With over 18.000 students and 2.800 employees in research, teaching, and administration, the Paris Lodron University of Salzburg (PLUS), is the largest educational institution in both the city and province of Salzburg, Austria.
The Department of Political Science at the University of Salzburg understands itself as a highly research oriented institution focused on an empirical analytical qualitative and quantitative institution. Its largely international faculty recruited from top US, Canadian, and European universities work on issues of democracy, populism, representation, party politics, environmental policy, European integration and European financial polices as well as trade policy and interest groups. The department offers the full range of degree programs for some 300 students from the BA to a highly competitive PhD. The department went through a complete reorganization in starting in 2009 and has since then attracted more than €4.5 million in European Union funding (including a current consolidator ERC grant/trade policy and Horizon 2020/national responses to European financial crisis). Its principle political faculty members consist of four chaired professors and five junior professors along with various post-doctoral researchers, PhD fellows, and lecturers. Faculty members in the department serve on the steering committee of the European elections survey and the editorial boards of leading international publications, they engage in consulting work for different government institutions (US Dept of State, UK House of Commons, Austrian govt.). The department is also a leading partner in the national Austrian election survey and the main survey platform of the Austrian statistical office. All members of the department are required to publish regularly in leading international peer-reviewed journals and are engaged in extensive collaborative international networks.
Prof. Reinhard Heinisch, PhD, the leader of the University of Salzburg team, is Professor of Comparative Austrian politics and also chairs the Department of Political Science. He is a European Studies Center affiliate of the University of Pittsburgh, USA, where he served on the faculty from 1994 to 2010. His main research interests are comparative populism, Euroscepticism, and democracy. He is the author or co-author of numerous publications including most recently Understanding Populist Organization: The West European Radical Right (Palgrave 2016), Political Populism; A Handbook (Nomos/Bloomsbury 2017) and Populism, Proporz and Pariah: Austria Turns Right (Nova Science 2002). Other publication appeared in West European Politics, Democratization, Comparative European Politics, and others. He is currently co-editor of a special issue of Comparative European Politics on Populism and Territory as well as contracted for a book with Routledge on the same subject. Other current work includes an invited article for Party Politics on populism in Eastern Central Europe, on populist and conservative party convergence for European Politics and Society, and on populist party representation for Representation – Journal of Representative Democracy. Heinisch has served as a consultant for government institutions, lectures regularly on European party politics at Renmin University in Beijing, is president of the Austrian Political Science Association, and Director of the National Working Group on Democracy of the Austrian Research Association. Heinisch is the 2017 recipient of the Austrian National Science Prize awarded by the Austrian Parliament.