How Technological Change Reshapes Politics: Technology, Elections, and Policies (TECHNO)

Political Effects of Technological Change

Technological change disrupts labor markets in advanced democracies and creates fears about unemployment and the future of work. While it is well-established that rapid technological progress has significant economic effects, its political consequences remain largely unexplored. This project aims to study how technological change in the workplace contributes to political transformations, the adoption of policies to address change and the political consequences of such policies.

The TECHNO project

The project is organized into four complementary work packages (WP). WP1 examines how workers' economic trajectories and political behavior change when their industries digitalize. WP2 studies how the introduction of new technology affects local-level political and electoral outcomes through its effects on the local labor market. WP3 assesses how vulnerability to technological change affects citizen preferences for policies to respond to technological change. WP4 analyses existing policies' successes, failures, and political consequences to address disparities due to technological change.

Technology and Grievance

The project will contribute to understanding how the grievances generated by technological change manifest themselves politically. In addition, they aim to provide recommendations of politically viable and effective policies to help workers and communities adapt to a fast-changing economic landscape.


Project Leader:
Professor Dr. Henning Finseraas, Institute for Social Research (Norway)

Prof. Dr. Henning Finseraas is an Associate Professor at the Sociology and Political Science Department of the Norway University of Science and Technology. His main research interests are electoral behavior, public opinion, and quantitative public policy evaluations, studying topics often related to immigration, political economics, and the welfare state. His work has been published in journals such as the American Journal of Political Science, the British Journal of Political Science, and the Journal of Public Economics.

Principal Investigator:
Professor Dr. Alexander Kuo, University of Oxford (UK)

Prof. Dr. Alexander Kuo is an Associate Professor of Government at the Department of Politics and International Relations of the University of Oxford. Previously, he was an assistant professor in the Department of Government at Cornell University and a post-doctoral research fellow at the Center for the Advanced Studies in the Social Sciences at the Juan March Institute. Kuo studies and teaches in the fields of comparative and international political economy.

Principal Investigator:
Professor Dr. Aina Gallego, Institut Barcelona d’Estudis Internacionals (Spain)

Prof. Dr. Aina Gallego is an Associate Professor at the Institut de Barcelona d’Estudis Internacionals and a Research Associate at the Institute of Political Economy and Governance. Previously, she was Ramon y Cajal Fellow at IBEI and a post-doctoral researcher at the Spanish High Research Council and Stanford University and has been the recipient of a Marie Curie Career Integration Grant. She defended her doctoral dissertation in Political Science at the Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona. Gallego has an ongoing interest in the political representation of the poor. Aina has also conducted extensive research on other topics such as the political consequences of corruption, the effects of personality on political behavior, or the origins of dual ethnic identities in contexts with ethnopolitical conflict such as Catalonia.

Principal Investigator:
Professor Dr. Silja Häusermann, University of Zurich (Switzerland)

Prof. Dr. Silja Häusermann is a Professor and currently a Head of Department at the Department of Political Science at the University of Zurich. Her research interests are comparative politics, comparative political economy, and behavior. More specifically, I study electoral and party system change and their impact on distributive policies and the transformation of welfare state and labor market politics in advanced post-industrial democracies.

Dr. Reto Bürgisser, University of Zurich (Switzerland)

Dr. Reto Bürgisser is a postdoctoral researcher at the Department of Political Science, University of Zurich. Before joining the IPZ, he was a postdoctoral researcher at the University of Bern. Dr. Bürgisser holds a Ph.D. from the European University Institute. His main research interests lie in the fields of political economy, comparative politics, and political behavior. He is particularly interested in the politics of welfare state and labor market reforms, fiscal and environmental policy preferences, technological change, and growth models. In his Ph.D., he has studied the politics of welfare state recalibration in Continental and Southern Europe over the last three decades. Currently, he is also part of the NORFACE TECHNO and the ERC Welfare Priorities projects.

Dr. Thomas Kurer, University of Konstanz (Germany)

Dr. Thomas Kurer is a Research Group Leader at the Cluster of Excellence, “The Politics of Inequality” at the University of Konstanz. He is interested in the political implications of labor market inequality and occupational mobility.