Workshop: Voters Adrift. Consequences of Electoral Dealignment in Representative Democracies

In many advanced democracies, voters appear to be ‘adrift’ (Andeweg, 1982). Indeed, linkages between citizens and parties are weakening. As a result, voter turnout rates are decreasing, election results are increasingly unstable and party systems are hugely volatile. Political parties, however, are traditionally considered to be at the very heart of democracy. As a result, the erosion of the bonds between citizens and parties – also referred to as dealignment – constitutes a major challenge the functioning of representative democracies.

Are electorates that are ‘adrift’ able to select representatives who will act in their best interest? Are parties adjusting how they are organized and what strategies they implement to convince volatile voters? And is responsiveness endangered by the erosion of the linkages between citizens and parties?

The aim of this two-day workshop is address these research questions and to bring together
research addressing this important challenge for democracy. During this workshop, studies
will be presented that examine the consequences of dealignment for electoral behaviour,
for political parties as well as for democratic representation.

The full program of the workshop can be found here: workshop_program

This content has been updated on 30 October 2021 at 6 h 13 min.