DeVOTE is a research project funded by the European Research Council (ERC) from January 2021 to December 2025. A research team at the University of Vienna led by Ass.-Prof. Carolina Plescia aims to provide first-time evidence on what ‘voting’ means for ordinary citizens.
Problems and Purpose
The question "What is the meaning of voting?", is of great importance today due to the growing distrust in the act of voting itself and in democratic institutions in many countries around the world.
Background History and Context
The DeVOTE project investigates the political, symbolic and psychological meanings of voting. What does voting mean to you? Is voting a civic duty? Is there a political alternative to voting?
Organizing, Supporting, and Funding Entities
DeVOTE is a research project funded by the European Research Council (ERC) from January 2021 to December 2025. The research team is led by the Principal Investigator Ass.-Prof. Carolina Plescia and is hosted by the Department of Government at the University of Vienna.
Participant Recruitment and Selection
The aim of DeVOTE is to encourage everyone to provide their (own) definitions of voting online, via a citizen science platform. In this way, exchange between the interested public and academia is facilitated.
Methods and Tools Used
The project engages the public through a multilingual citizen science platform.
What Went On: Process, Interaction, and Participation
DeVOTE invites you to participate by sharing your own meanings of voting and help us explore the diversity, change and use of all possible meanings of voting in your own country and beyond. Participation is possible via an online form on the project website. There are various ways you can take part in DeVOTE:
1. your opinion matters → DEFINE VOTING!
You can write down terms and descriptions for your own definition of voting answering the question “What does voting mean to you?”
2. you the observer → IMAGINE DEFINITIONS!
You can tell us where your definition of voting comes from.
3. you the researcher → COLLECT DATA!
You can search for the many possible definitions that journalists, parties, politicians, stakeholders and so on give to voting and describe them.
4. you the expert → CATEGORIZE MEANINGS!
You can provide direct input to the researchers in DeVOTE by categorizing the meanings of voting we have collected.
Influence, Outcomes, and Effects
The project’s goals are to:
- understand what ‘voting’ means for ordinary citizens;
- examine the variation of 'voting' meanings across individuals and across countries;
- study how elections create and modify these 'voting' meanings;
- investigate the consequences of 'voting' meanings for citizens' preferences, attitudes and their political behaviours;
- devise an election 'observatory' for systematic data collection on the meanings of voting on Election Day that can favour the scientific interpretation of election outcomes.