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.