Photo of Dr Luca Bernardi

Dr Luca Bernardi BA, MA, PhD

Lecturer in Politics Politics


Personal Statement

I joined the Department of Politics at the University of Liverpool as a Lecturer in Politics in September 2019. Before moving to Liverpool, I was a Juan de la Cierva-formación Postdoctoral Researcher at the Department of Political Science and Public Law at the Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona and part of the DEC research group. Previously, I was a researcher in the ERC-funded ResponsiveGov Project at the School of History, Politics and International Relations at the University of Leicester, where I obtained my PhD with a dissertation investigating the effects of electoral incentives on government responsiveness to public opinion. I hold an MA (Florence) and a BA (Cagliari) in Political Science. I am a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy.

My research is largely based on quantitative data and I am interested to explore the following research areas and questions:

- Mental health and politics (e.g., how do mental health problems - such as depression, anxiety and stress - influence political perceptions, attitudes, behaviours and decision-making? Does politics affect people's mental health? What are the determinants of policy attention and policy change on mental health?)
- Public opinion and public policy (e.g., to what public opinion signals does policy respond? To what extent do factors such as electoral incentives condition the opinion-policy link? What are the consequences of government (non)responsiveness?)
- Mass-elite linkages (e.g., what are the causes and consequences of voters' perceptions of parties' policy positions? Do voters punish and reward parties for what they say or what they do?)

Currently, I am the PI of three projects that study the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on mental health and political engagement. The first project is funded by a COVID-19 ODA Rapid Response Funding and collects data based on a two-wave panel survey of Syrian refugees in Istanbul (Co-I Dr Özge Zihnioğlu, University of Liverpool). The second project is funded by a British Academy Special Research Grant on COVID-19 and collects data based on two surveys of a representative sample of British adults (Co-I Prof Ian H. Gotlib, Stanford University). An overview of these projects can be found here: Impacts of COVID-19 on Mental Health. The third project is based on a collaborative effort between political scientists and psychologists to study mental distress in later stages of the COVID-19 pandemic in 12 European countries and is supported by the European Social Survey CRONOS-2 Panel.

You can find my publications available on ResearchGate or Academia. If you are interested in my ongoing research, please send me an email.

I invite any student who is interested in potential PhD research to contact me if they find any of the above areas appealing.