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The Study of Elections: Comparative Perspectives, Methodological Challenges

Comparative Politics
Section Number
Section Chair
André Blais
Université de Montréal
Section Co-Chair
Elisabeth Gidengil
McGill University

This section is supported by the ECPR Standing Group on Public Opinion and Voting Behaviour in a Comparative Perspective.

Why people decide to vote or abstain and why they choose to support a particular party or candidate remain central to the study of elections and voting behaviour but the discipline has become more ambitious and the study of elections and voting behaviour is undergoing extraordinary change. Two of these changes motivated this section. The first is the comparative turn in the study of elections as manifested in a growing interest in understanding how contextual factors influence the behaviour of political parties, the individual motivations behind voters' decisions, and the dynamic interaction between parties and voters. The second change relates to the way that researchers are studying voting and elections. There is a new concern with moving beyond correlational studies to unpack the causal mechanisms underlying the observed relationships. This new concern with causality can be seen in the growing use of lab, field and natural experiments, as well as analytical methods that mimic the logic of controlled experiments, such as propensity score matching and genetic matching.

Panel List

Code Title Details
P019Campaign Effects View Panel Details
P021Candidates and Voting Behavior View Panel Details
P066Consideration Set Models for Party Choice in Multi-Party Elections View Panel Details
P102Elections and Accountability View Panel Details
P198Issue Voting View Panel Details
P257Personality and Voting View Panel Details
P312The Comparative Impact of Electoral Institutions View Panel Details
P354Strategic Voting in Different Contexts View Panel Details
P359Studying Strategic Voting with the Making Electoral Democracy Work Data View Panel Details
P372Spatial Voting View Panel Details
P391The Turnout Decision View Panel Details
P409Who Votes and When? View Panel Details
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