Voting Advice Applications

Research Network

Established 2015

Number of members: 72

Convenor

  • Stefan Marschall (Heinrich-Heine-Universität Düsseldorf)
  • Diego Garzia (University of Lucerne)
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About

Voting Advice Applications (VAAs) have become a widespread online feature of electoral campaigns in Europe. These popular internet tools are designed to help voters to compare their policy preferences on major issues with the positions of political parties/candidates on these policies. As they have been established in many European countries – and as they are used intensively by voters – Voting Advice Applications have started to constitute a sub-field of political science research resulting in several national research projects, publications and European networking. The aim of this Research Network is to bring together all scholars interested in Voting Advice Applications, their role in democratic elections, and their relationship with parties, voters, and patterns of political communication in Europe and beyond. Scholars making use of VAA-generated data to address broader research questions in electoral behaviour and party politics research are especially welcome.

Aims & Objectives

The aim of this Research Network is to address the role of VAAs in European democracies, to coordinate research, to exchange data and instruments and to bridge VAA research to central fields of political science such as electoral studies, party research, and democratic theory. Taking advantage of the ECPR framework, the VAA Research Network will facilitate the dissemination of findings and best-practices to the growing number of international scholars and practitioners working with and on VAAs.

Activities

Activities within the ECPR framework

  • Attendance to the annual meeting of SGs and RNs convenors with representatives of the ECPR Executive Committee.
  • Organization of a yearly VAA section at ECPR General Conferences
  • Organization of a yearly RN meeting at ECPR General Conferences
  • Training of young scholars in the context of ECPR Methods Schools

Internet-based activities

  • Development of the RN’s website and mailing list
  • Development of an online repository of published works on VAAs
  • Development of an interactive wiki platform to exchange research methods and findings, develop common standards and best practices among VAA researchers

Network and dissemination activities

  • Organization of international VAA panels/sections in national political science associations’ conferences
  • Organization of stand-alone conferences and workshops
  • Selected dissemination activities targeted to policy makers, focusing on the opportunities (and pitfalls) of VAA implementation and regulation.

"The less the power, the greater the desire to exercise it" - Bernard Levin


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