Centre for Comparative Political Research

Research: Citizens



Researchers at CSEG are currently producing relevant research on European Elections, Parties, Public Opinion and the Media, with particular emphasis in the following areas:



European election studies

What effect do the media and campaigns have on voting behaviour? What is the role of political entrepreneurs in altering perceptions of parties and elections? How do parties and the media persuade voters to support or oppose European referenda?

Research in this area

CSEG member Professor Cees van der Eijk has since 1989 been a leading contributor to the international EES network (European Election Studies). This network has produced publicly available databases that include information about European voters, media campaigns at the time of European elections, and information about candidates and parties. The network has produced numerous books and articles.

Immigration and political community in Europe

What are the implications of post-World War Two immigration for public perceptions of government institutions? Has immigration had any impact on trust in governments in European democracies?

Research in this area 

CSEG member Dr Lauren McLaren is currently investigating the implications of post-World-War Two immigration for feelings of political community and trust in political institutions. While other researchers have examined the impact of immigration and multiculturalism on feelings of social community and interpersonal trust, very little is known about the implications for political community. Using a wide range of social survey data, Dr McLaren seeks to determine what effects immigration has indeed had on political community and to consider what tools governments might employ within a context of multiculturalism to halt and/or reverse the increasing levels of distrust in politics across many European democracies.

In addition, CSEG member Dr Matthew Goodwin examines the drivers of support for political parties and social movements which actively campaign against immigration and rising ethno-cultural diversity. Drawing on a range of unique and varied data, Dr Goodwin and colleagues are interested in a range of inter-related questions, for example who votes for the extreme right and why? Why do some citizens join and become actively involved in extremist organizations? And what are the public policy implications of extremist party support?

Mass-level euroskepticism

What explains differences in perceptions of and feelings toward the EU? Is Euroskepticism motivated by rational self interest or concerns about the preservation of identity?

Research in this area

In a series of publications, CSEG Director Lauren McLaren has explored the impact of concerns about identity on public support for European integration.  




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