners and all those concerned with the current challenges of democracy.