Dr Sofia Collignon is an expert in the study of candidates, elections and parties and gendered violence against political elites. Her most recent research lays in the intersection of elite politics and public opinion. Her research uses mainly quantitative methods (surveys, panel data, survival and multilevel models) coupled together with interviews. She joined QMUL in 2022. Previously, she was Lecturer in Political Communication at Royal Holloway, University of London (2018-2022) and postdoctoral Research Associate at the School of Government and Public Policy, University of Strathclyde (2016-2017).
Dr Collignon’s increasingly impactful research has attracted national and international attention, generating a series of high-ranking publications, invited talks and ongoing collaborations with recognised academic research teams, practitioners and third sector organisations. Her article Increasing the cost of female representation? The gendered effects of harassment, abuse and intimidation towards Parliamentary candidates in the UK (co-authored with W. Rüdig) was selected as the best paper published at the Journal of Elections, Public Opinion and Parties in 2021. Her article Sexual Predators in Contest for Public Office: How the American Electorate Responds to News of Allegations of Candidates Committing Sexual Assault and Harassment (with S. Stark) has been downloaded more than 60,000 times, making it the most downloaded paper of Political Studies Review.
She continuously engages in external engagement and dissemination activities. She advises national and international governments and non-governmental organisations on key policy and delivery issues, especially related to abuse, harassment and intimidation in public life. Her work has been covered by important international media outlets such the Atlantic, The Washington Monthly, The Guardian, Sky News, BBC, NBCUniversal and CNN.
Complete CV can be downloaded here
Sofia’s main research interests include: a) the study of candidates, elections and parties, and b) harassment and intimidation of political elites. Her research is comparative and she uses mainly quantitative methods. Her work has been published in Electoral Studies, Party Politics and West European Politics, among others. Her research on harassment and intimidation of Parliamentary candidates has been covered in The Guardian, the BBC and Sky News.
Sofia is part of an interdisciplinary team of academics working on a ‘Pandemic Politics’ project. The team includes Dr Georgios Karyotis (University of Glasgow), Prof John Connolly, Dr Dimitris Skleparis and Dr Andrew Judge. More information about the project, analyses, and empirical results can be found here.
Additional information on
research and current projects here
The use of political violence to attain political goals has long been a source of concern. Once thought to be exclusive to countries with high levels of general violence, recent evidence suggests that harassment and intimidation of political elites in the UK is more widespread than previously thought. Using data from the 2017 general election candidate survey, we find that four in every ten candidates experienced at least one type of harassment. Evidence suggests that women and young candidates are more likely to suffer from harassment and intimidation. We conclude by formulating an agenda for future research, focussing, in particular, on the perception of harassment and the effect of harassment on political careers.
Generally speaking, crime is, fortunately, a rare event. As far as modelling is concerned, this sparsity of data means that traditional measures to quantify concentration are not appropriate when applied to crime suffered by a population. Our objective is to develop a new technique to measure the concentration of crime which takes into account its low frequency of occurrence and its high degree of concentration in such a way that this measure is comparable over time and over different populations.
This article derives an estimate of the distribution of crime suffered by a population based on a mixture model and then evaluates a new and standardised measurement of the concentration of the rates of suffering a crime based on that distribution.
The new measure is successfully applied to the incidence of robbery of a person in Mexico and is able to correctly quantify the concentration crime in such a way that is comparable between different regions and can be tracked over different time periods.
The risk of suffering a crime is not uniformly distributed across a population. There are certain groups which are statistically immune to suffering crime but there are also groups which suffer chronic victimisation. This measure improves our understanding of how patterns of crime can be quantified allowing us to determine if a prevention policy results in a crime reduction rather than target displacement. The method may have applications beyond crime science.
Traditionally, decentralization has been linked with the stability of the party system because it helps parties to succeed in national elections. Yet, previous research has frequently obviated the intertwined nature of multilevel party competition. This research takes a closer look at parties’ subnational electoral trajectories while arguing that decentralization increases the risk of new party demise by making subnational elections more attractive for all kinds of parties to compete in. The argument is tested applying survival analysis to the electoral trajectories of 1235 regional branches of political parties in 12 European countries. Results show that contrary to what has been stated previously on the literature, decentralization increases the risk of parties to disappear. This effect fades away the older and more consolidated the party becomes, and it is of particular relevance for regionalist parties. These findings have important implications for the literature on second-order elections and multilevel party competition.