Elections are the central democratic process by which citizens elect their representatives to public office. This seminar deals with elections and voting behavior in the European Union. In addition to the interaction between political parties and voters, we focus on citizens as political actors and the factors that influence voting behavior at the national and European level. The seminar will be conducted as an online block seminar with an introductory session in December and two full-day blocks in January.
In the first block, we start by discussing the normative goals and principles of elections. Building on the sociological, psychological and economic models, we subsequently focus on fundamental theoretical explanations for individual voting behavior. In the second block, student groups present first results of small research projects on the factors that explain voting behavior in favor of a specific party or party family.
In order to pass the seminar, students are required to read and prepare the required literature, actively participate in the discussions and group work, present one of the theoretical readings from the first block or the empirical results from the research projects in the second block, and write a term paper based on the results.
Arzheimer, Kai, Jocelyn Evans, and Michael S. Lewis-Beck, eds. 2017. The SAGE Handbook of Electoral Behaviour. Thousand Oaks: Sage.
Dalton, Russell J. 2020. Citizen Politics: Public Opinion and Political Parties in Advanced Industrial Democracies. 7th ed. Thousand Oaks: CQ Press.
Dalton, Russell J., and Hans‐Dieter Klingemann, eds. 2009. The Oxford Handbook of Political Behavior. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Fisher, Justin, Edward Fieldhouse, Mark N. Franklin, Rachel Gibson, Marta Cantijoch, and Christopher Wlezien, eds. 2017. The Routledge Handbook of Elections, Voting Behavior and Public Opinion. London: Routledge.