Somer-Topcu is an assistant professor in the Department of Political Science, with a joint appointment at the Max Kade Center of European and German Studies. Her research and teaching interests include party politics, election results, representation, and voter perceptions. Her main focus is on Western Europe, though her research often extends to other advanced industrial democracies. Her work on explaining party policy shifts and the consequences of these policies has appeared in the American Journal of Political Science, British Journal of Political Science, Comparative Politics, Comparative Political Studies, European Journal of Political Research and Journal of Politics. She is currently working on a series of projects examining how party election strategies and the availability and the unity of party messages affect voters perceptions of party policies and parties’ electoral performance.
Somer-Topcu is the co-winner of the Emerging Scholar Award given by the American Political Science Association section on Political Organizations and Parties in 2013. She also recently received the Jack Walker Outstanding Article Award in 2013 for her coauthored article “Government versus Opposition at the Polls” (coauthored with Kathleen Bawn) given by the APSA section on Political Organizations and Parties. Her coauthored article “Is Anybody Listening?” (coauthored with James Adams and Lawrence Ezrow) was awarded the American Journal of Political Science Best Article Award in 2012. This latter award is given by the Midwest Political Science Association to the best paper published in the American Journal of Political Science in the previous year.
Somer-Topcu teaches undergraduate courses on West European politics, the European Union and comparative political parties. Her graduate level seminar offerings include Comparative Political Parties, Comparative Representation and Accountability, and Statistics for Political Science I.