Florida State University

Political Science

College of Social Sciences & Public Policy

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Holger Kern

Associate Professor

Specialization: Authoritarian Regimes (mass media, public opinion, information control, internal dynamics), Democratization, Populism, Causal Inference

Areas of Interest: Comparative Politics, Political Methodology

Bellamy 541 (Office Hours: See Syllabus)



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Holger L. Kern is an associate professor of political science at Florida State University. After earning his PhD in Government from Cornell University in 2008, he held the positions of postdoctoral fellow at Yale University from 2008-2011 and Assistant Professor of political science at the University of South Carolina from 2011-2013. Kern’s main research areas are comparative politics and quantitative methodology. Substantively, he studies the politics of authoritarian regimes with a focus on transitions to and from democracy, populism, mass media, public opinion, and information control. Methodologically, Kern is interested in causal inference in randomized experiments and observational studies.

Selected Publications

Beazer, Quintin H., Charles D. Crabtree, Christopher J. Fariss, and Holger L. Kern. 2021. “When do private actors engage in censorship? Evidence from a correspondence experiment with Russian private media firms.” British Journal of Political Science.

Pfaff, Steven, Charles Crabtree, Holger L. Kern, and John B. Holbein. 2021. “Do street-level bureaucrats discriminate based on religion? A large-scale correspondence experiment among American public school principals.” Public Administration Review 81 (2): 244-259.

Crabtree, Charles, Holger L. Kern, and Steven Pfaff. 2018. “Mass media and the diffusion of collective action in authoritarian regimes: The June 1953 East German uprising.” International Studies Quarterly 62 (2): 301-314.

Kern, Holger Lutz and Jens Hainmueller. 2009. “Opium for the masses: How foreign media can stabilize authoritarian regimes.” Political Analysis 17 (4): 377-399.