Irene Menéndez González

Welcome! I am an Assistant Professor in International Politics and Development at the University of Mannheim and a Visiting Fellow at the Institute for Advanced Study (IAST) in Toulouse. My main research interests lie at the intersection of international political economy and comparative political economy, with special emphasis on the consequences of globalisation for economic and social policy, as well as welfare states and interest representation in Europe and Latin America. I also work on projects exploring the politics of labour market segmentation, and on projects analysing the effects of electoral institutions on political representation.

I obtained my phD at the University of Oxford (Nuffield College) in 2015, and previously studies at the Juan March Institute in Madrid, Sciences Po in Paris and St. Andrews University in Scotland. Before joining the faculty at Mannheim, I was a research fellow at the Institute for Advanced Study in Toulouse (2017-2018) and a post-doctoral fellow at the University of Zurich (2014-2017). 

Book Project

In my book project, I examine the relationship between globalization and domestic social economic policy outcomes. Why do some governments compensate losers for the adverse effects of trade, while others reward winners, often exacerbating distributive conflict and inequality? 

I develop and test an explanation that highlights the role of economic geography and electoral institutions in shaping the demand and supply of social policy. I emphasize that distributional conflict arising from structural economic conditions and electoral competition may generate incentives for policymakers to not compensate losers. These incentives are particularly strong when voters that lose from trade are regionally concentrated and districts are elected under proportional representation. I test the implications of my theory using a multi-method empirical strategyI evaluate the micro-level implications of the theory with multi-level analyses of cross-sectional survey data and detailed regional employment data for a large sample of European regions. I then examine the macro-level implications using panel data for European democracies and detailed data on geographical concentration. I complement these quantitative analyses with in-depth examination of preference formation and policy processes in a number of regions in Spain (1982-1992) and Argentina (1989-1995).


"Electoral reform and trade-offs in political representation." With Michael Becher. American Political Science Review 2019, 1-16. doi:10.1017/S0003055419000145

"Political parties and non-standard employment: an analysis of France, Germany, Italy and Spain." With Georg Picot, Socio-Economic Review 2017, 1-21.

"Globalization and welfare spending: how economic geography and electoral institutions condition compensation." International Studies Quarterly 2016, 60(4): 665-676.

"Monetary Integration and Accountability in Europe, 1988-1994." Revista Española de Investigaciones Sociológicas, 2012, 157, 121-150.

"Labour market institutions and economic performance." With David Rueda, in (ed.) J. Gandhi and R. Ruiz-Rufino (2015), Routledge Handbook of Comparative Political Institutions, New York: Routledge. 

Working Papers

"Low-skill products by high-skill workers: the distributive effects of trade in developing countries." With Erica Owen and Stefanie Walter.

"The politics of non-contributory social policy: Labor market institutions and Left strategies in the developing world." With Santiago Lopez-Cariboni. 

"Explaining support for non-contributory social policy: evidence from a survey experiment in Argentina." Awarded prize for best post-graduate paper at REPAL (Red de Economía Política de America Latina), June 2018.

In Progress

"Global economic shocks, local institutions, and political responsiveness." With Michael Becher and Daniel Stegmüller.

"Global competition, electoral rules and the rise of the anti-European radical right." With Michael Becher.

"Economic geography and demand for trade protection: the case of Argentine regions."


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University of Mannheim
Junior Professor for International Politics and Development
A5, 6
68131 Mannheim

irene menendez gonzalez,
Dec 4, 2018, 1:47 AM