Electoral Sociology

Faculty Instructor: 
Cycle / Level: 
Compulsory / Optional: 
Εξειδικεύσεις Μεταπτυχιακού: 
Teaching Period: 
Course Content: 

The main objective of the course is to present to students theoretical, methodological and empirical approaches in the field of electoral sociology. In all lectures emphasis is given to theoretical and methodological issues of empirical electoral analysis. The course begins with a historical overview in the study of electoral behaviour by analyzing the contribution of the electoral geography school. After focusing on the main theoretical models for the analysis and interpretation of electoral behaviour, namely the micro-sociological approach of the Columbia school, the macro-sociological model of Lipset and Rokkan, the socio-psychological model of the school of Michigan and finally, the theory of rational choice, we analyze a series of topics which are included in the field of electoral sociology. More specifically, we are studying abstention, the factors which affect voting behaviour (party identification, cleavages, the impact of sociodemographic variables on individual voting choices), issue and economic voting, electoral volatility and the axes of political competition. Moreover, another series of lectures focuses on the political context of the elections and how it shapes voting behaviour (e.g the different types of elections, the role of the electoral campaign and media, the personalization of politics and leadership). Finally, we will also deal with the political consequences of the economic crisis both in terms of electoral behavior (focusing on electoral volatility), and more broadly in terms of the signs of a representation crisis and extremism. Students will also acquire more practical research experience by using relevant data mostly from national electoral surveys (Hellenic National Election Study 2012 and 2015, Hellenic Panel Survey 2014). The successful completion of the course will offer to students a valuable and in-depth knowledge of the field. The participants will be able to critically assess the theoretical models of electoral behaviour and they will have the possibility to apply the models in case studies and in a comparative perspective.

Learning Outcomes: 

Students will acquire essential analytical and research skills for the examination of electoral and political phenomena. They will obtain the appropriate theoretical background as well as familiarity with the logic and tools of theory building in Political Science, by operationalizing key concepts and testing hypotheses about causal relations in electoral behavior.


List of readings (only in English) * The list of readings in Greek is available at the Greek version of the description of the course 1. Anderson, C. J. (2000) “Economic voting and political context: A comparative perspective”, Electoral Studies, vol.19 (2-3), pp. 151-170. 2. Bartels, L. M. (2010) “The Study of Electoral Behavior”, in J. E. Leighley (ed.) The Oxford Handbook of American Elections and Political Behavior. Available here: https://www.princeton.edu/~bartels/electoralbehavior.pdf 3. Blais, A. (2000) To Vote or not to Vote. The Merits and Limits of Rational Choice Theory, Pittsburg: Pittsburg University Press (specific chapters).) 4. Campbell, A. (1960) ‘Surge and decline: a study of electoral change’, Public Opinion Quarterly, vol. 24, pp.397-418. 5. Campbell, Α. , Converse, P. E. , Miller, W. E., Stokes D. E. (1960) The American Voter, New York: John Wiley & Sons. 6. Carmines, E. & Stimson, J. Α. (1980) “The Two Faces of Issue Voting” , American Political Science Review, vol. 74, pp. 78–91. 7. Dalton, R. J. (2000) “The Decline of Party Identifications” , in Dalton, R. J & Wattenberg, M. (eds.) Parties Without Partisans: Political Change in Advanced Industrial Democracies, Oxford: Oxford University Press. 8. Dalton, R. & Klingemann, H-D. (2007) The Oxford Handbook of Political Behaviour, Oxford: Oxford University Press (specific chapters). 9. Farrell, D. M. & Schmitt-Beck, R. (2002) Do Political Campaigns Matter? Campaign Effects in Elections and Referendums, London and New York: Routledge (specific chapters). 10. Franklin, M. & Eijk, C. van der (2009) Elections and Voters, Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan(specific chapters). 11. Franklin, M. (2001) “Electoral Participation”, in Niemi, R. & Weisberg, H. (eds.) Controversies in Voting Behavior, 4th edition, Washington: CQ Press. 12. Kriesi, H. (1998) ‘The Transformation of Cleavage Politics. The 1997 Stein Rokkan lecture’, European Journal of Political Research, vol. 33, pp. 165-185. 13. Kriesi, H., Grande, E., Lachat, R., Dolezal, M. Bornschier, S. & Frey, T. (2008) West European Politics in the Age of Globalization, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. 14. Lewis-Beck, Μ. & Stegmaier, M. (2000) ‘Economic determinants of electoral outcomes’, Annual Review of Political Science, vol. 3, pp. 183–219. 15. Lipset, S.M. & Rokkan, S. (1990) “Cleavage Structures, Party Systems, and Voter Alignments”, in Mair, P. (ed) The West European Party System. Oxford: Oxford University Press. 16. Mair, P. (2007) “Left-Right Orientations”, in Dalton, R, J. & Klingemann, H.-D. The Oxford Handbook of Political Behavior, Oxford: Oxford University Press, pp. 206-222. 17. McDonald, P. (2003) “Useful Fiction or Miracle Maker: The Competing Epistemological Foundations of Rational Choice Theory”, The American Political Science Review,vol. 97:4, pp.551-565. 18. Reif, K. & Schmitt, H. (1980) ‘Nine second-order national elections; a conceptual framework for the analyses of European election results’, European Journal of Political Research, vol.8(3), pp. 3–44. 19. Schmitt, H. & Teperoglou, E. (2015) The 2014 European Parliament elections in Southern Europe: second-order or critical elections?, South European Society and Politics, vol. 20 (3) 20. Teperoglou, E. & Tsatsanis, E. (2014) “Dealignment, de-legitimation and the implosion of the two-party system in Greece: The earthquake election of 6 May 2012” , Journal of Elections, Public Opinion, and Parties, vol. 24 (2), pp.222-242. 21. Teperoglou, Ε. , Tsatsanis, Ε. & Nicalokopoulos, Ε. (2015) “Habituating to the new normal: The 2014 European Election in Greece in a post-earthquake party system”, South European Society and Politics, vol. 20 (3),pp. 333-355. 22. Tsatsanis, E. & Teperoglou, E. (2016) “Realignment under Stress: The July 2015 Referendum and the September Parliamentary Election in Greece”, South European Society and Politics, vol. 21(4), pp. 427-450.

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