Annual Conference of the Working Group “Elections and Political Attitudes”

akwahlen1From June 11-12, our team of empirical political researchers contributed in numerous ways to this year’s annual conference „Nichtwahl und non-elektorale Formen politischer Partizipation im Spiegel der Wahl- und Einstellungsforschung“ (“Non-Vote and Non-Electoral Ways of Political Participation Reflected by Election and Attitude Research”) organized by the DVPW (German Association of Political Scientists) working group „Wahlen und politische Einstellungen“ (“Elections and Political Attitudes”).

On Thursday, Daniela Hohmann and Thorsten Faas gave a talk on „Ein altes Wahlkampfinstrument im neuen Glanz: Welchen Beitrag können Haustürbesuche zur Mobilisierung von Wählern leisten? Analysen aus einem Feldexperiment im Kontext der Mainzer Kommunalwahl 2014” (“An Old Election Campaign Tool Shining in New Splendor: To Which Extend Can Door-to-Door Visits Mobilize Voters? Analyses from a Field Experiment within the Context of the 2014 Regional Election in Mainz“). Since the last Bundestag election, door-to-door election campaigning has regained public attention. In their analyses, the researchers found out that door-to-door visits have a positive effect on voter mobilization.

In her contribution „Krise oder Normalisierung der Demokratie: Wer will direkte Mitsprache?“ („Crisis or Normalization of Democracy: Who Wants a Direct Say?“), Julia Range asked who supports direct democracy and citizen participation. Her analyses are based on data from the research project Bürgerbeteiligung und direkte Demokratie in Baden-Württemberg („Citizen Participation and Direct Damocracy in Baden-Wuerttemberg). While the politically unsatisfied and less educated support citizen participation, she warned that these people might not actually use the potential of political participation.

akwahlen2On Friday, Christina Eder (GESIS) and Thorsten Faas gave a talk on „Gegen den Bahnhof = für grün-rot? Eine Analyse des Wahl- und Abstimmungsverhaltens in Baden-Württemberg 2011“ („Against the Train Station = in Favor of Green/Red? An Analysis of the voting behavior in Baden-Wuerttemberg in 2011). Eder and Faas traced the lines of conflict concerning the infrastructural project Stuttgart 21 and discussed its impact on the voting behavior of the Citizens of Baden-Württemberg in 2011.

Also, Benjamin Sack focused on Stuttgart 21 in his talk: „Der Effekt direkt-demokratischer Beteiligung auf Demokratiezufriedenheit und politisches Vertrauen“ (“The Effect of Direct Democratic Participation on the Satisfaction with Democracy and Political Trust). He examined the often assumed influence of direct democratic participation on the satisfaction with democracy and political trust. A first evaluation of the data showed that there are short-term effects on the satisfaction with democracy, which decrease in the long run, but that there is no impact on political trust.