Max Grömping portrait 500x500

I am a political scientist studying Comparative Politics and Political Communication. I recently completed my PhD research at the Department of Government and International Relations of the University of Sydney, and currently work as Research Associate and Program Manager of the ‘Perceptions of Electoral Integrity‘ (PEI) expert survey for the Electoral Integrity Project based at Sydney and Harvard. My doctoral dissertation (submitted March 2017) investigates the causes and consequences of domestic election monitoring NGOs. By drawing on concepts of political communication, I develop an agenda building model theorizing the conditions under which observers can be expected to strengthen electoral integrity. My study assembles the first systematic and globally comparative dataset of election monitoring initiatives, encompassing more than 1,000 groups in 114 countries. The data measures the prevalence of domestic observers, their monitoring and advocacy strategies, and their effectiveness in shaping the news agenda, demonstrating that the majority of groups wields only marginal influence.

My broader research agenda is situated at the nexus of comparative political communication and comparative democratization. It investigates the ability of ‘outside’ actors – such as non-governmental organizations (NGOs), social movements, and interest groups – to influence media, public, and policy agendas. I am also interested in how digital network affordances shape  the organizational structure of these civil society actors, as well as their framing and agenda-setting capabilities in ever more distributed news environments. I examine these questions in comparative perspective and in different regime types, with a regional focus on Southeast Asia.

Having graduated from Freie Universität Berlin in Geography, Political Science and Geoinformatics, I previously worked at the Collaborative Research Center SFB700 ‘Governance in Areas of Limited Statehood’ in Berlin, and lectured at the Faculty of Political Science of Thammasat University, Bangkok.

I co-publish the Perceptions of Electoral Integrity (PEI) dataset, and also helped develop the Secure and Fair Elections (SAFE) Model Curriculum for International IDEA. Occasionally, I write for the Washington Post’s Monkey CageThe Conversation, New Mandala, and other online outlets. I am also a board member of the Research Committee RC10 -Electronic Democracy of the International Political Science Association (IPSA), an associate of the Sydney Democracy Network, a member of the the Political Organisations and Participation standing group of the Australian Political Studies Association, and a member of the Electoral Management Research Network.