Welcome to the Research Centre for the Study of Parties and Democracy
22 February (14:00-15:30 UK time): Research Seminar
Post-Truth Politics and the Role of Political Parties
Speaker: Nathalie Brack (Universite Libre de Bruxelles)
Convenor and Discussant: William Daniel (University of Nottingham)
This seminar will present new research that aims at understanding post-truth politics and its implications for democratic societies by looking at one central actor: political parties, which play a vital role as opinion shapers. Therefore, this project seeks to determine to what extent, and why political parties in Europe contribute to post-truth politics. It focuses on one facet of this phenomenon: conspiracy discourse.
Nathalie Brack is Associate Professor in Political Science at the Université libre de Bruxelles and Visiting Professor at the College of Europe. She recently authored Opposing Europe in the European Parliament. Rebels and Radicals in the Chamber (Palgrave, 2018) and is co-editor of Sovereignty in Conflict: Political, Constitutional and Economic Dilemmas in the EU (Palgrave, forthcoming).
This seminar will be held as a hybrid. Please indicate in your registration whether you wish to take part via our online platform or in person. The in-person event will take place in the Monica Partridge building room E04 on the University Park Campus at the University of Nottingham.
Please click here to register: Post-Truth Politics and the Role of Political Parties
23 March (16:00-17:30 UK time): Book Launch
Voters Under Pressure: Group-Bases Cross-Pressure and Electoral Volatility
Speaker: Ruth Dassonneville (Université de Montréal)
Discussants: Allan Sikk (University College London) and Kevin Deegan-Krause (Wayne State University)
Chair and Convenor: Tim Haughton (University of Birmingham)
This book examines changes in voters’ electoral choices over time and investigates how these changes are linked to a growth in electoral volatility. Ruth Dassonneville’s core argument, supported by extensive empirical data, is that group-based cross-pressures lead to instability in voters’ choices. She theorizes that when citizens’ socio-demographic characteristics and their membership of social groups do not consistently push them to support one party, but instead lead them to feel cross-pressured between parties, their voting decision process lacks constraint. Voters who are group-based cross-pressured are less likely to feel an attachment to a party, and have less guidance when assessing the state of the economy, when taking positions on issues, or evaluating leaders. The different factors that influence voters’ choices, as a result, do not add up to strengthening a preference for one specific party but instead lead a voter to consider different parties. To test this argument, the book makes use of election survey data from eight established democracies that allow the study of voting behaviour and its correlates over several decades. These data are complemented with data from the European Election Studies project and from election study panels. The book shows that group-based cross-pressures are an important source of instability as they affect the extent to which citizens’ voting decision process is structured. This is evident from the fact that cross-pressured voters are more ambivalent between parties, make their voting decision later, and are more likely to switch parties from one election to the next.
Ruth Dassonneville is an Associate Professor at the Département de science politique of the Université de Montréal, where she holds a Canada Research Chair in Electoral Democracy. She holds a PhD from the University of Leuven (2015), where she worked as a research fellow of the Research Foundation Flanders (FWO). Her research interests include electoral behaviour, dealignment, economic voting, compulsory voting, and women and politics. Her work on these topics has been published in, amongst others, the American Journal of Political Science, the British Journal of Political Science, the European Journal of Political Research and the Journal of Politics.
This seminar will be held on the University of Birmingham’s zoom platform and a link will be sent to registrants before the event.
Please click here to register: Voters Under Pressure: Group-Based Cross-Pressure and Electoral Volatility
29 March (16:00-17:30 UK time): Book Launch
The Independent Voter in American Politics
Speaker: Thom Reilly (Arizona State University)
Convenor: Fernando Casal Bértoa (University of Nottingham)
The continuing flight of millions of voters from the Republican and Democratic parties is reshaping the US political landscape in ways no one can control or even predict. It threatens the very basis on which campaigns and elections have been analyzed. This is a challenge to how America has for generations thought about politics: that it’s a two-party game and people vote for the party they’re loyal to. With growing numbers of independent voters, that’s changing. This presentation provocatively grapples with who independent voters are and why they matter in American politics.
Thom Reilly is Professor & Co-Director, Center for an Independent and Sustainable Democracy, School of Public Affairs, Arizona State University. He is author of the book (along with colleagues Jacqueline Salit and Omar Ali), The Independent Voter (2023, Routledge Press).
All welcome. This seminar will be held as a hybrid. Please indicate in your registration whether you wish to take part via our online platform or in person. The in-person event will take place in the Law and Social Sciences Building room A03 on the University Park Campus at the University of Nottingham.
Please click here to register: The Independent Voter in American Politics
To Be Confirmed (Spring 2023): Big Ideas Workshop
Grant capture sandpit and luncheon
Convenor: William Daniel (University of Nottingham)
To be confirmed.
To Be Confirmed: Research Seminar
Local Candidates in Indian Elections
Speaker: Dishil Shrimankar (University of Manchester)
Discussant: Simon Toubeau (University of Nottingham)
Chair and Convenor: Fernando Casal Bértoa (University of Nottingham)
Synopsis of the paper:
Campaigns not only mobilize those they directly contact; they also benefit from “secondary mobilization”, when the voters they contact in turn mobilize members of their own social networks. In this article, we hypothesize that the existing social networks of local candidates form an important type of secondary mobilization. These mobilzation networks help to extend the range of people who are contacted by a campaign, boosting candidate support and in the process increasing turnout in the local area. We provide evidence for these hypotheses using geo-matched micro-level polling booth data to exploit within-electoral-district variation in candidate vote share and turnout in India (N=523,214).
Dishil Shrimankar is a Lecturer in Comparative Politics at the University of Manchester. Prior to joining the University, he was a post-doctoral research fellow at Royal Holloway, University of London. He completed a PhD in political science from the University of Nottingham. His research interests lie at the intersection of comparative politics, Indian politics and quantitative methods. He is currently conducting research on local candidates in Indian elections as part of a Leverhulme Trust funded early career research fellowship. His doctoral dissertation explained the puzzle of why regional parties succeed in some Indian regions, but not in others. He showed that when national parties are decentralized and the regional branch is granted more autonomy, regional parties find it hard to succeed. A second component of the dissertation investigates why some regional branches of national parties have more autonomy where others do not.
To be confirmed.
is a joint initiative of the University of Nottingham and University of Birmingham. Founded with the support of the Strategic Collaboration Fund, it is currently supported by funding from the School of Politics and IR at the University of Nottingham and continues to serve as hub for academic collaboration in the Midlands and beyond. We are an inclusive group and encourage all academics and doctoral researchers interested in parties, democracy and representation to join us and help develop REPRESENT.
REPRESENT focuses on three key research themes: populism, participation and democracy support.
REPRESENT hosts a series of seminars and a workshop Evolving Party Systems, Ideological Configurations and Values.
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Fernando Casal Bértoa
- Associate Professor in Comparative Politics
- School of Politics and International Relations – University of Nottingham
- Research interests: political party (funding) regulation, party (system) institutionalization, democracy promotion, qualitative methods
William T. Daniel
- Assistant Professor in Comparative Politics
- School of Politics and International Relations – University of Nottingham
- Research interests: political parties, legislatures, European Union
- Reader (Senior Associate Professor) in European Politics
- Department of Political Science and International Studies – University of Birmingham
- Research interests: campaigning, party politics in Central and Eastern Europe, politics of Slovakia, Slovenia and the Czech Republic