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Since 2023, I have been the operational project manager of the COVICORR project ("Comparing mask scandals in 27 European Union member states"). The project is hosted by the Chair of Public Administration at the Department of Politics and Public Administration in the University of Konstanz. It is funded by the Blue Sky Initiative of the University of Konstanz as part of the German Excellence Strategy programme. 

Research objectives and questions

The project aims at better understanding both the unintended consequences of crisis policy responses and the causes of unethical as well as dysfunctional administrative behaviour in times of crisis.

 

It has the following four, interrelated research questions:

  1. What mask scandals occurred in the 27 EU member states in the first year of the pandemic, and how did they unfold?

  2. Why did mask scandals occur in some EU countries, but not in others?

  3. How did the regulatory crisis response affect the risk of mask scandals?

  4. Do we see systematic regional patterns in the occurrence of mask scandals, and what explains them?

Research methodologies

The project combines qualitative within-case study methods to map mask scandals (RQ1) and underlying mechanisms with innovative techniques for cross-case comparison of small case numbers. It uses set-theoretic configurational analysis to explore the necessary and sufficient combinations of conditions that explain the occurrence or non-occurrence of mask scandals (RQ2). To analyse RQs 3 and 4, we complement this approach with a nested comparative case study design and causal process tracing.

Further information about the project is available here

The project involves a team of 21 research assistants from 21 different EU countries. Meet the team here.

As the operational project manager, I supervise the data collection done by the research assistants. Because I have the necessary country expertise and speak Italian at mother tongue level, I also collect the data for Italy. 

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