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Back to Panel Details
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Voting Advice Applications and Empirical Democratic Theory: Effects on Political Interest, Knowledge, Participation and Electoral Choice

Elections
Political Participation
Representation
Voting
Internet
P462
Martin Rosema
Universiteit Twente
Claudia Zucca
University of Exeter

Saturday 09:00 - 10:40 (10/09/2016)

Building: Faculty of Law Floor: 2 Room: FL243

Abstract

In research about Voting Advice Applications (VAAs) their presumed effects has been a recurring theme. Since many of these online tools were developed by organisations that aim to contribute to civic education, self-evidently the question arises to what extent these goals are achieved in practice. Surprisingly little research has been conducted about this, so there is clearly a need for more work on the mechanisms through which VAAs increase political interest and political knowledge, whether they reach out to all segments of the electorate, and under what conditions the learning effects are largest. More research has already been done on another type of effect, namely the extent to which VAAs have helped to mobilise voters and thus boost electoral participation. However, the estimates of the size of these turnout effects differ a lot across studies, so this makes one wonder if the effects really differ so much across contexts – and if so, which type of factors account for these differences – or whether many such studies have been plagued by methodological problems. So research about the turnout effects of the usage of VAAs is still required to further clarify this matter. Of course for electoral researchers there is also another element of vote choice that is of interest, namely the support for specific parties or candidates. Therefore this panel also welcomes papers that address this aspect of electoral choice. For all three themes there is no single research method that is by definition superior and the field will presumably advance most when observational studies, like those based on survey questionnaires or interviews with users, and experimental studies – either in a lab environment of in the field – are conducted in parallel. Therefore this panel is open to paper proposals irrespective of the method used or the countries where data are collected.

Title Details
The impact of Voting Advice Applications in the 2015 UK General Election: How did the British respond? View Paper Details
The Hungarian Voting Advice Application 'Vokskabin' – Users, Effects and the role of the Media View Paper Details
Voting Advice Applications and electoral choice: A typology of effects View Paper Details
Using VAA generated data to analyse the profile of first time voters in the Spanish general elections of 2015: An exploratory analysis View Paper Details