The main objective of the course is to present to students theoretical, methodological and empirical approaches in the field of electoral sociology under the framework of multi-level governance. After focusing on the main theoretical models for the analysis and interpretation of electoral behaviour, namely the micro-sociological approach of the Columbia school, the macro-sociological model of Lipset and Rokkan, the socio-psychological model of the school of Michigan and finally, the theory of rational choice, we analyze a series of topics which are included in the field of electoral sociology. More specifically, we are studying abstention, the factors which affect voting behaviour (party identification, cleavages, the impact of sociodemographic variables on individual voting choices), issue and economic voting, electoral volatility and the axes of political competition. Moreover, another series of lectures focuses on the political context of the elections and how it shapes voting behaviour (e.g the different types of elections, the role of the electoral campaign and media, the personalization of politics and leadership). One of the main aims of the course is the study of the differentiation of electoral behavior based on the different types of elections. With this question in mind, we examine cases of multi-level governance and electoral behavior in EU countries and worldwide (eg Canada, India, USA).
Introduction to the study electoral behavior and multilevel governance
The main theoretical approaches in electoral behavior
. New trends in the study of electoral behavior: the importance of the political context, the electoral cycle and issue voting).
Main theoretical example: the second-order national election model
The study of the midterm elections in the US and ‘less important elections’ in Germany and other EU member states
Tactical voting, protest voting
Application of the model (eg European elections and local elections).
New trends and challenges for the second-order national election model
Study of the dimensions of ideological space in the EU (through examples of countries)
Axes of competition, the emergence of the “sleeping giant” in the attitudes of European citizens
Case studies outside the EU (eg India, Canada, Brazil)
for the current spring semester emphasis will be given to the analysis of the US 2020 presidential elections (with short presentations by the students)