Natasha Wunsch

Professor of European Studies at University of Fribourg

Sciences Po, CEE & ETH Zurich

Research Topics

Democratic backsliding ; European integration ; EU enlargement ; political mobilisation ; Western Balkans

Natasha Wunsch is Professor of European Studies as well as co-director of the Centre for European Studies at the University of Fribourg. Previously, she was Assistant Professor of Political Science/European Integration at Sciences Po Paris , Senior Researcher at ETH Zurich and Visiting Fellow at Harvard University and the University of Oxford . She is currently Chair of the ECPR Standing Group on the European Union .

Natasha Wunsch received her PhD from University College London in 2016 and defended her habilitation at ETH Zurich in 2023. Previously, she completed a dual Master’s degree in European Studies and Political Science at Sciences Po Paris and the Free University of Berlin . In addition to her academic activities, she sits on the Academic Advisory Committee of the German Council on Foreign Relations and on the Academic Advisory Board of the Institute for European Politics . She is also a member of the Balkans in Europe Policy Advisory Group .

Her research interests lie at the interface between European and comparative politics. She studies processes of democracy promotion as well as democratic regression primarily in the post-communist space and is interested in the implications of current challenges to liberal democracy for European cooperation and the process of European integration. Her research has been published in the Journal of European Public Policy, the Journal of Common Market Studies and Democratization, among others. In a research project funded by the Swiss National Science Foundation (Ambizione), she is currently investigating the role of citizens’ democratic attitudes in processes of democratic erosion.


Wunsch, Natasha & Philippe Blanchard (2023). Patterns of democratic backsliding in third-wave democracies: a sequence analysis perspective , Democratization 30(2): 278-301.
Chiru, Mihail and Natasha Wunsch (2023): Democratic backsliding as a catalyst for polity-based contestation? Populist radical right cooperation in the European Parliament, Journal of European Public Policy 30(1): 64-83.
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