Meet the researchers working in IntraComp. The project gathers researchers from several Finnish universities interested in intraparty competition. Further, the project has three international collaborators.
Åsa von Schoultz (née Bengtsson) is the Principal Investigator of IntraComp. She is a Professor of Political Science at University of Helsinki since 2017. von Schoultz has previously worked as a Professor in Sweden. Her research interests include political behavior of voters and political elites, with a specific focus on intraparty competition, preferences for democratic decision-making processes and minority politics.
von Schoultz has extensive experience of survey research on citizens and political elites. She is a member of the steering groups of the Finnish National Election Study and the Comparative Candidates Survey and the PI of the Finnish Candidates Survey since 2011. Further, she has conducted the wave 5 of European Values Study in Sweden and among Swedish speakers in Finland.
Her publications are found in journals such as European Journal of Political Research, West European Politics, International Journal of Public Opinion Research, and she has contributed to the Oxford Handbook of Electoral Systems and Sage Handbook of Electoral Behaviour.
Mikko Mattila is a Professor of Political Science at the University of Helsinki. He is interested in voting and other forms of political participation as well as political institutions in national and comparative settings. He has also analysed European Union politics, especially Council voting. In the IntraComp project he is especially interested in the Finnish Candidates Survey, campaigning and voters’ candidate selection processes. Mikko Mattila has published articles in leading peer-reviewed journals, such as British Journal of Political Research, Electoral Studies, European Journal of Political Research and West European Politics.
Peter Söderlund is an Associate Professor at Åbo Akademi University, Social Science Research Institute. His principal research interests lie in comparative electoral politics and electoral institutions in Europe and other long-standing democracies around the world. In particular, he is interested in candidate-centred electoral systems, party systems and individual-level voting behaviour. He has extensive experience with survey data analysis, both single-country surveys and international comparative surveys. Söderlund is currently an Academy Research Fellow with a 5-year funding grant from the Academy of Finland (2014–2019) for the project ‘Personalization of electoral competition’. His articles have appeared in European Journal of Political Research, West European Politics, Electoral Studies and European Political Science Review.
Staffan Himmelroos is a University Researcher at University of Helsinki. He is currently the Principal Investigator for a four-year research project looking into the political behavior of Finnish emigrants. In the IntraComp project, he is especially involved in the Finnish Candidates Survey. His primary research interests include democratic innovations, deliberative democracy and attitudes toward minority groups and has previously published on these topics in journals such as International Political Science Review, Political Studies and Acta Politica.
Sari Pikkala is a senior lecturer in public administration at Åbo Akademi University, currently working as responsible teacher in a master degree programme in public sector management. Pikkala has been involved in several research and development programmes in politics, administration and democracy at the local level, and in the field of gender equality. In her research she has analyzed political careers and success of candidates, e.g. voluntary and involuntary turnover of elected representatives, and representation of women in politics. One of her recent research interests is voting behavior in merged municipalities, with focus on spatial representation, voter turnout and volatility.
Achillefs Papageorgiou holds a PhD from University of Tampere, an MSc from London School of Economics and a BA from Panteion University. His research interests include political participation, intraparty competition, formal models and statistical methods. He has taught courses on quantitative methods, formal theory and political participation in University of Helsinki, University of Tampere, University of Turku and University of Limerick. He has reviewed articles for journals such as European Journal of Political Research, European Political Science Review, Group Decision and Negotiation, Political Behavior, Scandinavian Political Studies, etc. His research has appeared in international journals such as Acta Politica, Electoral Studies, Homo Oeconomicus, International Political Science Review, Parliamentary Affairs, Party Politics, and Scandinavian Political Studies.
Vesa Koskimaa is a Postdoctoral Researcher at the Social Science Research Institute (Samforsk) in Åbo Akademi University. In addition to his contribution in PALO project, which seeks to uncover factors affecting the level of future orientation in Finnish national-level decision-making processes, his dissertation focused on intra-party politics with a special emphasis on leadership, power distribution and intra-party democracy. In IntraComp, his main task is to interview key officials from central and district-level party organizations in order to find out how parties select their candidates for general elections and why parties favor certain characteristics over others.
Veikko Isotalo, MSSc (Political Science) and BSc (Information Networks), is a Doctoral Student in Political Science at the University of Helsinki. Veikko's research interests are related to electoral research, social media and digital social sciences. In the IntraComp project, he will be working on the Finnish Candidates Survey. Veikko is a member of Rajapinta (Researcher community focused on digital social sciences).
Theodora Järvi is a Doctoral Student in Political Science at the University of Helsinki. Theodora has a MSSc (Public Choice), BBA and studies in Social Psychology. Her research interests lie in the influence of information on choice formation and personal strategies in voting, especially in a multiparty context.
Josefina Sipinen, MSSc (Political Science) and MA (History), is a Doctoral Student in Political Science at Tampere University, Faculty of Management and Business. In her doctoral thesis she studies recruitment of foreign-origin candidates in the Finnish municipal elections. Her methodological expertise covers planning of survey data collection, multi-method process tracing and qualitative interviews. She is a member of Consortium of Trust Research (CONTRE, 2015–2019), funded by the Academy of Finland, a member of Finnish Consortium for Electoral Research (FCER), and a member of The International Ethnic and Immigrant Minorities’ Survey Data Network (ETHMIGSURVEYDATA, Cost Action 16111).
Aleksi Suuronen is a Doctoral Student at Åbo Akademi University and works for the department of Political Science with Mass Communication. Aleksi's main research area encompasses political use of new media, more specifically focusing on how various political actors from candidates to professional politicians use social media and what implications does it have on political behaviour, attitudes and participation of ordinary citizens.
Arseniy Lobanovskiy, MSSc (Political Science), is a Doctoral Student in Political Science at the University of Turku. Arseniy’s research is centred on the link between intra-party factionalism and electoral competition and relies on formal modelling and experimental methods. He is a member of Participation in Long-Term Decision-Making project (PALO, 2017-2021).
Professor – International Collaborator
Matthew S. Shugart, is a Distinguished Professor at the Department of Political Science, University of California, Davis. Shugart is a world leading expert on electoral systems and one of the first to systematically explore the intraparty dimension within electoral systems. Shugart has published extensively within the field, with articles in American Political Science Review, Electoral Studies and most recently with the book Votes from Seats (with Rein Taagepera) published at Cambridge University Press and the Oxford Handbook of Electoral Systems (edited with Erik S. Herron and Robert J. Pekkanen).
Professor – International Collaborator
Hilde Coffé is a Professor in Politics at the University of Bath. Her main research interests include political behaviour, public opinion and political representation. Through her research, she seeks to understand the behaviour and opinions of both voters and political representatives, and the interaction between these two main actors in representative democracies. Within the scope of the IntraComp project, she is currently working on research looking at networks of political candidates in Finland. Other research examines the way candidates campaign in Finland and to what extent that differs depending on candidates’ political experience and background. Still other research focuses on the effect of different candidate characteristics on voters’ electoral behaviour.
Senior Researcher – International Collaborator
Gert-Jan Put is a Senior Researcher at the Research Center for Regional Economics, KU Leuven. His research interests include candidate selection, electoral systems, intraparty competition and campaign finance. He obtained his doctoral degree with a dissertation on the geographical dimension of candidate selection within Belgian political parties. During his PhD, Gert-Jan was a visiting research fellow at Tel-Aviv University. His current postdoctoral project, which is funded by the FRS-F.N.R.S., investigates how the geographical characteristics of electoral candidates and party lists shape the outcome of intraparty competition in Finland, Belgium, Austria and Greece. His work has been published in, among other journals, Political Behavior, Government and Opposition, Electoral Studies and Politics.