My research grows out of a profound interest in cross-national and comparative analysis of political behavior such as political attitudes, policy preferences, vote choice and participation.
My article-track PhD dissertation is concerned with how being socialized under certain sociopolitical conditions, and in proximity of certain constitutive events, affects the individual’s political preferences in later years. The first paper of my dissertation (Harsgor, POQ 2018) analyzes partisan trends in the US for the period of 1952-2016, showing that generational replacement contributed to the emergence of the gender gap in party identification among the American electorate in a previously overlooked way. The second paper investigates the effect of terrorism during the formative years of people living under an intractable conflict, in this case the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, on their political attitudes later in life. I explore the different levels of terrorism in Israel over the years as well as the different political contexts in which they occurred in order to examine their effect on the political attitudes of young cohorts of Israeli Jews. In the third paper of my dissertation I seek to contribute new thoughts and insights with regard to generational research by focusing on three concepts which concern within-cohort heterogeneity in political outcomes that characterize cohorts of voters.
During my PhD studies I worked with Professor Orit Kedar as part of her research team which studies electoral politics and representation. In one paper (Kedar, Harsgor and Sheinerman, AJPS 2016) we show that districting schemes affect the level of electoral inequality between voters. In another paper (Kedar, Harsgor and Tuttnauer, under review) we analyze the effect of variation in district magnitude on permissiveness of electoral systems and representation. My interest in electoral politics also concerns the way electoral systems affect voting behavior. In an article I co-authored (Eizenberg and Harsgor 2017), we theorized about the effect of electoral thresholds on election outcomes and demonstrated our argument by simulating on the Israeli 2015 elections results.
Another research interest of mine is the relationship between gender and political behavior. I have taken part in a research team at the Van Leer Institute comprised of leading Israeli scholars and graduate students who study gender gaps in voting patterns. As part of this group I co-authored a paper dealing with the effect of feminist consciousness on vote choice.
In my current postdoctoral studies at the University of Toronto I examine how party-leaders’ evaluations by voters affect voter turnout. In another project I analyze differences in governmental blame attribution by right-wing vs. left-wing voters. This latter project is comprised of institutional as well as voting behavior perspectives.