Ph.D., Political Science, University of California, Davis
M.A., Political Science, Texas A&M University
Comparative Political Parties and Elections; Representation; European Politics
Joint appointment at the Max Kade Center for European and German Studies
Somer-Topcu is an assistant professor in the Department of Political Science, with a joint appointment at the Max Kade Center of European and German Studies. Her research and teaching interests include party politics, election results, representation, and voter perceptions. Her main focus is on Western Europe, though her research often extends to other advanced industrial democracies. Her work on explaining party policy shifts and the consequences of these policies has appeared in American Journal of Political Science, British Journal of Political Science, Comparative Politics, Comparative Political Studies and Journal of Politics. She is currently working on a series of projects examining how the availability and the unity of the party message affect voters perceptions of party policies and how different party strategies help or hurt parties’ election performance. Somer-Topcu teaches undergraduate courses on West European politics, the European Union and comparative political parties. Her graduate level seminar offerings include Comparative Political Parties, Comparative Representation and Accountability, and Statistics for Political Science I.