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Political Research Exchange

The Stability of Political Attitudes and Values

Comparative Politics
Panel Number
Panel Chair
Ruth Dassonneville
Université de Montréal
Panel Discussant
Kaat Smets
University of London, Royal Holloway College

29/08/2015 16:00 - 17:40
Building: Jean-Brillant Floor: Basement Room: B-0325
Research into the extent to which citizens’ political attitudes and ideological orientations change and the causes thereof has been a central field of interest in the field of political science for more than half a century already (Converse, 1962; 1964). The focus on stability and change of political attitudes is not surprising, given the fact that individual-level change affects the balance of power and as such drives policy change.

Even though there is a rich literature already investigating what leads citizens to change their attitudes and opinions, large-scale processes of societal change warrant more analyses to further our understanding of how change comes about. First, empirical evidence accumulates showing increasing political instability, as evident from for example rising levels of volatility (Dalton & Wattenberg, 2002). Second, technological innovations as well as rising levels of education have the potential strongly increase how politically informed the electorate is. It remains to be seen how these changes affect the validity of the dominant perspective on how citizens receive political information and change their attitudes accordingly (Zaller, 1992).

In light of these processes of change, this panel invites papers that critically assess the causes of change and stability in political attitudes among current-day electorates. Both comparative papers as well as single-case studies of how citizens’ political attitudes change over time are welcome.

Paper List

Title Details
Children’s Socialization, Temperament and the Civic Duty to Vote View Paper Details
Media Effects on Political Leadership Evaluations. How Party Leader Images in Newspapers Affect Voter’s Leader Satisfaction View Paper Details
On the Stability and Consequences of Political Attitudes View Paper Details
Political Talk and Attitude Stability during Election Campaigns View Paper Details
The Frustrated Floating Voter Hypothesis Revisited. Did Political Dissatisfaction lead to Indecisiveness and Instability in Party Preferences during the 2009 and 2014 Belgian Elections Campaigns? View Paper Details
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