I am an Associate Professor in the School of Public and 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


Is Gerry Adams an Irish Nelson Mandela? (with Don Beaudette), Open Democracy (2104)

Acknowledgments of culpability from leaders on both sides of the South African conflict to the...



Rechtsaußen, die Große Rezession und die Europawahlen 2014, Aus Politik und Zeitgeschichte (2014)


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...



A New (Order) Ukraine? Assessing the Relevance of Ukraine’s Far Right in an EU Perspective, Open Democracy (2014)

Now that the EU is ready to embrace the new Ukrainian government, investing at least...



'Ecoterrorism': Terrorist Threat or Political Ploy? (with Sivan Hirsch-Hoefler), Studies in Conflict & Terrorism (2014)

This article examines the phenomenon of “ecoterrorism” from a conceptual and empirical perspective. We explore...


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 European Parliament elections show the increasingly fragmented nature of European party systems, EUROPP (2014)

Most coverage of the European Parliament elections has noted the rise of several far-right and...



Electoral Winners and Political Losers in the Right-Wing Eurosceptic Camp, Open Democracy (2014)

Could the political success of the European Conservatives and Reformists (ECR) in the aftermath of...



The Divided House of Anti-Europe, Open Democracy (2014)

Right-wing Eurosceptic parties will have more MEPs than ever before in the next European Parliament....



The European Elite's Politics of Fear, Open Democracy (2013)

Fear mongering about 'anti-European populism' discredits the EU elite’s position on European democracy – it...



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...


Parties & Party Systems


Fighting the System? Populist Radical Right Parties and Party System Change, Party Politics (2014)

This article assesses the impact of populist radical right parties on national party systems in...



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...




Is the Revolution Eating Its Children? The US Tea Party, Between Astroturf and Grassroots, Open Democracy (2013)

The 2014 GOP primaries will show whether the Tea Party was indeed just an Astroturf...



In the Aftermath of the Shutdown, Widespread Grassroots Support Means That the Tea Party is Far From Over, USAPP (2013)

The Tea Party has taken much of the blame for the recent US government shutdown,...



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



Can Soccer United the Belgians?, Washington Post (2014)


Nothing Left? In Search of (a New) Social Democracy, Open Democracy (2013)

(Real) social democracy is not just unknown to several generations of voters, but it is...



Dutchbat verdient eerhestel, de Volkskrant (1999)