Eline Severs is an assistant professor at the Department of Political Science, Vrije Universiteit Brussel. Her research interests fall within the field of democratic theory. She is especially interested in democratic representation, the relationships between civil society and democratic governance, citizens' conceptions of democracy, and what it means to include historically disadvantaged groups. She recently edited a special issue on The Good Representative 2.0 (with Suzanne Dovi, University of Arizona) in PS: Political Science and Politics (2018).
Her research on the legitimacy of representative democracies seeks to shed light on the meaning of the so-called crisis of representation in contemporary democracies. Abandoning prior conceptions of what constitutes legitimacy, she studies (through interviews, focus groups and the study of everyday political talk) how elected representatives and citizens give meaning to their expectations toward and disappointments with representative democracy.
Eline holds a PhD degree in Political Science from the University of Antwerp (2012). From 2012 till 2015, she was the scientific coordinator of the Policy Research Centre on Equality Policies (PRCEP) ('Steunpunt Gelijkekansen'), an inter-university research consortium funded by the Flemish Government Departments on Science and Equal Opportunities (2012-2015). It conducted policy-preporatory research for the Flemish Minister of Equal Opportunities.
Eline's PhD was short-listed for the Annual prize for best PhD in political science ('Jaarprijs Politicologie') jointly extended by the Dutch and Belgian associations of Political Science. She received a Best Paper Award for a paper presented at the 2013 Annual Meeting of the American Political Science Association. The award was extended jointly by the APSA Section on 'Women and Politics' and the APSA Section on 'Foundations of Political Theory'. She was the Treasurer of the ECPR Standing Group of Gender and Politics. She is also an executive member of the Belgian association of Political Science ('Vereniging voor Politieke Wetenschappen'). She has been a member of the award jury for the best PhD in Political Science ('Jaarprijs Politicologie') and chaired the award jury in 2015-2016.