Celine Colombo, Ph.D.

Visiting Scholar, Annenberg School for Communication

Celine Colombo is a postdoctoral researcher at the Political Science Department of the University of Zurich (Switzerland). She holds a Ph.D. from the European University Institute in Florence. Her Ph.D. thesis addresses the question of citizen competence in direct democracy. More specifically, she examines the role of arguments and the complexity of thinking in political opinion formation in direct democratic settings. In her current work, she addresses the role of elites and parties in political opinion formation, more specifically the role of party cues and the effect of message complexity on voters' political competence. In another project on morality politics and direct democracy, she analyzes whether voters justify their decisions in direct democratic votes with principled / value-based or with pragmatic / consequentialist arguments - and which factors determine the type of reasoning. 

Between 2012 and 2015, she worked as a research assistant in the project “Willing to pay – Testing Institutional Theory with Experiments”, led by Sven Steinmo, which analyzed the psychological and institutional drivers of citizens' tax compliance. In 2014, she participated in the creation of the “eu and I” voting advice application for the European Elections.

Colombo holds an M.Sc. in Social Psychology and Political Science from the University of Zurich. From 2009 to 2011, she was part of a research project on the psychological driving factors in participatory community development projects, led by the Federal Institute of Aquatic Science and Technology (eawag), involving fieldwork in Nepal and Costa Rica.

Her research interest include political psychology and behavior; political attitudes and public opinion; political knowledge and citizen competence; motivated reasoning and biases in political thinking; cognitive complexity of political opinions and justifications; olitical decision making; direct democracy and deliberation; and the role of arguments and justification in political opinion formation.

Celine Colombo is a postdoctoral researcher at the University of Zurich's Department of Political Science and a Visiting Scholar at the Annenberg School for Communication.

Colombo's Network

  • Political Communication
  • Institute for the Study of Citizens and Politics