Political behaviour 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 behaviour 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 behaviour 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 analysing available empirical evidence from these and others quantitative research programs describing patterns, factors and consequences of political behaviour 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 to deepen our understanding and prediction skills with regard to different forms of political behaviour and what is the role of values and norms in shaping participation patterns.
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