nl en

Political Attitudes and Orientations



In this course we focus on political attitudes, which constitute an important research area within the political science literature. More in particular attitudes such as political cynicism, political trust, and satisfaction with the government will be addressed. We will study questions such as: What are attitudes in general? What are political attitudes in particular? How are concepts such as political cynicism, political trust and satisfaction with the government defined, and which measurement instruments are used in the political science literature? How valid and reliable are these instruments? What is the relationship between the different political attitudes as discerned in the literature? What is the relationship between political attitudes and political behavior?
Political attitudes such as political efficacy, political cynicism, political trust, political alienation, national pride, satisfaction with the government, and support for the democratic system are examined and their similarities and dissimilarities will be discussed. In addition to the political science literature, we will also be using studies from the field of sociology and psychology. In this course we will moreover focus on empirical data from national and cross-national surveys, national focus group material, and experiments on political attitudes.

Method of Instruction

Active student participation, group discussion of literature, presentations

Study Material

P. Dekker (red.) (2006). Politiek cynisme. Driebergen: Stichting Synthesis; selected articles and book chapters to be announced during first class meeting


Students will be evaluated on the basis of active participation in the group, discussion papers, and an end paper.

Deadline final paper: Monday 29 March 2010 (9.00 a.m.)


Tuesday 2 February from 18.00-19.45
Tuesday 9 February from 18.00-19.45
Tuesday 16 February from 18.00-19.45
Tuesday 23 February from 18.00-19.45
Saturday 27 February from 10.00-12.00 and 13.00-15.00
Tuesday 2 March from 18.00-19.45
Tuesday 9 March from 18.00-19.45
Tuesday 16 March from 18.00-19.45
Tuesday 23 March from 18.00-19.45


Registration through U-twist before 24 augustus 2009 4 pm.