Course Description

Course Name

Comparative Public Opinion

Session: VGSS3120

Hours & Credits

20 Scotcat Credits

Prerequisites & Language Level


The course will examine public opinion in a comparative context, with particular focus on political attitudes and beliefs in the United States and Western Europe.
By the end of this course students will be able to:
? Demonstrate a command of public opinion research;
? Evaluate critically the design and implementation of public opinion surveys, including sampling techniques and survey questionnaire design;
? Explore the determinants of public opinion using publically available survey databases, such as the American National Election Studies and the Eurobarometer;
? Explore the contextual factors that influence individual public opinion from the perspective of the civic and political culture, political ideologies, values, and left-right orientations;
? Assess the implications of aggregate public opinion for both democratic and authoritarian nation-states;
? Understand the debate over the level of political sophistication and citizen competence in the United States and Western Europe;
? Analyse how political attitudes and beliefs lead to acts of political participation, including voting;
? Assess the degree to which aggregate public opinion acts as a constraint on elites, particularly in the policy-making process;
? Conduct a rigorous analysis using publicly available survey databases;
? Advance reasoned and factually supported arguments in both written and oral formats.

*Course content subject to change