Alberto Stefanelli

Alberto Stefanelli

PhD Candidate & Data Scientist

KU Leuven, Institute for Social and Political Opinion Research (ISPO)


I am currently an FWO PhD Fellow at the Institute for Social and Political Opinion Research (ISPO), KU Leuven, Belgium. I finished my MA at the Central European University, Budapest. I have too many hobbies but what never gets me tired is cooking, biking, and reading about stuff I know little about.


My research interests include radicalism, voting behaviour, democratic representation, and methodology. My PhD is on developing a new way to conceptualize and measure radical belief systems, the conditional endorsement of liberal values by radical and populist voters, and the role of radical beliefs as drivers of opinion extremity and inter-group animosity. I am currently working on the questionnaire design, data collection and analysis of the Belgian National Electoral Study.

Methodologically, I am particularly interested in conjoint analysis, matching techniques, text as data, machine learning, and big data. I currently working on improving conjoint experiment designs, a new way to discover treatment heterogeneity using conjoint data, and interviewer effects in face-to-face surveys.

I am a member of the survey and experimental teams of Team Populism, a research group that brings together scholars from Europe and the Americas to study the causes and consequences of populism. Together with Luca and Hanne, I run MethLab, a PhD-led initiative to encourage (qualitative and quantitative) research methods training. I am also among the founding members of Methods Excellence Network.

Private Sector

I am an external consultant and analyst for ZK Analytics.

Download my resumé.

  • Voting behaviour
  • Public opinion
  • Populism
  • Radicalism
  • Democratic representation
  • Experimental designs
  • FWO PhD Fellow

    KU Leuven, Leuven, Belgium

  • Fulbright Visiting Fellow, 2022 - 2023

    Yale University, New York University

  • MSc in Statistics

    KU Leuven, Leuven, Belgium

  • MA in Political Science, 2018

    Central European University, Budapest, Hungary

  • BA in Political Science, International Relations, Public Administration, 2015

    University of Padua, Padua, Italy

Teaching Experience

Instructor for the following courses:

  • Introduction to Conjoint Experiments (ECPR, University of Innsbruck, 2020 - 2022)

  • Lab sessions for Structural Equations (KU Leuven, 2021)

  • Propensity Matching and Standardisation techniques (Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Israel, 2019)

I have served as Teaching Assistant for the following courses:

  • Multilevel Structural Equation Modelling (Bruno Castanho Silva, ECPR, 2021)

  • Introduction to Machine Learning for Social Sciences (Bruno Castanho Silva, MethodsNet Summer School, Radboud University)

  • Structural Equation Modelling (Bart Meuleman, ECPR, 2021)

  • Advance Multilevel Modelling (Levi Littvay, ECPR, 2020)

  • Logistic Regression and GLM (Michał Kotnarowski, 2019, ECPR)

  • Automated Collection of Web and Social Data (Theresa Gessler and Pablo Barbera, ECPR, 2018-2019)

  • R Basics (Akos Mate, ECPR, 2018)

  • Text Mining Boot Camp (ITI Project, Central European University, 2018)

  • Regression Refresher (Levi Littvay, ECPR, 2018)

  • Experimental Political Science (Levi Littvay, Central European University, 2018)

  • Text Analysis Across Discipline (ITI Project, Central European University, 2017)

Recent Publications

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(2018). Costi della politica e finanziamenti: Il livello locale. in Il Finanziamento Alla Politica in Italia, ser. Biblioteca di testi e studi (1189), D. R. Piccio, Ed., Carocci.


(2017). The Electoral Consolidation of the Five Star Movement. in Quaderni di Scienza Politica, vol. Il Movimento Cinque Stelle: Prospettive di Ricerca a Confronto, no. 3, M. Almagisti and P. R. Graziano, Eds., Dec. 2017.


(2016). Dove soffia il vento del Nord. in Cambiamento o Assestamento? Le Elezioni Amministrative Del 2016, Istituto Carlo Cattaneo, 2016, pp. 9–22.