I am an Assistant Professor in the Department of International Affairs at the
University of Georgia. I was born in the Netherlands, where I received my MA and PhD at
Leiden University. Having held tenure-related positions at Central European University
(Budapest, Hungary), the University of Edinburgh (UK), and the University of Antwerp
(Belgium), I moved to the US in 2008, where I have been a Visiting Professor at the
University of Oregon (2008-9), a Visiting Fellow at the University of Notre Dame
(2009-10), and Nancy Schaenen Visiting Scholar (2010-11) and Hampton and Esther Boswell
Distinguished University Professor of Political Science (2011-12) at DePauw University. 

My primary research agenda is build around the crucial question: How can liberal
democracies defend themselves against extremist challenges without undermining their own
core values? Building upon an earlier developed typology of extremist challenges to
liberal democracy, which distinguishes between the aims and means of the challengers, I
aim to answer this question from both an empirical and normative perspective, looking for
as well as developing 'best practices.' 

My work is primarily conceptual and empirical in nature. After an initial focus on
Western Europe, I have expanded my primary focus to both Eastern and Western Europe and
developed a secondary interest in North and South America as well as Israel. The bulk of
my research has been within the field of extremism and democracy, particularly populist
radical right parties. Secondary interests include civil society, conceptualization,
democratization, Euroskepticism, political parties, and political ideologies. 

I am currently working (on and off) on a diverse set of research projects in comparative
politics and political methodology. 


My main ongoing project (mainly with Cristóbal Rovira Kaltwasser) entails a cluster of
articles and (edited) books on populism and democracy, mostly with a (pan-)European and
(pan-)American focus. The underlying goal of these projects is to come to a broader
understanding of populism in general, and its ambivalent relationship to liberal
democracy in particular, by employing cross-national and cross-regional comparisons. 


This ongoing project (partly with Sivan Hirsch-Hoefler) focuses on
'eco-terrorism' and the state responses to it and assesses the threat to
liberal democracy of both. The term is used to denote the radical animal rights and
environmentalist movement, which has been accussed of involvement in violent actions in
many democratic countries. Different sub-projects address the problematic terminology of
'eco-terrorism,' the activities and (lack of) organization of major groups
(like ALF and ELF), and the extent and explanations of state reponses (particularly in
the US). 


The main aim of this ongoing project (with Sivan Hirsch-Hoefler) is to explain the
continuing political success of the Israeli settler movement. Applying in particular
social movement theories, we hope to better understand what explains its enduring success
and what this teaches us about social movements in general. 


A new project investigates Islamophobia in contemporary western societies, in particular
Western Europe and North America. It aims to develop a comprehensive assessment of the
role of Islamophobia in contemporary western politics. Topics that are to be addressed
include: (i) what role does Islamophobia play in the (domestic and foreign) policies of
western states?; (ii) what are the effects of Islamophobia on western societies; (iii)
what effects does Islamophobia have on political alliances within and between western


I am involved in an ongoing research project in political methods, entitled
Conceptualization, Operationalization and Measurement in Political Science (COMPS). This
project is largely infrastructural, and is undertaken in collaboration with the IPSA/APSA
Concepts & Methods (C&M) group. In addition, it also includes original research
on these topics (notably with Andreas Schedler). 


My side project, on which I work on and off, is a monograph that analyzes the main
political positions expressed in Oi! music. The book will focus mainly on the political
views of British Oi acts in the explosive period of the late 1970s and 1980s with
political events like the miners strike and Margaret Thatcher's "iron


I regularly contribute to non-academic journals and newspapers. Most notably, I write for
Extremis Project, Open Democracy and the Washington Post (Monkey Cage). You can follow me
on Twitter #casmudde. 

Concepts & Methods


Data Usage in Quantitative Comparative Politics (with Andreas Schedler), Political Research Quarterly (2010)

The quantitative study of comparative politics is often described as a data-driven enterprise. Employing an...



Introduction: Rational Data Choice (with Andreas Schedler), Political Research Quarterly (2010)

Extremism & Democracy


The Far Right and the European Elections, Current History (2014)

While the warnings employed different terms and pointed to somewhat different groups of parties and...



Exclusionary vs. Inclusionary Populism: Comparing the Contemporary Europe and Latin America (with Cristobal Rovira Kaltwasser), Government & Opposition (2013)

Although there is a lively academic debate about contemporary populism in Europe and Latin America,...



Populism (with Cristobal Rovira Kaltwasser), Oxford Handbook of Political Ideologies (2013)


Three Decades of Populist Radical Right Parties in Western Europe: So What?, European Journal of Political Research (2013)

The populist radical right constitutes the most successful party family in postwar Western Europe. Many...



America's New Revolutionairies, Open Democracy (2012)

The belief that the United States stands at a historic crossroads is widespread across the...


Civil Society


Civil Society, Developments in Central and East European Politics 4 (2007)


Civil Society in Post-Communist Europe: Lessons from the 'Dark Side', Uncivil Society? Contentious Politics in Post-Communist Europe (2003)


Rethinking Civil Society, Democratization (2003)

Most studies of civil society are mainly normative, both in their conceptualization and in their...



Uncivil Society? Contentious Politics in Post-Communist Europe (with Petr Kopecky) (2003)

This volume makes a significant contribution to the debate about the development of post-communist civil...




Hungary's Illiberal Turn: Can Outsiders Help? (with Erin K. Jenne), Journal of Democracy (2012)

Since the conservative FIDESZ won the 2010 Hungarian elections, the new government under Premier Victor...



Upping the Odds: Deviant Democracies and Theories of Democratization (with Renske Doorenspleet), Democratization (2008)

This concluding article tries to integrate the different insights of the individual case studies of...



Explaining Different Paths of Democratization: The Czech and Slovak Republics, Journal of Communist Studies and Transition Politics (2000)

Since the ‘velvet split’ in January 1993, the Czech and Slovak Republics seem to have...



What Has Eastern Europe Taught Us About the Democratisation Literature (and Vice Versa)? (with Petr Kopecky), European Journal of Political Research (2000)

The relationship between Eastern Europe and democratisation studies so far has been highly asymmetric. In...


Euroskepticism/European Integration


The Dutch Elections and the Eurosceptic Paradox, Open Democracy (2012)

Despite alarming predictions, last week's Dutch election results turned out to be anticlimactic, as voters...



Dutch Elections, European Consequences, Open Democracy (2012)

The combination of economic troubles and Eurosceptic pressures will increase the international impact of the...



Europe: from crisis to opportunity, Open Democracy (2011)


Sussex v. North Carolina: The Comparative Study of Party-Based Euroscepticism (2011)

Since the late 1990s a true cottage industry of "Euroscepticism studies" has emerged, which has...


Parties & Party Systems


EU Accession and a New Populist Center-Periphery Cleavage in Central and Eastern Europe (2003)

The finalized “Return to Europe” of the new EU members states of Central and Eastern...



The Party Family and Its Study, Annual Review of Political Science (1998)

Although the notion of the party family, with the various cross-national and cross-temporal similarities it...




The Rise (and Fall?) of American Conservatism, The Journal of Politics (2010)



Dutchbat verdient eerhestel, de Volkskrant (1999)