Grant sends Kevins to Utrecht

Anthony Kevins has received a DKK 1.4 million Marie Curie Individual Fellowship grant and will leave the department for a position at Utrecht University in the Netherlands.

2017.08.18 | Ingrid Marie Fossum

Utrecht University is one of the oldest universities in the Netherlands, established in 1636.

Anthony Kevins

With the DKK 1.4 million grant from Marie Curie, Anthony Kevins is ready for a two-year stay as a research fellow at Utrecht University.

“I'm very happy to have received the grant, as it will give me the opportunity to both carry out an exciting project and take the next step in my career development,” says Anthony Kevins.

In his project UNREP (Unequal Representation), he will study the nature and determinants of preferences around unequal representation.

Anthony Kevins is already settled in the Netherlands, from where he sends his final greetings to his former colleagues in Aarhus:

“I’m grateful to have gotten the chance to work with such friendly and generous colleagues over the past three years.” 

Here is Anthony Kevin’s project summary:
Equal representation is at the core of representative democracy, but are citizens actually in favour of it? There are good reasons to think that citizens may take a variety of stances toward unequal representation (i.e. differential group influence over policy), particularly when it comes to groups that elicit strong emotional reactions (e.g. racialised minorities). Citizens may think that policy-affected groups deserve extra input (due to affectedness), less input (due to bias) or the same amount of input as everyone else. However, it is impossible to say anything meaningful about these attitude, since we know almost nothing about them. This lack of knowledge is a serious shortcoming with real-world implications: These preferences shape politics and, by extension, the functioning of representative democracies. My proposed study is thus relevant not only for recent debates in political science over both the extent and origins of unequal representation, but also for contemporary politics – with its surging populist claims that certain groups have excessive influence over policy.

This project looks beyond an abstract commitment to equal democratic representation, investigating how citizens feel about the influence of specific groups on concrete issues. It does so by employing large-scale, representative panel surveys and innovative survey experiments in the US and the Netherlands, whose key similarities and differences allow us to maximise the insights derived from a two-country comparison. Through methodological triangulation, this project will lead to novel insights, revealing the nature and determinants of preferences around unequal representation. The findings from this research will produce important results, both for those seeking to better understand the connections between inequality and democracy and for anyone interested in the representation of marginalised groups and the growing appeal of populism.

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