Academic staff – University of Copenhagen

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Peter Kurrild-Klitgaard

Peter Kurrild-Klitgaard


Peter Kurrild-Klitgaard (born 1966) is (since 2006) Professor of political theory and comparative politics at the University of Copenhagen.  He founded and was the first Director of the Dept. of Political Science's Centre for Voting and Parties

Kurrild-Klitgaard has for many years been spearheading the use of rational choice models in the study of politics.  He has held visiting appointments at a number of universities, including Cambridge, Columbia, New York and Oxford.

Kurrild-Klitgaard is, i.a., recipient of the University of Copenhagen's Teacher's Prize (2007) and Teacher of the Year in Political Science (2007), Fyens Stiftstidendes Researcher of the Year (2003), and has been elected, as the first Danish political scientist, a member of the European academy of sciences, Academia Europaea, as well as a Fellow of the Royal Historical Society (UK).

Kurrild-Klitgaard is a public intellectual and writes as a columnist and blogger for the Danish daily Børsen and before that for many years at Berlingske Tidende.  The daily Politiken has since 2011 ranked him as one of the 100 most influential Danish opinion makers.  He is frequently used as a commentator on Danish politics--including by international media such as The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post, The Times (London), Le Monde and Bloomberg.

Primary fields of research

  • Political economy
  • Electoral systems
  • Constitutions
  • Danish politics
  • American politics

Selected papers for download (Repec)

Current research

  • The effects of political institutions on public spending & economic growth; 
  • Institutional determinants of market economies
  • Dimensions in the Danish political spectrum

Selected publications for download (Repec)

Fields of interest

  • Political science, Political economy, Comparative politics, Constitutional political economy, Public choice, Rational choice, Social choice, Political theory
  • American politics, British politics, Danish politics
  • Constitutions, Elections, Voting theory, Electoral systems, Terrorism, State building, National elections, Autocracies, Economic growth, Democracy, Constitutionalism, UK, USA


Since 2006:

  • Theories and Approaches of Political Science (2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017)
  • General & Comparative Political Science (2007, 2008, 2009, 2011, 2012)
  • Comparative Political Science (2014, 2015, 2016)
  • Bachelor Thesis seminar (2016)
  • Master Thesis seminar (2007, 2008, 2014, 2016)
  • Graduate courses on
  • - political institutions & economic growth (2007);
  • - voting theory & electoral systems (2006, 2011)

Selected publications

  1. Accepted/In press

    Trump, Condorcet and Borda: Voting paradoxes in the 2016 Republican presidential primaries

    Kurrild-Klitgaard, P. 2017 (Accepted/In press) In : European Journal of Political Economy.

    Research output: Research - peer-reviewJournal article

  2. Accepted/In press

    Public choice and social democracy

    Kurrild-Klitgaard, P. 2017 (Accepted/In press) Oxford handbook of public choice. Congleton, R., Grofman, B. & Voigt, S. (eds.). Oxford: Oxford University Press

    Research output: Research - peer-reviewBook chapter

  3. Published

    Computers, Coders, and Voters: Comparing Automated Methods for Estimating Party Positions

    Hjorth, F. G., Klemmensen, R. T., Hobolt, S. B., Hansen, M. E. & Kurrild-Klitgaard, P. 1 Apr 2015 In : Research and Politics. 2, 2, p. 1-9 9 p.

    Research output: Research - peer-reviewJournal article

  4. Published

    Classical liberalism and modern political economy in Denmark

    Kurrild-Klitgaard, P. Sep 2015 In : Econ Journal Watch. 12, 3, p. 400-431 32 p.

    Research output: Research - peer-reviewJournal article

  5. Published

    Den "almene og sammenlignende statskundskab": Fra kerne over residual til hullet i en vaniljekrans?

    Kurrild-Klitgaard, P. 2015 Statskundskab 1965-2015: Københavns Universitet. Bille, L. (ed.). København: Forlaget Politiske Studier, p. 79-103 25 p.

    Research output: Research - peer-reviewBook chapter

  6. Published

    Empirical social choice: An introduction

    Kurrild-Klitgaard, P. Mar 2014 In : Public Choice. 158, 3-4, p. 297-310 14 p.

    Research output: Research - peer-reviewJournal article

  7. Published

    Economic growth and institutional reform in modern monarchies and republics: A historical cross-country perspective 1820-2000

    Bjørnskov, C. & Kurrild-Klitgaard, P. 2014 In : Journal of Institutional and Theoretical Economics. 170, 3, p. 453-481 29 p.

    Research output: Research - peer-reviewJournal article

  8. Published

    Picking a loser?: A social choice perspective on the Danish government formation of 1975

    Kurrild-Klitgaard, P. Mar 2014 In : Public Choice. 158, 3-4, p. 483-497 15 p.

    Research output: Research - peer-reviewJournal article

  9. Published

    Institutional interactions and economic growth: The joint effects of property rights, veto players and democratic capital

    Kamp Justesen, M. & Kurrild-Klitgaard, P. 1 Dec 2013 In : Public Choice. 157, 3-4, p. 449–474 26 p.

    Research output: Research - peer-reviewJournal article

  10. Published

    Election inversions, coalitions and proportional representation: Examples of voting paradoxes in Danish government formations

    Kurrild-Klitgaard, P. 2013 In : Scandinavian Political Studies. 36, 2, p. 121-136

    Research output: Research - peer-reviewJournal article

Selected activities

  1. Coordinator of Comparative Political Science

    Kurrild-Klitgaard, P. (Participant)
    1 Jan 20152017

    Activity: OtherOther (prizes, external teaching and other activities) - Other

  2. European Editor/Associate Editor & Member, Editorial Board, Public Choice (Journal)

    Kurrild-Klitgaard, P. (Editor)
    1 Jan 2005 → …

    Activity: ResearchEditor of Research journal

  3. Dansk Institut for Flerpartisamarbejde (Danish Institute for Parties and Democracy) (External organisation)

    Kurrild-Klitgaard, P. (Member)
    1 Aug 2010 → …

    Activity: MembershipMembership in board of company or public organisation

  4. Visiting Fellow, St. Edmund's College, University of Cambridge

    Kurrild-Klitgaard, P. (Participant)
    15 Mar 2017 → …

    Activity: OtherOther (prizes, external teaching and other activities) - Period visiting other institutions


  1. Knight of the Royal Order of the Dannebrog

    Peter Kurrild-Klitgaard (Recipient), 17 Nov 2017

    Prize: Prizes, scholarships, distinctions

  2. Academia Europaea: Member (elected)

    Peter Kurrild-Klitgaard (Recipient), 2013

    Prize: Prizes, scholarships, distinctions

  3. Royal Historical Society (UK): Fellow (elected)

    Peter Kurrild-Klitgaard (Recipient), 1 Jun 2009

    Prize: Prizes, scholarships, distinctions

  4. "Harald Prize" of the Year

    Peter Kurrild-Klitgaard (Recipient), Nov 2007

    Prize: Prizes, scholarships, distinctions

  5. Teacher of the Year in Political Science

    Peter Kurrild-Klitgaard (Recipient), 2007

    Prize: Prizes, scholarships, distinctions

  6. Researcher of the Year (Fyens Stiftstidende) (2003)

    Peter Kurrild-Klitgaard (Recipient), 2003

    Prize: Prizes, scholarships, distinctions

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