Michael Bechtel is Professor of Political Economy, Director of the Institute for Political Science and European Affairs, and senior researcher in the cluster of excellence ECONtribute: Markets and Public Policy at the University of Cologne. His research explores how countries can address global economic and environmental sustainability problems. Current projects analyze mass support for international climate cooperation, the politics of natural disasters, and policy responses to economic crises. Bechtel’s articles have appeared in journals such as American Journal of Political Science, American Political Science Review, Journal of Politics, International Organization, Nature Climate Change, and Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. His research has been featured in media outlets in the United States and Europe and in animated movies. Bechtel has provided testimony in legal proceedings that require expertise in social science research including survey design, conjoint analysis and experiments, and statistical estimation. Before becoming a first-generation college student, he served as an infantry soldier and reserve officer in the German Army where his deployments included the 2002 Elbe flood disaster response.

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Multilateral Climate Policy

International participation and stable cost paths increase public support for climate action:

Social Norms in Mass Surveys

We provide survey instruments to elicit social norms and attitudes toward time and risk in mass surveys:

Designing Institutions and Public Policy

We have applied and refined conjoint experiments to explore institutional and policy design questions:


  • • 18 Mar 2024, Centre for Research on Social Dynamics and Public Policy, Bocconi University, Milan
  • • 14 Mar 2024, Climate Politics Workshop, Bocconi University, Milan
  • • 29 Feb 2024, Political Economy Lunch, Hertie School, Berlin
  • • 14 Dec 2023, Political Science Speaker Series, University of Stuttgart
  • • 7 Sep 2023, International Relations Speaker Series, Harvard University
  • • 22-24 Jun 2023, EPSA Annual Conference, Glasgow

Publication and Citation Metrics

Contact Information

Michael M. Bechtel
Institute for Political Science and European Affairs
Cologne Center for Comparative Politics
Herbert-Lewin-Straße 2
50931 Köln
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