Research Training Course "European Parliament Elections" by Prof. Kritzinger and Prof. Heinrich (Academic Year 2008-2009 )
The research training course "European Parliament Elections" focused on the recent elections to the European Parliament analysing the prospective voting behaviour of Austrian citizens and studying the media reporting of Austrian news outlets in the run-up to the election in June 2009. The course provided students with insights in practical empirical research in political science.
In the winter term 2008, the participating students became acquainted with the theoretical ideas of electoral research (e.g Michigan model), had training in quantitative methods and learned how to conduct a media analysis. In the summer term 2009, students designed a questionnaire for a pre-election survey. Thanks to the financial support of the Federal Ministry of Science and Research, the Renner Institut, the Politische Akademie and the City of Vienna, the survey could be conducted amongst 800 Austrian citizens in May 2009 by a professional market and opinion research institute (IPR). Additionally, students ran a media analysis, covering five Austrian newspapers (Kronenzeitung, Presse, Standard, Kleine Zeitung, Salzburger Nachrichten) and two Austrian news broadcasts (ZIB, ATV News), according to the media codebook provided by the PIREDEU project.
Additionally to data collection, students worked on their specific research areas which cover a broad range of research questions on electoral research (e.g. impact of media frames on voting behaviour, influence of socio-demographic variables on EU-support, etc.). Students will present their research papers in October 2009 in a public presentation at the University of Vienna.
The course has provided students with hands-on experience in empirical research and through the two datasets (pre-election study and media analysis) it has contributed valuable assets for research in the field of electoral behaviour in Austria. The datasets will soon be openly accessible on this webpage.