Professor Janne Tukiainen has been awarded the ERC consolidator grant
Professor of Economics Janne Tukiainen received 1.53 million euro ERC funding for his project INTRAPOL: “Intra-party politics in the past and the present” to be carried out in 2023-2027.
European Research Council (ERC) grant is the Europe’s most prestigious research grant, supporting excellent researchers in carrying out ground-breaking frontier research projects. ERC grants support projects carried out by an individual researcher and their team.
The INTRAPOL project aims to understand the processes that determine who get elected into positions of political power and whether who is in power is important for citizens’ welfare. A well-performing system is able to select competent and honest leaders and politicians who are representative of the citizens’ interests, and who have incentives or the will to make decisions to the benefit of the people.
"We study these fundamental aspects of political selection in representative democracies from an intra-party perspective. We aim to understand the role of insiders in representative democracy by carrying out a thorough analysis of how political parties operate, connect to voters, organize their internal structure, and recruit their political personnel, and to study the policy effects of these choices", says Tukiainen.
The first work package travels far to the past to the origins of the modern party system in Victorian England. We digitize and build a remarkable data set of real-life voting choice that is possible due to studying pre-secret-ballot era, and combine it with other historical data sources such as the census. This allows us to study, e.g., whether voters identify with parties or candidates. Are voters motivated by changes in their economic interests? How does the entry and exit of candidates affect the fortunes of the parties and vote flows between the candidates? What was the political geography of Victorian England?
The second work package studies the internal organization of parties by analyzing the objectives and role of party leaders and internal conflicts within parties by developing a game theoretical model equilibrium model of party organizations. Our models shed light for example on the conditions under which authoritarian, extremist and incompetent leaders can survive at helm of the party.
"We also use structural estimation, quasi-experiments and field experiments to further understand intra-party processes such as delegation and resource allocation", Tukiainen describes.
Third work package uses The Finnish Defense Forces draft data on cognitive competence and personality traits to analyze their role in political selection and its policy effects using quasi-experimental research designs.
"We study how cognitive competence and psychological traits such as honesty and motivation of candidates influence political selection and policy outcomes, and how contextual factors influence the selection process", Tukiainen adds.