DeVOTE is a research project funded by the European Research Council (ERC) from January 2021 to December 2025, and led by Ass.-Prof. Carolina Plescia to develop and apply a new approach to study what ‘voting’ means for ordinary citizens. The project’s goals are:
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. 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?
Using a novel methodological approach, a new typology of meanings and motivations for voting will be developed. Through the practice-oriented analysis of elections, the project offers an important source of information on the political significance that citizens attach to elections and the act of voting. The project does not only focus on the already well-researched countries in Western Europe, but also looks at the so-called autocracies in Europe and beyond. This allows new insights into voting outside of democratic systems.
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.