Public Opinion and Voting Behaviour

Section 25 „Public Opinion and Voting Behaviour“ 6th ECPR Graduate Student Conference, 10-13 July 2016 in Tartu, Estonia

a) About the section (online:

The last years have brought severe political and economic crises all around Europe. The difficult circumstances have not only exerted their impact on EU politics and policies, but also shaped citizens’ political attitudes and behaviour in multiple ways. Understanding the varying responses to these macro-level processes by European citizens is essential for political science, especially when keeping in mind the paramount importance of public opinion and electoral behaviour for a political system’s democratic legitimacy and stability. 

This section therefore includes the following panels that aim at shedding light on the individual and contextual causes and consequences of citizens’ political attitudes and electoral behaviour:

1. Satisfaction with Democracy in Times of Crisis

2. Ideology and Contextual Variation

3. National and European Identification in the European Multi-Level Context

4. The Rise of Euroscepticism

5. The Economy and Voting Behaviour

6. Direct Democracy and Alternative Forms of Political Participation

7. Experimental Research in the Study of Public Opinion and Voting Behaviour

We invite abstracts from interested scholars from all relevant disciplines. Contributions may contain empirical and theoretical research on socio-psychological aspects such as political attitudes, identities, values and personality traits, as well as more behavioural aspects such as vote choice, turnout, and political participation. Despite following a mainly comparative approach, we also welcome national or subnational studies. 

The ECPR Graduate conference is particularly designed for young researchers at the early stages of their academic career. This includes graduate students doing their Master’s degree as well as phd-students and scholars in postdoctoral positions.

b) About the abstracts (see online:

Please submit your abstracts via your ECPR website until 20th January 2016 at the latest.

Abstracts (max 500 words) must include your research interest and your research question as well as your method and data. The abstract should outline your main argument and show its theoretical significance and the unique contribution of your paper to existing research in the respective field. Please also indicate the title of the panel (see list below) you would like to attend in your abstract. If you have any questions please don’t hesitate to contact the section chairs Constantin Schaefer ( or Daniel Weber (

c) About the panels


6. Direct Democracy and Alternative Forms of Political Participation

Chair: Arndt Leininger (Hertie School of Governance Berlin)

Citizens vote in referendums more often and in more places than is commonly thought. The increased use

of initiatives and referendums in recent years has heightened academic interest in the subject matter.

Formerly mainly a political theorists’ concern, the actual usage of direct democracy has led to an increasing

number of empirical studies on the subject. This panel welcomes theoretical, methodological, and empirical

contributions to the study of direct democracy.