Gastvortrag Richard Johnston (UBC): Empirics for the Activation of Fundamentals in Election Campaigns: Cross-National Evidence from the US, Canada, and Germany

Am 20. Mai, 18 Uhr, spricht Richard Johnston (University of British Columbia, Vancouver) in Raum 01-611 im Georg-Forster-Gebäude über die Effekte von Wahlkampagnen im Vergleich. Alle Mitglieder des Instituts und ganz besonders die Studierenden sind herzlich eingeladen!

Unser Gast

Richard Johnston ist einer der weltweit führenden Experten im Bereich der Wahl- und Wahlkampfforschung. Er ist Canada Research Chair in Public Opinion, Elections, and Representation an der University of British Columbia (Vancouver) und Marie Curie Research Fellow am Europäischen Hochschulinstitut in Florenz.

Das Thema: Effekte von Wahlkampagnen

Elections are a defining feature of representative democracy, and electoral campaigns are critical for accountability and for signals about policy. But so far the research record yields very partial views of whether - or how - campaigns work. Broadly, two schools can be identified. On one side, elections are driven by predictable "fundamental" forces that campaigns merely activate. On the other, campaigns do more: they are critical to the result and produce history in their own right. The fundamentalist perspective is essentially benign. More intense campaigns bring out more voters. Negative claims are more truthful than positive ones; indeed the increased volume and negativity of campaigns has compensated for the decline in substantive news coverage. Elections without campaigns would be far more random events than are elections with them. On the rival view, campaigns are sites for character assassination if not outright manipulation. These fears are amplified by technological developments, including the rise of social media and "big data," and extend even to the most traditional form of campaign effort, doorstep mobilization. Can these competing claims both be true? If so what is their relative weight, and how are those weights contingent on institutional and party-system context?

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