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Politics and International Relations (PIR): Research


Elections, Public Opinion and Parties

AilsaThe Elections, Public Opinion, and Parties (EPOP) research group draws its faculty and postgraduate members from across the College of Arts and Humanities. Members conduct empirical research on political behaviour, including gender quotas, electoral law, campaign finance reform, electoral systems and the public opinion industry. If you are interested to join the EPOP group, or have questions about its various activities please contact the group convenor Ailsa Henderson (left) or postgraduate convenor Alia Middleton.

The three main areas of research are:

  • Political behaviour, including new forms of political participation, voter turnout and partisan preferences at the sub-state, state and supra-state level. Much of this reasearch explores the impact of multi-level governance on political behaviour
  • Public opinion, including attitude measurement, regulation of the polling industry, agenda-setting, priming and the impact of the media on opinion formation, as well as citizen engagement, referendums and direct or deliberative democracy
  • Political parties, including 'mainstream', regionalist, Communist and radical parties. Research in this theme often explores the responses of party strategies and structures to differing political and institutional constraints.

Much of the work is comparative although most members have specialist areas, including the United Kingdom, Russia, Eurasia and Eastern Europe, the United States, Canada, Germany, Spain and Belgium, as well as sub-state polities such as the UK devolved administrations, German Lander, Spanish autonomous communities and Canadian provinces.