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Elections and Voting Behaviour around the World


Admission requirements

Participation in the seminar is only permitted if the propaedeutic phase has been passed (60 EC).


Voters around the world increasingly discard group loyalties and grow less alike. This is a result of rising changes in heterogeneity and complexity in voting behaviour caused by developments in social context, political supply, campaign strategies, and political communication. Now, voters have to operate in systems that no longer provide simple cues for political choices and orientations, while each election is now treated as a unique, isolated event determined by the set of surrounding circumstances. So what matters for voters today? In this course, we will focus on short-term consequences of political context, communication, and behaviour of political actors on electoral results and only marginally touch upon classical topics of elections and representation. We will look at cases from around the world to bring a comparative perspective into the seminar and discuss state-of-the-art literature on elections and voting behaviour. Broadly, the seminar will consist of three parts with main themes as follows: 1) legitimacy and accountability; 2) political communication in campaign periods, consequences of political scandals and natural disasters, the effects of parties' behaviour in the parliamentary arena; 3) electoral integrity in free and non-free regimes.

Course objectives

By the end of the course, students will know

  • how to critically engage with a broad range of scholarly readings

  • how to research additional literature and expand on arguments and empirical evidence discussed in class

  • how to present and support rigorous and well-developed arguments in class discussions and in writing

Mode of instruction

Interactive seminar: class discussions and student presentations

Assessment method

  • Seminar participation (20%)

  • Individual or group presentation (25%)

  • Two discussion papers (2*15%)

  • In-class "exam" - open-book essay response to open-ended question (25%)

Reading list

The list of readings will be made available upon commencement of the course through Brightspace. The readings for this seminar consist of scholarly articles and book chapters available either on the internet or through the university library.


See 'Practical Information'


See 'MyTimetable'


Elina Zorina, PhD Candidate
Institute of Political Science