GIGA Event

Advancing Opinion Research on Democracy and Governance




11:00 a.m. (CET)


00:30 p.m. (CET)

  • Public allegiance to democracy is important to democratic governance. What can surveys tell us about the nature and determinants of support for democracy? This talk provides a broad portrait of the fragile commitment to democracy in the Latin America and Caribbean region, drawing on LAPOP’s AmericasBarometer. It then hones in on the role of elections in bolstering support for democratic principles. In regional and global data, and in particular in less institutionalised settings, democratic fealty is comparatively elevated in periods immediately following elections. These dynamics speak to the potential for regularly held elections to act as a recommitment mechanism, elevating public commitment to democracy and mitigating against further decline.

    Speaker: Prof. Dr. Elizabeth Zechmeister is Cornelius Vanderbilt Professor of Political Science. She has published three dozen articles and three books on substantive topics that include public opinion in times of crisis, gender, charisma, and electoral behaviour, as well as experiment and survey research methods. Her research has been supported by multiple grants from the U.S. National Science Foundation, among others. As Director of LAPOP Lab, she oversees the AmericasBarometer – a regular survey of the Western Hemisphere. She also serves as current chair of the global Comparative Study of Electoral Systems (CSES) project. Prof. Dr. Zechmeister has received Vanderbilt’s Award for Excellence in Graduate Teaching and its Jeffrey Nordhaus and Madison Sarratt Awards for Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching.   

    Moderator: Prof. Dr. Merike Blofield is Director of the GIGA Institute for Latin American Studies and Professor of Political Science at the Universität Hamburg.

    Location: Universität Hamburg, Welckerstraße 8, 20354 Hamburg, Raum 2.16. With the friendly support of Universität Hamburg.


    Universität Hamburg, Welckerstraße 8, 20354 Hamburg, Raum 2.16



    By invitation

    GIGA Institute for Latin American Studies

    The GIGA Institute for Latin American Studies conducts research on political and economic developments in the countries of South and Central America and the Caribbean. Core topics include the quality of political institutions and participation, challenges posed by conflicts and crime, and regional integration.

    Accountability and Participation

    The Accountability and Participation Research Programme undertakes comparative analyses of ongoing political processes that may foster or undermine the quality of democratic institutions and spread authoritarian politics and practices in the Global South and across the globe.


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