The meanings of voting
In her ERC Starting Grant project, Carolina Plescia is investigating what voting means to citizens. This issue is of particular importance in consideration of the growing distrust in the election procedure itself as well as in the democratic institutions in many countries of the world.
The psychology of voting
The social scientist develops a new typology of meanings and motivations for participating in elections. This way, she intends to introduce new concepts and indicators to election research to make the election procedure itself more understandable. Studying what voting means for citizens in a variety of countries promises to provide a ground-breaking understanding of citizens’ conceptualisations of representation. In addition, it allows us to understand the psychology of voting that can challenge conventional knowledge of participation and of voting. Moreover, it can result in practical implications for how elections are run and administered.
Outside of democratic systems
Plescia also investigates so-called autocracies in Europe and beyond (e.g. Hungary and Russia). This allows to additionally gain new insights into elections outside of democratic systems. The project results are, therefore, an important basis for (re-)assessing elections and electoral systems. Moreover, the results allow to scrutinise previous interpretations of elections by media and politicians.
The project is hosted by the Department of Government at the University of Vienna, "a vibrant political science department dedicated to excellence in research and teaching, a relaxed social atmosphere, and located in one of the world's best cities", says Plescia. (hm)