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Political Attitudes and Orientations towards Democracy

Vak 2010-2011

Description

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 be using studies from the field of sociology and psychology. We will also shortly address the philosophy of Greek Cynicism. 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.

Methods of Instuction

Active student participation, group discussion of literature, presentations.

Literature

A number of pages roughly equal to 500 pp.

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

Examination

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

Deadline final paper: 26 March 2011

Schedule

All meetings are in room 13.10 building Stichthage, The Hague
Tuesday 1 February from 18.00- 19.45
Tuesday 8 February from 18.00- 19.45
Tuesday 15 February from 18.00- 19.45
Tuesday 22 February from 18.00- 19.45
Tuesday 1 March from 18.00- 19.45
Saturday 5 March from 10.00-12.00 and 13.00-15.00
Tuesday 8 March from 17.00- 21.00 (Babylonzaal 13.40)
Tuesday 15 March from 17.00- 21.00 (Babylonzaal 13.40)
Tuesday 22 March from 18.00- 19.45 and
Thursday 24 March from 18.00- 20.00 (Babylonzaal 13.40)