Dr Kaat Smets

Kaat Smets

Dr Kaat Smets

Senior Lecturer in Politics (Quantitative Methods)

Direct phone: +44 1784 414255

Educational background

  • Baccalaureate in Journalism and Communication, Fontys Hogeschool (Tilburg, The Netherlands)
  • MA in Politics and Communication in Europe, VU University (Amsterdam, The Netherlands)
  • MRes in Political and Social Sciences, European University Institute (Florence, Italy)
  • PhD in Political and Social Sciences, European University Institute (Florence, Italy)

Personal profile

I joined the Department of Politics and International Relations at Royal Holloway, University of London as a lecturer in September 2013. My research focuses on why people participate in politics and I am particularly interested in how patterns of political participation change over time. Since the political behaviour of young people seems to be most affected by new patterns of political participation that have emerged over the last decades, a lot of my research focuses on young people's politics.

At Royal Holloway I teach undergraduate and postgraduate courses in political behaviour and (quantitative) research methods. I defended my doctoral dissertation in 2010 at the European University Institute in Florence, Italy. I also hold a baccalaureate in Journalism and Communication from Fontys Hogeschool in Tilburg (The Netherlands), an MA in Communication and Politics in Europe from the VU University in Amsterdam and an MRes in Political and Social Sciences from the European University Institute. Before joining Royal Holloway's PIR department I was affiliated to the Centre for the Study of Political Change (CIRCaP) at the University of Siena in Italy.

My general research interests include political behaviour, elections, political sociology, comparative politics and research methods. More specifically my published work researches the age gap in voter turnout, generational differences in political behaviour, the development of poltical attitudes and political behaviour over the life span and, more recently, the micro-mechanisms of individual level attitude change. In my work I often apply quantitative methods for longitudinal, hierarchical, and (quasi) experimental data to address substantial research
questions. My publications appear in European Journal of Political Research, European Union Politics, Electoral Studies, Acta Politica, Parliamentary Affairs, and the Journal of Elections, Public Opinion & Parties.




  • PR5921 - Introduction to Quantitative Methods in Politics and International Relations



  • PR1600 - Introduction to Research Methods in Politics and International Relations
  • PR2540 - Political Behaviour

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