sowi:doc Awards 2019

The sowi:doc Awards for the academic year 2018/2019 were awarded to:


Tobias Boos

Research field: political science

“Populism in the centre – Kirchnerism and the Argentinian middle class between 2003 and 2015”

The dissertation examines the role of the middle class in Argentina during the populist governments of Néstor Kirchner (2003–2007) and Cristina Fernández de Kirchner (2007–2015). The research results show that parts of the middle class – contrary to widespread assumptions within existing research on populism and the middle class – were an important pillar of so called Kirchnerism. The dissertation develops a theoretical framework within hegemony theory and applies a mixed method approach using qualitative and quantitative data. It examines which mechanisms at the economic, institutional and level of political identities were used to gain the support of the middle class. The dissertation thus contributes to closing the research gap with regard to the role of the Latin American middle class during the populist governments and generally contributes new insights to the debate on populism within social science.

Tobias Boos defended his dissertation in May 2019 at the Faculty of Social Sciences of the University of Vienna. Since July 2019 he works as a postdoctoral researcher at the Institute of Political Science. His research interests are Politics and middle class in Latin America, Populism, State theory of the Global South, Political Economy and Political Theory.


Raffael Heiss

Research field: communication

“Political Actors on Social Media: Content, Exposure and Effects”

This dissertation investigates the new phenomenon of political actors on social media and uses an innovative mixed-methods approach, composed of surveys, content analyses and experimental designs. Based on this approach, I could examine the phenomenon from different perspectives and looked at selective exposure, the content and the expected effects. The core results of my dissertation indicate that although political actors’ social media profiles could create new spaces for participation and deliberation, mainstream political actors hardly use them for these purposes. At the same time, right-wing populist are successfully mobilizing a large number of (young) followers and spread xenophobic and anti-elitist sentiments.

Raffael Heiss defended his dissertation in October 2018 at the Faculty of Social Sciences of the University of Vienna. Since November 2018 he is lecturer and co-director at the MCI Center for Social & Health Innovation. His research interests include public health, communication, digital media, and civic engagement.



Andreas Streinzer

Research field: social and cultural anthropology

“Reconfigurations of Provisioning. Austerity and Interdependency in Volos, Greece”

The dissertation studies the transformations of economic everyday lives in the city of Volos, Greece. The author conducted 12 months of ethnographic fieldwork between 2014 and 2017, generating data in a mix of participant observation, interviews, survey methods and financial diaries. The aim of the study was the reconstruction of provisioning relations of the research participants and their reconfigurations during the economic crisis. The results document the dramatic consequences of recession and austerity on employment, unpaid labour, kinship and friendship, and modes of recognition and political engagement. Besides impoverishment, the study focuses on attempts at solidarisation and alternative economies.

Andreas Streinzer defended his dissertation in June 2019 at the Faculty of Social Sciences of the University of Vienna. He is fellow at the Institute for Social research, Frankfurt am Main, and researcher at the School of Humanities and Social Sciences at the University of St. Gallen. His research interests are economic and political anthropology, critical ethnography and the social anthropology of Europe.



The sowi:doc Awards 2019 were awarded on 11 November 2019 as part of the Early Stage Researchers’ Day at the Faculty of Social Sciences.

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