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DSPO 25A10 - Citizen Politics and Democracy in Times of Crisis

Type d'enseignement : Seminar

Semester : Autumn 2018-2019

Number of hours : 40

Language of tuition : English



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 (50%) b) one written exam (30%) c) two quizzes (20%). Active oral participation in class is rewarded with up to 1 point in the final class average. Late essays receive a grade penalty of 3% for every 24 hours of delay.

Required reading

  • Jost and Sidanius, Appendix: How to Read a Journal Article in Social Psychology (Jordan and Zanna 1999).
  • Dalton, Russell. 2000. “Citizen Attitudes and Political Behavior.” Comparative Political
  • Dalton, Russell. Citizen Politics: Public Opinion and Political Parties in Advanced Western