Fancy writing your thesis about any of these TOPICS but do not know how to start?

 

Then here are some ideas for a starting point. If you seriously consider any one of them, then use EBSCO etc. to find scholarly articles on the topic to see if it really was something you would really like to study and could conceivably say something new about. Do think about what data you may use: I might have some suggestions but why would you rely on me in this? Once your idea gets a little more specific, write it down in two-three sentences, email me, and then you are ready to visit gabortoka.youcanbook.me.

 

 

ELECTORAL PARTICIPATION

 

Develop and test any new ideas about what conditions or personal characteristics of voters is conducive to a higher rate of participation in elections

 

How equal turnout of different groups would influence election outcomes? What are the conditions under which this influence is bigger or smaller?

 

ELECTION LAWS

 

What considerations make citizens most likely to oppose mandatory voting? What counter-arguments are they most receptive to? A study of this issue could use an experiment with a small non-representative sample.

 

How do citizens use preference voting systems and why?

 

GERRYMANDERING

 

Why the way electoral district boundaries are drawn had (or did not have) a different impact on election outcomes in different elections (held in one or more countries)? Your study could use methods developed by:

Gelman, Andrew, and Gary King. 1994. “A Unified Method of Evaluating Electoral Systems and Redistricting Plans.” American Journal of Political Science 38 (2): 514-554.

Grofman, Bernard, William Koetzle, and Thomas Brunell. 1997. “An Integrated Perspective on the Three Potential Sources of Partisan Bias: Malapportionment, Turnout Differences, and the Geographic Distribution of Party Vote Shares.” Electoral Studies 16 (4): 457-470.

Linzer, Drew A. 2012. “The Relationship between Seats and Votes in Multiparty Systems.” Political Analysis 20 (3): 400-416.

 

How single-member electoral district boundaries are drawn, how political parties and courts influence this process, how parties figure what boundaries would benefit them, and what factors limit their influence? Write a case study based on one more country at one or more time points inspired by:

Rossiter, David, Ron J. Johnston, and Charles Pattie. 1999. The Boundary Commissions: Redrawing the Uk’s Map of Parliamentary Constituencies. Manchester: Manchester University Press.

Grofman, Bernard, ed. 1990. Political Gerrymandering and the Courts. New York: Agathon.

Grofman, Bernard, and Lisa Handley, eds. 2008. Redistricting in Comparative Perspective. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Grofman, Bernard, and Gary King. 2007. “The Future of Partisan Symmetry as a Judicial Test for Partisan Gerrymandering after LULAC v. Perry.” Election Law Journal 6 (1): 2-35.

 

ELECTION FRAUD

 

Develop and test any new ideas about how one can detect fraudulent vote counts, vote buying, voter intimidation, or deception that makes some people vote differently – or be counted as if voted differently – on election day than they planned to.

 

Use any already known method to detect fraudulent vote counts, vote buying, voter intimidation, or deception that makes some people vote differently – or be counted as if voted differently – on election day than they planned to in any context where such analyses have not yet been done but where there would be some heuristic value of such analyses.

 

IMPACT OF KNOWLEDGE ON POLITICAL CHOICES

 

Study how changes in specific knowledge – i.e., how widely known certain things are ­– may influence public opinion on a particular question (e.g., immigrant policy) or an election outcome.

 

PUBLIC OPINION ON SPECIFIC SOCIO-POLITICAL ISSUES

 

Study how different narrative frames or visual stimuli appearing in mass media impact attitudes towards asylum-seekers and/or economic migrants among natives of a country where immigrants/asylum seekers arrive.

 

Study how different narrative frames or visual stimuli appearing in mass media impact attitudes towards the Roma people in European countries.

 

Explain cross-national differences in attitudes towards gender inequalities.

There are quite a few cross-national survey data that one can use to explore this question, but there is one which has a particularly comprehensive coverage of the issues and has not been used for scholarly analyses as yet. Namely, in late 2014 Eurobarometer (the 28-country comparative public opinion survey commissioned by the European Comission a few times a year) administered some interesting questions about gender equality (see http://ec.europa.eu/public_opinion/archives/ebs/ebs_428_en.pdf). The individual-level survey data from this survey will become publicly available online by end of 2016. It would be interesting to see how one can explain with economic, cultural and political factors the cross-country differences in (1) how many people agree that (e.g.) “equality between men and women is a fundamental right”; (2) how much men and women within the same country disagree about such matters; or (3) how big are the differences between generations or between left-wingers and right-wingers within a country.

 

 

Thanks for reading this. Come back to check this page again, from time to time I add new ideas.

Until then, keep walking, there is a lot to see in town.