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? How 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?)

I was nominated for the ECPR Rising Star Award twice in 2020 and 2021. 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 supported by a British Academy Special Research Grant on COVID-19, an Early Career Researcher Fund, and a HEIF Policy Fund. The data collection is based on online 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.