SQSP Conference

The 2019 edition of the SQSP, that took place at the Université de Montréal, offered an opportunity for many Chair members to present their research. Many students took part in the workshop “Les défis de la démocratie électorale: le comportement électoral dans un contexte de volatilité”, that Ruth Dassonneville co-organised with Valérie-Anne Mahéo.

Here is a summary of the projects presented by the chair researchers during the conference.

Phillipe Mongrain gave a presentation on how Canadians trust the media. His research aimed to know if trust in the media in Canada follows the same downward trend as in other comparable countries. The data presented did not confirm this claim, but actually showed that Canadians trust the media a little more. Phillippe Mongrain also studied the individual-level factors that could affect trust in the media such as political cynicism and ideology.

Alexandra Jabbour presented an on-going research project about partisanship in the United-States. She contributes to the debate on the long-term versus short-term character of partisanship by studying whether multiple preferences changes can cause a change in partisanship. The research is valuable because many previous studies focused on studying the effects of single preference changes. Alexandra Jabbour is also considering to eventually add other countries to her analysis.

Semih Cakir presented a research paper about partisanship instability and in the UK. Using panel data that were collected between 2014 and 2018, Semih Cakir shows that the 2015 election significantly strengthened partisan affiliations, while the same does not hold for the Brexit referendum or the 2017 snap election. Furthermore, Semih finds that about 20% of very strong partisans have changed affiliation during the period studied. These findings suggest, according to Semih Cakir, that more research is needed to look into the exogenous and enduring nature of the concept.

Maxime Coulombe’s research presented at the congress tackles an old paradox posed by Anthony Downs which states that it’s irrational to go vote because it’s nearly impossible to be the deciding vote in an election. However, citizens living in democracy still go vote. Maxime Coulombe and his co-authors then investigate the role of social pressure for explaining turnout. They try to improve upon previous research on this topic by studying other countries than the United-States.

Finally, Fernando Feitosa presented a paper (co-authored with Emmanuel Heisbourg) that examines whether Latin-American citizens perceive their citizenship to be engaged-based or duty-based. The central argument in previous literature is that economic and democratic development should cause citizens to see their citizenship as engaged based. According to this postulate, this should be the case in Latin-America. However, Fernando Feitosa and his co-author do not find evidence of such a trend. Using the 2007 and 2015 Latinobarometers data, they show that duty-based citizenship is rising. This finding leads Fernando Feitosa and his co-author to question the evolutionary theory of citizenship norms.

This content has been updated on 6 June 2019 at 21 h 48 min.