Philip Leifeld


I am a political scientist with a dual affiliation at Eawag (the water research institute of ETH domain in Zurich) and the University of Bern, Institute of Political Science. At these institutes, I am a senior researcher and member of the Policy Analysis and Environmental Governance (PEGO) group.

My previous affiliations include the University of Konstanz (Zukunftskolleg and Department of Politics and Public Administration), the Max Planck Institute for Research on Collective Goods, and the Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research.

My research is mainly about political networks. I have published extensively on environmental policy networks, policy debates, and network methodology. In particular, I have analyzed information exchange, reputation formation, and the role of policy forums in policy networks.

With regard to political methodology, I have developed and implemented new techniques for inferential network analysis, including dynamic extensions of the exponential random graph model (ERGM). I am the author of several software packages, including the Java-based qualitative text analysis package Discourse Network Analyzer (DNA), an R package for inferential network analysis called xergm, and texreg, a widely used R package for the presentation of statistical model output.

I regularly teach in the POLNET summer or fall workshops in Konstanz and the ECPR Winter School for Methods and Techniques in Bamberg. Both are open to external participants. In 2015, I also taught courses on inferential network analysis at the MA and PhD level at the University of Innsbruck, Zeppelin University, the University of Konstanz, and the University of Bern.

Please take a look at my publications, teaching and software pages to learn more.

Recent activities

Article in Public Choice

[2016-05-11] My new article has appeared in the journal Public Choice as an open-access publication. The title of the paper is "Do Direct-Democratic Procedures Lead to Higher Acceptance than Political Representation? Experimental Survey Evidence from Germany." My co-authors are former colleagues from the Max Planck Institute in Bonn.

DNA 2.0 beta 4 online

[2016-03-24] A new beta version of the Discourse Network Analyzer is online. DNA 2.0 beta 4 is a pre-release, and updates will follow periodically. DNA is a content analysis software with network export functions for actor-based analysis of policy debates. More information here.