Briefing Room


Democracy, Elections, and the Changing Dynamics of Partisan Competition on Five Continents

October 14, 2013 | Events

This workshop will present and discuss the findings of the Comparative National Elections Project and will be held Friday, Oct. 18 from 9:45 a.m. – 3:30 p.m. at the Mershon Center for International Security Studies.  This is the Mershon Center’s longest-running research project, and it has become one of the largest survey-based research projects in the world, now including over 40 countries on five continents.

The editors of our forthcoming volume — Richard Gunther, Paul Beck (both of the Mershon Center), Pedro Magalhães (University of Lisbon), and Alejandro Moreno (ITAM, Mexico) — will summarize and lead discussions of the wide-ranging empirical findings and their implications (both for social science theory-building and for the real world of democratic politics) that will be presented in this forthcoming volume or were published in our previous volume. These include cross-national variations in the processes through which citizens receive information about politics and elections; the surprising variations in the ways citizens understand “democracy;” support for and satisfaction with the performance of democracy; the extent to which sociopolitical values have emerged as social and political cleavages in contemporary societies; and the determinants of electoral behavior in context as diverse as the United States and Mozambique.

Register here.

Below is the full schedule:

Workshop Schedule

Part I

9:45 – 10 a.m.  Welcome and Coffee

10 – 10:30 a.m.  Introduction

Overview of the scope of the volume and theoretical issues raised  (Pedro Magalhães)

10:30 – 11:10 a.m.  Global Patterns of Political Intermediation

Cross-National variations in the ways in which citizens receive information about politics through the major intermediaries in democracies – the mass media, discussion networks, secondary organizations, and political parties.  (Paul Beck)

11:10 – 11:50 a.m.  Support for Democracy

Analyses of the various ways in which citizens understand democracy; of cross-national differences in democratic support and satisfaction with the performance of democracy; and of the ways in which these attitudes towards democracy are affected by the integrity of the electoral process, the ideologies of political parties and leaders, and the homogeneity or heterogeneity of the flow of messages received through the media or interpersonal communication.  (Richard Gunther and Paul Beck)

Part 2

Noon – 1 p.m.  The History of CNEP

a lunchtime discussion:  from the origins of modern survey research in the 1940s to CNEP IV; from 4 countries to 40; from the study of political intermediation to analyses of attitudes towards democracy, the nature and behavioral consequences of sociopolitical value cleavages, and the integrity of the electoral process.  (Richard Hamilton, Paul Beck and Richard Gunther)

1:10 – 1:35 p.m.  Intermediation and Electoral Turnout

Analysis of the factors influencing turnout in democratic elections, especially the role played by political intermediaries and mandatory voting requirements.  (Pedro Magalhães)

1:35 – 2:05 p.m.  Sociopolitical Values and Partisan Conflict

Examination of how values are interconnected in different country settings and the extent to which those values are reflected in party preferences, especially the relevance of the values underlying Western cleavages for other democracies.  (Alejandro Moreno)

2:05 – 2:35 p.m.  The Determinants of the Vote

Cross-nation and longitudinal analysis of the principal determinants of the vote.  (Richard Gunther)

2:35 – 3:15 p.m.  Conclusions

(Alejandro Moreno)