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23.04.-13.06.2024: Exter­nal Speaker Series

The External Speaker Series features distinguished guests of the Department of Political Science presenting their research.

Meeting Zone, Department of Political Science, University of Innsbruck, SoWi building, 2nd floor west, Universitätsstrasse 15, 6020 Innsbruck (A) How to reach us

See below for the dates

11:30 to aprroximately 12:30

Language: English

Coordinator: Dr. Fabian Habersack

We look forward to welcoming students and all other interested parties! No registration necessary. Free entry.


Profilbild Robert Huber

Professor Robert A. Huber, Ph.D., MA

Professor for Methods of Political Science Methods

Department of Political Science, University of Salzburg

Government Participation and Voters’ Attitudes Towards Democratic Representation

Through free and fair elections, democracies enable citizens to decide who represents their interests in parliament. However, the outcome of an election creates ‘winners’ and ‘losers’ depending on which parties become part of the government. As a large corpus of literature demonstrates, belonging to the winners or losers of an election affects citizens’ satisfaction with democracy. This gap in satisfaction levels can have important implications for the stability and legitimacy of democratic systems, as individuals who feel that they are not benefiting from democracy may be more likely to disengage from political participation or even support non-democratic alternatives. Despite these concerns, we know very little about the question of how winning or losing an election affects voters’ preferences for more specific forms of democratic representation. We address this research gap and analyze how the winner-loser status affects citizens’ levels of populist attitudes and their sub-dimensions, i.e., anti-elitism and people-centrism. Based on a causal identification strategy using high-quality panel data from Germany and Austria, we provide clear evidence for a winner-loser gap in populist attitudes. More specifically, we demonstrate that voters’ populist attitudes strongly decrease when their party is in government. Moreover, the effect appears to be long-lasting as populist attitudes do not completely rebound to pre-government participation levels when a party goes back into opposition. Overall, our study is an important contribution to understanding both the winner-loser gap in satisfaction with democracy as well as research on the causes of populist attitudes.


Profilfoto Annika Werner

Prof Annika Werner

Professor at the School of Politics and International Relations (SPIR), Australian National University

Populism, Technocracy and Support for Democracy: New Insights from Survey Innovations

Annika Werner (Australian National University) and Andrej Zaslove (Radboud University)

When discussing the health and quality of democracy, political science has robust theories around central building blocks like accountability, responsibility, checks and balances, and other vital parts of a (well) functioning democratic regime. While much can be argued about the relative importance of these concepts theoretically, we still know surprisingly little about what citizens conceptualise as the core aspects of democracy and what constitutes a high-quality democracy in their mind. Building on original survey data in the Netherlands and the UK, we go beyond asking respondents for their attitudes to individual political science concepts. Instead, we investigate in this paper how citizens conceptualise democracy by relating commonly theorised concepts to each other. More specifically, the study analyses the differences between citizens who self-identify as having populist and technocratic attitudes and those who do not, as they seem to relate differently to democracy. The findings from this study provide an important puzzle piece to solving the contradiction between seemingly well-functioning democratic regimes and increasing citizen disenchantment with democracy in practice.

Eine Veranstaltung von:

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Im Rahmen dieser Veranstaltung können Fotografien und/oder Filme erstellt werden. Mit der Teilnahme an der Veranstaltung nehmen Sie zur Kenntnis, dass Fotografien und Videomaterialien, auf denen Sie abgebildet sind, zur Presse-Berichterstattung verwendet und in verschiedensten (sozialen) Medien, Publikationen und auf Webseiten der Universität Innsbruck veröffentlicht werden.

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