People Feature

Matthias Dilling

DPhil student
DPhil in Politics

Research Interests: Comparative politics.

I am a Stipendiary Lecturer in Politics at Pembroke College and a final year Doctoral Candidate in Politics at Nuffield College (University of Oxford). My research is on comparative politics, with special focus on institutional development and party politics in Europe. I have a special interest in intra-party politics, party organization and Western European Christian democracy.

In my book-length dissertation ‘Organizational Choices and Organizational Adaptability in Political Parties. The Case of Western European Christian Democracy’, I explore why Christian democratic parties vary in their ability to adapt to dramatically changing social and political conditions. Faced with the unexpected collapse of European Communism, challenges in the process of European integration and an economic recession, some Christian democratic parties declined, while others successfully adapted to the new political context. I am using a mixed-method approach to explain such variation by analyzing the relationship between party organization, intra-party competition and party adaptability.

I teach Comparative Government, Politics in Europe, Political Sociology and Introduction to the Practice of Politics and have teaching experience at several Oxford Colleges and beyond.

Before starting my doctorate, I received an MPhil in Comparative Government (with distinction) from Nuffield College, University of Oxford. My MPhil thesis (with distinction) was on the relationship between party organization and factionalism. I obtained my BA in Political Science from FU Berlin (with distinction).

Matthias Dilling


'The CDU. Representation and Representation Deficits within a People’s Party', in E. Wiesendahl ed.,Parteien und Soziale Ungleichheit, 89–121, Springer, 2017 (in German).

(with Viola Neu), 'The Electoral Potential of Right- and Left-wing Extremist Parties. Unideological Protest Vote?', in G. Hirscher and E. Jesse eds., Extremismus in Deutschland, 397-434, 2013 (in German).

'The Interplay between Positive and Negative Feedback Effects. Lessons from Italian Christian Democracy', (working paper).

(with Sukriti Issar), 'The Role of Failed Plans in Institutional Change and Comparative Research', (working paper).

'A Missed Chance. Why Christian democracy failed in France and why this matters', (working paper).