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Sofie Marien

Sofie Marien
Associate Professor in Comparative and Historical Political Science
Centrum voor politicologie
Parkstraat 45 - box 3602
3000 Leuven
Belgium
room: 03.43

tel: +32 16 32 32 47
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Sofie Marien is an Associate Professor in Comparative and Historical Political Science at the University of Leuven. She holds a PhD in Social Sciences (2011) from the University of Leuven. Before joining the political science faculty in Leuven, she was an Assistant Professor at the University of Amsterdam and a Postdoctoral Fellow of the FWO Research Foundation Flanders (Belgium). She held visiting positions at the Annenberg School for Communication at the University of Pennsylvania (USA), Centre for Deliberative Democracy and Global Governance at the University of Canberra (Australia) and Åbo Akademi University (Finland). She is affiliated with the Institute for the Study of Citizens and Politics at the University of Pennsylvania. Between 2015 and 2018, she chaired the Belgian Political Science Association VPW.

Marien is the head of the Democratic Innovations & Legitimacy Research Group. Her research interests are focused on democratic innovations, political behavior, political psychology, political communication and comparative politics. She is interested in participatory and deliberative processes. She studies deliberation in likely places such as deliberative mini-publics but also in more unlikely places such as televised election debates. She is the PI of the EOS Inter-university Project “Represent” that aims to gain insight into political resentment (2018-2021). In 2018 she was awarded an ERC Starting Grant “Meeting Great Expectations Through Democratic Innovations” from the European Research Council.

Her research has appeared in journals such as Political Behavior, European Journal of Political Research, European Sociological Review, Political Research Quarterly. Together with Hannah Werner, she was recently awarded the Best Paper of the Democratic Innovations Section at the 2016 General Conference of the European Consortium for Political Research.

 

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  • Werner, Hannah; Marien, Sofie; 2018. The Macro-Level Impact of Small-Scale Involvement Processes. Experimental evidence on the effects of involvement on legitimacy perceptions of the wider public.
    LIRIAS2087653
    description


    Published
  • Werner, Hannah; Marien, Sofie; 2018. Comforting Losers with Voice. The Effect of Citizen Involvement in Political Decision-making on Legitimacy Perceptions in the Face of Unfavorable Outcomes.
    LIRIAS2087674
    description


    Published
  • Marien, S; Werner, H; 2018. Fair treatment, fair play? The relationship between fair treatment perceptions, political trust and compliant and cooperative attitudes cross-nationally. European Journal of Political Research; 2018
    LIRIAS1643189
    description
    © 2018 European Consortium for Political Research. Obtaining citizens' voluntary compliance with political decisions is a fundamental democratic challenge. Fair treatment by public officials plays a key role in theoretical and empirical studies on citizens' compliance and cooperation. Yet it is unclear whether citizens within different societies react to (un)fair treatment in the same way. Using multilevel structural equation modelling and multilevel regression analysis on the European Social Survey 2010-2 (N = 52,458), this article shows that perceptions of fair treatment by police officers are associated with higher levels of trust in political institutions and in turn stronger compliant and cooperative attitudes of citizens in 27 countries. Yet the link between perceptions of unfair treatment and institutional trust is stronger in countries in which fair behaviour is more prevalent. While fair treatment is often considered to be a universal norm affecting citizens in a uniform way, this article sheds light on important cross-national variations.
    Publisher: Wiley-Blackwell
    Accepted
  • Van de Walle, S; Marien, S; 2017. Choice in Public Health Services: A Multilevel Analysis of Perceived Primary Care Doctor Choice in 22 Countries. Administration and Society; 2017; Vol. 49; iss. 10; pp. 1471 - 1493
    LIRIAS1589155
    description
    © 2015, © The Author(s) 2015. The introduction of choice in public services, and in health services more specifically, is part of a wider movement to introduce consumerism in health care. We analyze how citizens perceive the availability of choice of primary care doctors in 22 European countries and the factors that influence their opinions using multilevel analyses and data from the European Social Survey (Round 2, 2004; 22 countries, N = 33,375). We distinguish between individual factors and structural or country-level factors. We find that perceptions of having enough choice are not influenced by the opportunity to freely choose primary care doctors, the density of doctors in a country, or the level of health expenditure. Instead, these perceptions are influenced by individual attributes, such as personal health circumstances, age, sex, location of residence (rural or urban), and level of satisfaction with the health system.

    Published
  • Marien, S; Kern, A; 2017. The Winner Takes It All: Revisiting the Effect of Direct Democracy on Citizens’ Political Support. Political Behavior; 2017; pp. 1 - 26
    LIRIAS1589156
    description
    © 2017 Springer Science+Business Media, LLC Despite the strong theoretical expectations about the beneficial effect of direct democratic instruments on citizens’ political support, the empirical evidence is scarce and inconsistent. We add to this literature by studying the effect of the use of a direct democratic process on citizens’ political support and its underlying causal mechanism. Using a unique research design that combines a strong test of causality with a high level of ecological validity, we surveyed inhabitants of a Belgian neighborhood that held a local referendum and a comparison group (i.e. inhabitants of a comparable neighborhood without referendum) before and after the referendum (n = 1049). Using difference-in-differences analysis and first difference regression analysis, we show that in line with our expectations the increase in political support following the referendum is not driven by involvement or procedural fairness perceptions but by an increase in support levels among the winners of the decision. Moreover, despite the contested nature of the issue, losers’ level of political support did not decrease significantly after the result of the referendum was announced.
    Publisher: Plenum Press
    Accepted
  • Marien, Sofie; 2017. Assessing the Role of Television, the Family, and the School in the Development of Political Trust in Adolescence. Social Science Quarterly; 2017; Vol. 98; iss. 3; pp. 818 - 835
    LIRIAS1389190
    description
    © 2017 by the Southwestern Social Science Association Objective: A comprehensive study on the development of political trust is absent. Studies on the socialization effect of the media generally neglect the influence of the media system. This study aims to fill this gap. Methods: Using a within-country comparison of two media systems, I estimate the influence of different socialization agents on the development of political trust through hierarchical models of repeated measurements on a representative panel of Belgian adolescents (BPPS 2006–2011, n = 3,025). Results: News consumption and a public service broadcasting preference foster political trust within diverse media systems. The socioeconomic status and level of political discussion in the family, an open classroom climate, and classroom instruction about politics also promote political trust. Conclusions: Television, the family, and the school are all equally important agents in the development of political trust. It is critical to take the nature of the media system into account when studying how the media affect political trust.
    Publisher: Wiley
    Published
  • presentation
    Kern, Anna; Muradova Huseynova, Lala; Marien, Sofie; 2017. The Effect of Losing Repeatedly on Loser’s Consent.
    LIRIAS1995878
    description


    Unpublished
  • journal-article
    Marien, Sofie; Schouteden, Anke; Wauters, Bram; 2017. Voting for Women in Belgium's Flexible List System. Politics & Gender; 2017; Vol. 13; iss. 2; pp. 305 - 335
    LIRIAS400593
    description

    Publisher: Cambridge University Press (CUP)
    Published
  • de Moor, Joost; Marien, Sofle; Hooghe, Marc; 2017. WHY ONLY SOME LIFESTYLE ACTIVISTS AVOID STATE-ORIENTED POLITICS: A CASE STUDY IN THE BELGIAN ENVIRONMENTAL MOVEMENT. Mobilization; 2017; Vol. 22; iss. 2; pp. 245 - 264
    LIRIAS1389124
    description
    © 2017 Mobilization: An International Quarterly 22(2): 245-264. Lifestyle politics are often defined as a political strategy used to avoid state-oriented politics. However, recent studies indicate that in some cases, lifestyle activists engage in actions that target the state. This study investigates why some lifestyle activists combine these forms of engagement, while others do not. We explore whether such differences can be explained by variations in activists' perceptions of the political opportunity structure. In particular, we consider whether perceptions of input structures and output structures offer relevant predictors for combining lifestyle politics with state-oriented actions. The article presents an in-depth case study of a Belgian environmental lifestyle movement organization, using a mixed methods approach including participant observation, qualitative interviewing, and surveys. The findings reveal that lifestyle activists' perceptions of the openness of the system matter, but that beliefs in the state's ability to act are more diverse and therefore have a stronger effect on activists' propensity for state-oriented action.
    Publisher: Unknown
    Published
  • Hooghe, Marc; Marien, Sofie; Oser, Jennifer; 2017. Great expectations: the effect of democratic ideals on political trust in European democracies. Contemporary Politics; 2017; Vol. 23; iss. 2; pp. 214 - 230
    LIRIAS278105
    description
    © 2016 Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group. While in the older literature, low levels of political trust were routinely interpreted as a lack of support for democracy, more recently authors have claimed that the value pattern of critical citizens is a hallmark for a mature and stable democratic system. In this paper we assess the empirical validity of this claim, by relying on the relative deprivation literature highlighting the relation between expectation and frustration. The 2012 wave of the European Social Survey included an extensive battery measuring democratic ideals, and using latent class analysis we identify a group with high ideals on how a democracy should function. Multilevel regression analysis shows that strong democratic ideals are associated with lower levels of political trust, and most strongly so in countries with low quality of government. We close with observations on how rising democratic ideals could be a cause for the occurrence of a new group of ‘critical citizens’.
    Publisher: Taylor & Francis (Routledge)
    Published
  • Kern, Anna; 2016. Causes and Consequences of Political Participation in Times of Rapid Social Change in Europe: A re-assessment of classical theories on political participation..
    LIRIAS1862207
    description


    Published
  • Kern, A; Marien, S; Hooghe, M; 2016. Economic crisis and non-institutionalised political participation. Values, Economic Crisis and Democracy; 2016; pp. 163 - 192 Publisher: Routledge; Abingdon/ New York
    LIRIAS1586162
    description


    Published
  • Hooghe, Marc; Oser, Jennifer; Marien, Sofie; 2016. A comparative analysis of "good citizenship': A latent class analysis of adolescents' citizenship norms in 38 countries. International Political Science Review; 2016; Vol. 37; iss. 1; pp. 115 - 129
    LIRIAS278149
    description
    © 2014, © The Author(s) 2014. Various authors have claimed that citizenship norms have changed dramatically in contemporary societies. Recent research has studied the implications of Russell Dalton’s argument that duty-based citizenship norms (emphasizing voting and obeying the law) are being replaced by engaged citizenship norms (emphasizing self-expressive and non-institutionalized forms of participation). In this article we use the 2009 International Civic and Citizenship Education Survey (n=140,650) to ascertain the cross-national empirical validity of engaged and duty-based norms. By means of latent class analysis, we show that both of these citizenship norms are indeed adhered to by different groups of adolescents. We also show, however, that only half of the research population holds these two norms, while other more traditional norms are also identified. The findings confirm expectations that high-status respondents with low political trust are more likely to adhere to engaged norms, but the country-level findings contradict expectations: engaged norms are less prevalent in highly developed stable democracies, and this casts doubts on the hypothesis that new engaged citizenship norms are predominantly found in stable highly developed democracies.
    Publisher: SAGE Publications
    Published
  • Kern, Anna; Marien, Sofie; Hooghe, Marc; 2015. Economic Crisis and Levels of Political Participation in Europe (2002-2010): The Role of Resources and Grievances. West European Politics; 2015; Vol. 38; iss. 3; pp. 465 - 490
    LIRIAS278107
    description
    © 2015, © 2015 Taylor & Francis. This article examines the effect of the recent economic crisis on political participation levels in Europe. As the civic voluntarism model and grievances theory predict different effects of economic downturn on political participation, the crisis provides a unique context to evaluate the explanatory power of these two theories. It is found that, when investigating a period of eight years (2002–2010), economic growth is positively associated with non-institutionalised political participation, which is in line with the civic voluntarism model. However, when focusing on the changes in political participation that occurred between 2008 and 2010 it is found that rising unemployment is associated with rising levels of non-institutionalised political participation, suggesting that grievance theory is especially useful in exceptionally negative conditions as suddenly imposed grievances can lead to various forms of protest behaviour. The article argues that these shock experiences can lead to momentary peak periods of mobilisation.
    Publisher: Taylor & Francis (Routledge)
    Published
  • Hooghe, Marc; Dassonneville, Ruth; Marien, Sofie; 2015. The Impact of Education on the Development of Political Trust: Results from a Five-Year Panel Study among Late Adolescents and Young Adults in Belgium. Political Studies; 2015; Vol. 63; iss. 1; pp. 123 - 141
    LIRIAS278115
    description
    © 2014 Political Studies Association. There is a strong ongoing debate about the impact of higher education experiences on political attitudes and behaviours. While some authors assume a direct socialisation effect of educational experience, others have argued that education should be seen as a mere proxy variable for socio-economic status and pre-adult socialisation experiences. In this article we use a 5-year Belgian panel study that tracked respondents between the ages of 16 and 21. Using a hierarchical linear model of repeated measurements, we are able to demonstrate that differences with regard to political trust between future students and non-students are already present and stable at the age of sixteen. Significant determinants were school track and educational goal. The inclusion of actual educational status in the model (at age 21), however, rendered the relation with educational goal not significant. The results suggest that during secondary education students already anticipate and acquire a value pattern that is congruent with their future status. Ultimately, however, this effect is dependent on whether they actually enrol in higher education or not.
    Publisher: SAGE Publications
    Published
  • Oser, Jennifer; Hooghe, Marc; Marien, Sofie; 2015. Great Expectations Democratic Ideals and Political Trust in European Democracies.
    LIRIAS1992273
    description


    Published
  • Marien, Sofie; Dassonneville, Ruth; Hooghe, Marc; 2015. How Second Order Are Local Elections? Voting Motives and Party Preferences in Belgian Municipal Elections. Local Government Studies; 2015; Vol. 41; iss. 6; pp. 898 - 916
    LIRIAS278129
    description
    © 2015 Taylor & Francis. A defining characteristic of second-order elections is that voters base their decision on considerations that were developed for a different policy level. Therefore, this kind of elections does not contribute to the quality of democratic representation. Municipal elections are often considered as second-order elections. In this article, we use data from an exit poll (n = 4,591) held during the 2012 municipal elections in Belgium. Results suggest that although voters predominantly invoke local aspects as determining their vote choice, still three-quarters votes for the same party locally as for federal elections. Among voters who deviate from their federal party preference, knowing local candidates and concern about local policy issues are the main sources of deviation. The conclusion therefore is that local candidates do make a difference and contribute strongly to the salience of electoral decisions on the local level.
    Publisher: Taylor & Francis (Routledge)
    Published
  • Hooghe, Marc; Marien, Sofie; 2014. How to reach Members of Parliament? Citizens and Members of Parliament on the Effectiveness of Political Participation Repertoires. Parliamentary Affairs; 2014; Vol. 67; iss. 3; pp. 536 - 560
    LIRIAS278210
    description
    Non-institutionalised forms of political participation are on the rise in Western societies, but thus far, we do not know all that much about their effectiveness. In this article we report on the perceived efficacy of non-institutionalised forms of political participation, among both citizens and Members of Parliament (MPs). We draw on data of the 'PartiRep' (Participation and Representation) project, including both population data (in Belgium) and a comparative survey among MPs in Belgium and seven other European countries. The results show that both citizens and politicians still perceive voting as the most effective form of political participation. Consumer boycotts and illegal activities, on the other hand, were considered to be least effective. There is a rather large gap between politicians and citizens, however, with regard to the perceived effectiveness of contacting politicians and signing petitions. This mismatch between the perceptions of citizens and professional politicians might have important consequences for the legitimacy of the political decision-making process. © 2012 The Author [2012]. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Hansard Society; all rights reserved. For permissions, please e-mail: journals.permissions@oup.com.
    Publisher: Oxford University Press (OUP)
    Published
  • book
    2014. L’électeur local. Le comportement électoral au scrutin communal de 2012. Publisher: Editions de l’Université de Bruxelles; Bruxelles
    LIRIAS1861912
    description


    Published
  • de Vroome, Thomas; Hooghe, Marc; Marien, Sofie; 2013. The Origins of Generalized and Political Trust among Immigrant Minorities and the Majority Population in the Netherlands. European Sociological Review; 2013; Vol. 29; iss. 6; pp. 1336 - 1350
    LIRIAS278214
    description
    In this study, we investigate whether differences in generalized and political trust levels between immigrants and natives are related to immigrants' relatively disadvantaged socio-economic positions in society. We compare trust levels for native Dutch respondents and Turkish and Moroccan minorities, based on the NELLS population survey (2009, n = 4,222). The results demonstrate that there are significant differences between immigrants and natives in the levels of generalized and political trust. Regarding trust in political institutions, however, the initially observed differences could almost fully be attributed to differences in economic position and social resources. We conclude that the economic and social integration of immigrants in society is most clearly associated with native-immigrant differences in political trust, but objective living conditions are also related to immigrants' generalized trust. Therefore, policies aiming to improve immigrants' economic and social integration in society will generally be conducive to generalized and political trust levels. © The Author 2013.
    Publisher: Oxford University Press (OUP)
    Published