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BSPO 1480A - Citizen Politics and Democracy in Times of Crisis

Type d'enseignement : Seminar

Semester : Autumn 2017-2018

Number of hours : 40

Language of tuition : English


No prerequisites are required for this class.

Course Description

This course explores the role of the citizen within contemporary democratic processes. It draws on insights from political sociology and comparative politics to answer essential questions regarding continuity and change on issues such as vote choice, political participation, public protest, trust in the political system, ideological orientations and political attitudes. Special emphasis is placed on the impact of the economic crisis on the changing preferences and behaviors of mass publics across Europe. The course aims to develop the students' analytical skills in comprehending current political events, public opinion, new social movements and current electoral dynamics from a comparative perspective. Each session of the course will draw on theoretical concepts and link them to empirical findings using comparative, time-series survey data. Students will be invited to critically combine theoretical tools with empirical evidence in order to comprehend the dynamic link between public opinion and political parties in postmodern Western democracies.


  • CAUTRES, Bruno (Researcher at CNRS and CEVIPOF, Sciences Po)
  • MARTIGNY, Vincent G. (Maître de conférences)
  • MENNESSON, Ségolène L. (Doctorante)

Course validation

Grades will be determined by the weighted average of a) one written assignment (40%), b) one written exam (25%), c) two quizzes (20%), and d) student participation in class (15%).

Required reading

  • Dalton, R. (2013). Citizen Politics : Public Opinion and Political Parties in Advanced Industrial Democracies. Los Angeles, CA : Sage
  • Bermeo, N. and Bartels, L. (2014). Mass Politics in Tough Times: Opinions, Votes and Protest in the Great Recession. Oxford: Oxford University Press
  • Whiteley, P., Clarke, H. D., Sanders, D., & Stewart, M. C. (2013). Affluence, Austerity and Electoral Change in Britain. Cambridge University Press

Additional required reading

  • Bedock, C. and P. Vasilopoulos. (2015). “Economic Hardship and Extreme Voting under the Economic Crisis: A Comparison between Italy and Greece”, European Journal of Social Sciences, 53 (1), 177-198
  • Evans, G. (2000). The continued significance of class voting. Annual review of political science, 3 (1), 401-417
  • Inglehart, R. F. (2008). Changing values among western publics from 1970 to 2006. West European Politics, 31(1-2), 130-146
  • Kriesi, H. (2012). The political consequences of the financial and economic crisis in Europe: electoral punishment and popular protest. Swiss Political Science Review, 18(4), 518-522
  • March, L., & Rommerskirchen, C. (2015). Out of left field? Explaining the variable electoral success of European radical left parties. Party Politics, 21(1), 40-53
  • Norris, Pippa. (2009). ‘Political activism: New challenges, new opportunities.' Oxford Handbook of Comparative Politics Edited by Carles Boix and Susan Stokes (Oxford University Press)
  • Putnam, R.D. (1994). Making Civic Democracy Work. Princeton : Princeton University Press