Aims and Objectives

DeVOTE aims to provide first time evidence on what voting means for ordinary citizens and examine the variations of the ‘meanings’ between individuals and across types of democracies.

This will allow empirically grounded conclusions and a new understanding of citizen-conceptualizations of representation and the psychology of voting. The research results can challenge conventional wisdom about participation and voting, as well as lead to practical implications for how elections are run and administered.

The overall objective of the project is to gather citizens' views via a novel methodological approach, based on the citizen-science website and inductive reasoning, combined with panel data, vignette experiments and topic modelling. The application of this approach is expected to result in ground-breaking insights into what voting ‘means’ to citizens, their causes and consequences. In addition, the project agenda will result in an observatory devised for systematic data collection on the meanings of elections on Election Day.


Research questions:

version4 wp1Is there a meaning of ‘voting’ for ordinary citizens? If so, what is the significance of voting for ordinary citizens? And how should we study it? (Work Package 1)

version4 wp2Does the meaning of voting for ordinary citizens vary in systematic ways? What are the individual- and country-level correlates for the meanings of voting? (Work Package 2)

version4 wp3Does the meaning of voting for ordinary citizens change during election times? For whom, under what conditions and which meanings are activated and/or modified by election campaigns? (Work Package 3)

version4 wp4What are the attitudinal and behavioural consequences of citizen meanings? Do citizen meanings have consequences for citizen preferences, attitudes and political behaviours? (Work Package 4)


Department of Government
University of Vienna
Kolingasse 14-16, 6th Floor
1090 Vienna, Austria


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This project has received funding from the European Research Council Grant Agreement no. 949247. Our website reflects only the authors’ views and the European Union is not liable for any use that may be made of the information contained therein.

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