Elections and voting behaviour are central topics in political science. This leads to a large and continuously expanding literature on voters and their behaviour during elections. Almost by definition, this line of research calls for sophisticated research, both from a theoretical and a methodological point of view. Furthermore, methods to investigate these topics are varied and evolving rapidly. The high quality standards in the field imply that there is a need for specific training for PhD students working on these topics. The Leuven-Montréal Winter School addresses this need by offering a program focused on theories and methods in the study of elections and voting behaviour. The Winter School is organized jointly by the universities of Montréal and Leuven, and is based on the expertise of these universities and other well-known scholars on elections and voting behaviour.
Doctoral students in political behaviour, comparative politics or political parties. Given the fact that we envision intensive interaction between students and professors, we foresee a maximum of 25 participants. Ideally, we will have a mix of junior and more advanced PhD students.
Our aim is to provide students with the core theoretical frameworks and empirical tools in the field of electoral behaviour. Furthermore, we seek to offer a forum where junior scholars can interact and discuss their work with senior scholars in the field. Additionally, students are encouraged to produce high-level research and the feedback received should strengthen the publication potential of their work.
The school consists of 7 days of teaching, with approximately 42 contact hours. The contact hours are comprised of staff lectures, student presentations and seminar discussions.
Lectures in this second edition will be given by André Blais (Université de Montréal), Ruth Dassonneville (Université de Montréal), Elisabeth Gidengil (McGill University), Sona Golder (Pennsylvania State University), Marc Hooghe (University of Leuven), William Jacoby (Michigan State University), Richard Johnston (University of British Columbia) and Richard Lau (Rutgers University). Various topics of electoral behaviour will be covered: government formation, election campaigns, gender and voting, values and ideology, information processing and electoral participation. The first day will offer an introduction to theories of electoral behaviour and to measurements and methods for research on elections.
Students are required to submit a 8,000-word paper before the start of the Winter School (by 10 February 2016 at the latest). The paper could take the form of an empirical study, a theoretical discussion, a review of the literature or a research design. Students will be presenting their paper at one of the afternoon sessions and will receive feedback from other students and one of the leading academics who are teaching at the Winter School. The best student paper will be awarded the Victor D’Hondt Prize for Electoral Research.
Students are required to attend all sessions and to actively take part in the discussions that follow the presentations of fellow students and senior specialists. Successful participation in the Winter School will be fully accredited (6 ECTS). Additionally, students who require a grade will be evaluated according to the following three requirements; participation in the discussions of the seminar (25%), oral presentation of the student paper (25%), and the quality of the student paper as revised no later than 6 weeks after the end of the course (50%). This revision should reflect the recommendations given during the seminar.
The program fee is €320 and includes lunches, course material and the social program.
Interested students should send an abstract (approximately 500 words) of their proposed paper to firstname.lastname@example.org by December 1st 2015. Applications should also contain information on the topic of the students’ dissertation, their affiliation and the name of their supervisor, as well as the date of first enrolment in a PhD program.
The Winter School will take place in Montréal Canada. Montréal is a bilingual city (French and English), rich in both history and culture (notably arts, food, and music). At the time of the Winter School, the season’s harshest temperatures are usually a thing of the past, but a lot of snow and temperatures around the freezing point should be expected.