About


Jørgen Bølstad

I am currently Associate Professor of Political Science at the University of Stavanger, Norway, teaching political behavior/ comparative politics and quantitative research methods/ data science at the BA and PhD level. I have previously worked at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (ETH) in Zurich, and at the University of Oslo. I have also been a Fulbright Fellow at Harvard University, and a PhD Fellow of the Research Council of Norway, while earning my PhD at the European University Institute (EUI) in Florence, Italy. Before that, I obtained an MSc in International Political Economy from the London School of Economics (LSE).

I am also a member of the Young Academy of Norway (AYF), which was founded in 2015 at the initiative of the Norwegian Academy of Science and Letters. A presentation of my work and my thoughts on academia can be found on AYF’s webpage, here, while press coverage of the announcement of the membership can be found here (both links are in Norwgian).

I am increasingly focusing on Bayesian data analysis, and I will use this page to share some posts on Bayesian methods. My posts will typically use R to illustrate statistical concepts and manually implement relevant procedures step by step. An advantage of this approach is that the codes will be self-sufficient and rarely require installing any packages. I will also provide codes to reproduce simplified versions of the plots I report, using only R base graphics. Finally, please note that my goal is not to provide computationally optimal codes for Bayesian analysis – for that you could just use Stan. My goal is rather to provide hands-on illustrations that complement the abstract equations you will find in textbooks.

Academic Publications

On political psychology, voting behavior, and methodology

Bølstad, Jørgen, forthcoming, "Capturing Rationalization Bias and Differential Item Functioning: A Unified Bayesian Scaling Approach", Political Analysis. [appendix] [replication files]

Bølstad, Jørgen, and Elias Dinas, 2017, "A Categorization Theory of Spatial Voting: How the Center Divides the Political Space", British Journal of Political Science, 47 (4): 829-850. [appendix] [replication files]

Bølstad, Jørgen, Elias Dinas, and Pedro Riera, 2013, "Tactical Voting and Party Preferences: A Test of Cognitive Dissonance Theory", Political Behavior, 35 (3): 429-452.

On political responsiveness to public opinion

Zhelyazkova, Asya, Jørgen Bølstad, and Maurits Meijers, forthcoming, "EU Responsiveness Research at the Crossroads", Journal of European Public Policy.

Bølstad, Jørgen, 2015, "Dynamics of European Integration: Public Opinion in the Core and Periphery", European Union Politics, 16 (1): 23-44. [appendix] [replication files]

Bølstad, Jørgen, 2012, "Thermostatic Voting: Presidential Elections in Light of New Policy Data", PS: Political Science & Politics, 45 (1): 44-50.

Bølstad, Jørgen, 2017, "Is There a Rational Public?", in Fisher, J., Cantijoch, M., Fieldhouse, E., Franklin, M., Gibson, R., and Wlezien, C., editors, The Routledge Handbook of Voting Behavior and Public Opinion, Routledge, London, UK, p. 383-393.

On legislative efficiency and transparency in the EU

Bølstad, Jørgen, and James P. Cross, 2016, "Not All Treaties Are Created Equal: The Effects of Treaty Changes on Legislative Efficiency in the EU", Journal of Common Market Studies, 54 (4): 793-808.

Cross, James P., and Jørgen Bølstad, 2015, "Openness and Censorship in the European Union: An Interrupted Time-Series Analysis", European Union Politics, 16 (2): 216-240. [replication files]

On political economy and the Eurozone debt-crisis

Bølstad, Jørgen, and Christoph Elhardt, 2018, "Capacity, Willingness, and Sovereign Default Risk: Reassuring the Market in Times of Crisis", Journal of Common Market Studies, 65 (4): 802-817. [appendix]

Bølstad, Jørgen, and Christoph Elhardt, 2015, "To Bail Out or Not to Bail Out? Crisis Politics, Credibility, and Default Risk in the Eurozone", European Union Politics, 16 (3): 325-346. [appendix] [replication files]

Ongoing projects

I am currently working on a number of projects in the fields of political behavior and political responsiveness. Most of these projects also entail developing new Bayesian models to address the topic at hand, such as estimating latent trends in time series data, or dealing with bias in survey responses.

Selected Opinion Pieces and Media Coverage

Ragnhild Vartdal, and Øystein Fimland, 12 nye yngre forskarar i Akademiet. Khrono, October 10, 2019.

Stalheim Møller, Iselin, Europa avslutter 2018 i kaos. Dagsavisen, December 18, 2018.

Uleberg, Martin, Presset Merkel møtte Macron til formøte i Meseberg: Går for reform, Klassekampen, June 23, 2018.

Sætra, Anders, The technocrat that saved the euro, Online research news from the University of Oslo, April 3, 2018.

Bølstad, Jørgen, and James P. Cross, On legislative transparency in the EU, LSE EUROPP, July 29, 2015.

Østli Jakobsen, Hanne, Tellekantenes tyranni, Morgenbladet, January 17, 2014.

Bølstad, Jørgen, I hurtigforskningens tid, Aftenposten, January 12, 2014.

Bølstad, Jørgen, A note on European integration and public opinion, LSE EUROPP, May 21, 2012.

Bølstad, Jørgen, Bistandsdebatten sett fra Afrika, Ny Tid, October 16, 2009.