Frech, Elena. 2018. Re-Selecting Members of the European Parliament: Candidate Selection, Party Goals, and Re-Election Probabilities. Wiesbaden: Springer VS.

Elena Frech addresses the issue of candidate (re-)selection for the European elections. Studying German parties, the author investigates both, the rules and practice of candidate selection. The study is one of the first to shed light on the goals political parties pursue when selecting candidates in the European context. First, the author provides a detailed account of the formal and informal procedures German parties use to construct the electoral lists for the European elections. Then she turns towards the individual candidates, showing which factors determine the list placement of incumbent parliamentarians. The findings highlight the importance of individual candidate characteristics as well as party institutions and are of interest not only to scientists but also to parties, politicians, and citizens.



Articles in peer-reviewed Journals


Hahm, Hyeonho, König, Thomas, Osnabrügge, Moritz and Frech, Elena. 2019. “Who Settles Disputes? Treaty Design and Trade Attitudes toward the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP)”, International Organization (forthcoming).

Abstract: What type of trade agreement is the public willing to accept? Instead of focusing on individual concerns about market access and trade barriers, we argue that specific treaty design and in particular the characteristics of the dispute settlement mechanism play a critical role in shaping public support for trade agreements. To examine this theoretical expectation, we conduct a conjoint experiment that varies diverse treaty design elements and estimate preferences over multiple dimensions of the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) based on a nationally representative sample in Germany. We find that compared to other alternatives, private arbitration, known as investor-state dispute settlement (ISDS) generates strong opposition to the trade agreement. As the single most important factor, this effect of dispute settlement characteristic is strikingly large and consistent across individuals' key attributes, including skill levels, information, and national sentiment, among others.


Frech, Elena. 2016. “Re-electing MEPs: The factors determining re-election probabilities”, European Union Politics 17(1): 69-90.

Abstract: By placing candidates on electoral lists for European elections, national parties hold a very powerful position in the (re) election of Members of European Parliament (MEPs). This article analyses the factors or individual characteristics of MEPs that affect list placement decisions. I identify three possible national party goals in European elections - legislative leverage, loyalty and attractiveness to voters - and examine evidence for each. Based on a unique data set of German MEPs from 1999-2009, the analysis shows that national parties, in particular small parties, value MEPs from more powerful committees. Smaller parties furthermore reward senior MEPs and MEPs with offices in the EP, while larger parties are more likely to reward MEPs with national party positions during the EP term. Surprisingly, I find little evidence that German parties reward very loyal parliamentarians.

[Online Appendix]  [Replication Material]



Frech, Elena, Thomas König and Moritz Osnabrügge. 2015. "Öffentliche Unterstützung von Reformen und ihre Stabilität in Zeiten der Eurokrise – eine experimentelle Untersuchung der Wirksamkeit von Gegenargumenten", Zeitschrift für Politikwissenschaft 25 (2): 191 - 217.

Zusammenfassung: In demokratischen Systemen hat sich die Unterstützung der Bevölkerung von Reformen als notwendige Voraussetzung , jedoch besonders in Zeiten der Eurokrise als instabil erwiesen. Unklar ist bislang, ob und welche Argumente die Bevölkerungsmeinung ins Wanken bringen. In dieser Studie untersuchen wir in einer repräsentativen Befragung mit einem experimentellen Design die Wirksamkeit von zwei Argumenten auf die Stabilität der Bevölkerungsmeinung zur Unterstützung von Reformen, die im wissenschaftlichen und öffentlichen Diskurs verbreitet sind: das Disparitäten- und das Fairnessargument gegen Reformen in Deutschland. Unsere Ergebnisse zeigen,  dass die öffentliche Unterstützung signifikant sinkt, wenn Reformen als unfair begründet werden. Dies gilt insbesondere für Frauen sowie für Personen mit geringerem Einkommen.

[English Version online]


Newspaper Articles and Blog Posts


Frech, Elena. 2016. “Jostling for position: What determines where candidates are placed on electoral lists during European elections?”, Blog Post on LSEs European Politics and Policy Blog, published on May 23rd, 2016.