Thomas Mann Fellows | 2024

Sep, Oct, Nov, Dec

Dr. Pola Lehmann | Social Scientist

Pola Lehmann | Image: David Ausserhofer
Pola Lehmann | Image: David Ausserhofer

Pola Lehmann is a research fellow at the WZB Berlin Social Science Center and co-director of the Manifesto Project. She studied administrative sciences at the Universities of Potsdam and Copenhagen. Her research focuses on democracy and political representation, political parties and elections, and machine learning. In her dissertation, which won the Leibniz Dissertation Award in 2021, she investigated political representation and compromise in the German Bundestag.

During their fellowship at the Thomas Mann House, Pola Lehmann and Johannes Gerschewski will explore the value of compromise in democratic societies. Is there empirical evidence that political debates are becoming increasingly heated and polarized? What can we do to counteract this, and what are the limits of compromise?

Selected Awards
2022 | Friends of the WZB Award, WZB Berlin Social Science Center (together with Tobias Burst, Sarah Hagazy, Juliane Hanel, Christoph Ivanusch, Marvin Müller, Sven Regel, Leonie Schwichtenberg, Leila van Rinsum, and Lisa Zehnter)
2021 | Leibniz Dissertation Award, Leibniz Association
2020 | Finalist for German Thesis Award, Körber-Stiftung (in the Social Sciences category)
2016 | Statistical Software Award, The Society for Political Methodology & American Political Science Association (together with Jirka Lewandowski, Sven Regel, and Nicolas Merz for the R-package manifestoR and the Manifesto Corpus)
2016 | Berlin Digital Humanities Prize, Berlin-Brandenburg Academy of Sciences and Humanities (together with Jirka Lewandowski, Theres Matthieß, Nicolas Merz, Sven Regel, and Annika Werner for the Manifesto Corpus)

Selected Publications

2022 | with Theres Matthieß, Sven Regel, and Bernhard Weßels: Die Ampelkoalition: Wie wird aus unterschiedlichen Zielen ein gemeinsames Regierungsprogramm? Bielefeld: transcript Verlag.
2022 | with Lisa Zehnter: “The Self-Proclaimed Defender of Freedom: The AfD and the Pandemic.” In Government & Opposition: An International Journal of Comparative Politics.
2021 | Political Parties as Agents of Deliberative Representation: How Parties Change Positions When Moving between the Electoral Arena and the Parliamentary Arena. Berlin: Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin.
2020 | with Tobias Burst, Sven Regel, Bernhard Weßels, and Lisa Zehnter: “The Republican Party, Trump, and Two Election Platforms – From Conservatism to Emotional Polarization?” WZB Democracy Blog.
2019 | with Theres Matthieß and Sven Regel: “Rechts der anderen: Themen und Positionen der AfD.” In Smarte Spalter: Die AfD zwischen Bewegung und Parlament, edited by Wolfgang Schröder and Bernhard Weßels, 122–43. Bonn: Dietz Verlag.

2018 | with Malisa Zobel: “Positions and Saliency of Immigration in Party Manifestos: A Novel Dataset Using Crowd Coding.” European Journal of Political Research 57 (4).