Install the app

Install this application on your home screen for quick and easy access when you’re on the go.

Just tap Share then “Add to Home Screen”


Install the app

Install this application on your home screen for quick and easy access when you’re on the go.

Just tap Share then “Add to Home Screen”

Blondel Lecture Series: The meanings of 'voting' for ordinary citizens

Thursday 16 November 2023, 17:00 – 19:00 GMT / 18:00 – 20:00 CET

STEM 3.1, University of Essex and online

In collaboration with the University of Essex, we are proud to launch the Blondel Lecture Series, established to celebrate the enduring legacy of eminent comparativist Jean Blondel.

Jean was founder of the Department of Government at the University of Essex. He was also a driving force behind the creation of ECPR, and served as our first Executive Director. Jean’s dual roles at Essex and at ECPR created a special relationship between the two institutions, which we are delighted to consolidate with this new annual, joint event.

Carolina Plescia, 2014 winner of the Jean Blondel PhD Prize and Associate Professor at the University of Vienna, will deliver this inaugural lecture from the STEM Building on the University of Essex campus. Her lecture will also be streamed live online via our website, and it is free to attend in either format. The lecture will be followed by a drinks reception, open to all participants. 

Carolina’s lecture will offer a thought-provoking exploration of the diverse meanings of voting, for individuals and for democracies. She aims to provide a deeper understanding of how elections shape and influence civic attitudes and behaviours.

This event is supported by the University of Essex Department of Government, and will be chaired by Shane Martin, Anthony King Chair of Comparative Politics.

The meanings of 'voting' for ordinary citizens

On election day, citizens are traditionally called upon to make their democratic voice heard, by marking their preference on a ballot paper. The significance of this mark has long been assumed to carry deep and substantive meaning for citizens. However, today's political landscape presents challenges to this conventional wisdom, with increasing rates of abstention, growing distrust in election administration, and the rise of democratic backsliding.

This inaugural lecture unveils an ambitious project that not only seeks to provide pioneering insights into what 'voting' truly means for ordinary citizens, but also explores the variations in these meanings for individuals and for different types of democracies. Carolina will delve into the ways in which elections shape and redefine the significance of voting for citizens, and she will examine the consequential attitudes and behaviours that result from these meanings.


The Blondel Lecture Series is FREE to attend and open to scholars from all institutions.

17:00 – 17:25

Lecture by Carolina Plescia, University of Vienna

17:25 – 18:00

Question and answer session

18:00 – 19:00

Drinks reception, open to all attendees

Carolina Plescia

Carolina Plescia<

Carolina Plescia is Associate Professor in the Department of Government at the University of Vienna. She holds a grant from the Austrian Science Fund (FWF) to study voters’ reactions to political compromise and she is the principal investigator of the ERC-funded project DeVOTE. DeVOTE aims to develop and apply a new theoretical and methodological approach to study what ‘voting’ means for ordinary citizens in both established democracies and electoral autocracies.

For her work on public opinion, electoral behaviour, and experimental methods, she has received numerous awards, including the ECPR Jean Blondel PhD prize in 2014, the Gordon Smith and Vincent Wright Memorial Prize in 2016 and an honourable mention for the 2022 GESIS Klingemann Prize.

She is part of the Austrian National Election Study, the Austrian Corona Panel Project (ACPP) and the Austrian Academy of Sciences. She has published more than 40 peer-reviewed articles, and her research has appeared in Comparative Political Studies, the European Journal of Political Research, and Political Psychology, among others.

She is the author of Split-Ticket Voting in Mixed-Member Electoral Systems: A Theoretical and Methodological Investigation (ECPR Press, 2016).

How to participate

The Blondel Lecture Series is FREE to attend and open to scholars from all institutions. Registration is required and you'll need a MyECPR account to register.

To participate online:

  1. Register for the Blondel Lecture
  2. The lecture will be automatically added to your itinerary
  3. Your itinerary is available through My Events in MyECPR
  4. A link to join the session will appear in your itinerary 15 minutes before the start of the session

For those joining in person, the address is included on the location tab.


The lecture will take place virtually and in person at the University of Essex.

Room 3.1, STEM Building, University of Essex Colchester Campus, Wivenhoe Park, Colchester CO4 3SQ.


In collaboration with


Loading news

Loading key dates

Share this page