Some weeks after my research stay at André Blais´ Chair for Electoral Studies had begun, the Winter School on Voting Behavior happened to take in Montréal as well. It´s the second edition of a unique enterprise that brings together young students on electoral studies from across the globe with leading scholars in the field. PhD students from Latin- and North-America, China and Europe presented research such as on the effects of polls or cross-pressures on voting behavior.
Liran Harsgor presented a comprehensive and thought-out study on the gender gap in the United States for which she was awarded the Victor d´Hondt prize (well deserved!). For me, it was the first time to present a sketch of the Self-Determination Theory of Political Motivation. It was an experiment as the talk was bereft of any empirical analysis and focused exclusively on theoretical arguments. It was worth the effort for the positive and valuable feedback I received. You are invited to have a look at the slides here.
While the afternoons were reserved for student presentations, the day began with a lecture by a senior scholar. André Blais gave an blunt („Economic Voting is overrated“) and impressive wrap-up 100 years of electoral studies that closed with a plea for a more imperialist discipline („My plea is: Study elections outside politics! Us, political scientists, we have to be more imperialist!“). Bill Jacoby talked about Values and Ideology and as the editor of the American Journal of Political Science he offered a spontaneous Q&A on Publishing („If you think about including a graph in a paper, there is only one statistical software you should use: R“).
Further talks were given by Ruth Dassonneville, Patrick Fournier, Richard Johnston, Sona Golder, Richard Lau and Marc Hooghe.