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WAPOR 70th Annual Conference

15th-17th July 2017

Lisbon, Portugal

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World Values Survey findings and political behavior: understanding and predicting participation and voting

Kseniya Kizilova (World Values Survey Association)
Christian Haerpfer (World Values Survey Association)
Pippa Norris (Harvard University/ WVSA)
Alejandro Moreno (ITAM/ WVSA)
Yascha Monk (Harvard University)
Roberto Foa (Melbourne University/ WVSA)

Keywords: Political culture and participation


World Values Survey findings and political behavior: understanding and predicting participation and voting.

Panel convenor: Kseniya Kizilova, Head of Secretariat of the World Values Survey Association, Austria.

Panel chair and paper 1: Prof. Christian Haerpfer, Vienna University, President of the World Values Survey Association, Austria; co-authored with Kseniya Kizilova, Head of the WVSA Secretariat, Austria: “Patterns of Conventional and Unconventional Political Participation in Global Perspective”.

Paper 2: Prof. Pippa Norris, Harvard University, Member of the Executive Committee of the WVSA. USA: “Satisfaction with democracy: A crisis in Western democracies?”.

Discussant and paper 3: Prof. Alejandro Moreno, ITAM, Vice-President of the WVSA, Mexico: “The Mobile Device Gap in Protest Behavior: Findings from the World Values Survey”.

Paper 4: Dr Roberto Foa, Melbourne University, WVS Principal Investigator; co-authored with Yascha Mounk, Harvard University: “Using World Values Survey Indicators to Predict Democratic Backsliding”.


Political behavior is an essential element of political culture of the population and an important indicator and predictor of the democratic political system development. In one of its broadest definitions, political behavior is considered as an aggregated category for all those actions of private citizens by which they seek to influence – select, support or challenge – government and politics. This influence can be realized either directly by affecting the decision-making process or the course implementation of public policy, or indirectly – by participating in the nomination of the group of people who will make those decisions and policies. The range of concrete actions which can be defined as political behavior varies from voting in national elections to organizing a demonstration, from writing a letter to a governmental official to establishing an online protest-community. Some forms of political participation, like voting, are among most traditional and have existed since many centuries while those which presume using the resources of Internet and social media are relatively new and evolving.
Development of comparative surveys in political science in the recent three decades has contributed to the establishment of an extensive empirical data-base in this field including such large-scale research programs as Eurobarometer, European Social Survey, International Social Survey Program, World Values Survey, European Values Study, Comparative National Elections Project, Comparative Study of Electoral System as well as the group of regional barometers – Afro Barometer, Arab Barometer, Asian Barometer, Eurasia Barometer, and Latinobarometro.
Current session includes papers analyzing available empirical evidence from the world’s largest quantitative research program the World Values Survey describing patterns, factors and consequences of political behavior in different world regions and in a global comparative perspective. The main question which the session is focusing on is how we can use data and empirical evidence available from the World Values Survey to deepen our understand and prediction skills with regard to different forms of political behavior: voting, unconventional political participation and etc.

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