- Political Theory: Choices and Elections - chair: Zoltán Balázs (MTA TK PTI, BCE)
- Politikai vezetés és demokrácia a „post-truth” érában - HUNGARIAN SECTION
- Részvétel, legitimitás és szuverenitás Európai Unióban - HUNGARIAN SECTION
- A választók és résztvevők – politikai viselkedés - HUNGARIAN SECTION
- Közpolitikai napirendek, közpolitikai és intézményi változások - HUNGARIAN SECTION
- Politikai kommunikáció és média - HUNGARIAN SECTION
- Elections and Democracy - co-chairs: András Bozóki (CEU) and Levente Littvay (CEU)
On the most general level, every conscious human action can be considered as making a choice, a decision between alternatives. This is also one possible and trivial understanding of freedom. Within politics but still on a general level, acting politically entails making choices between different courses of action. Which of these courses of action are relevant? How can alternatives be identified? These are questions relevant for political metaphysics. Since, however, in democracies a large number of people have a right to make choices, it is an urgent question for political theory how political choices evolve, how people learn about them, how they can influence them, and enhance or reduce the room of action of and for political elites and leaders. Once more, panelists can discuss the general questions of political action and political space, and the more particular questions pertaining to democratic action, the conditions of making free choices.
In democracies, making a political choice amounts to basically (and for the masses) participating at elections, that is, choosing between parties, programs, and political leaders. Discussions of classical questions of how strategic and tactical voting is to be interpreted, on what conditions can particular models be applied, how elected politicians go on playing the voting game, are all welcome, including formal models.
Finally, the no less classical topics of mandating and representation need to be raised within the context of distinctions and conceptions of liberal/illiberal democracies, so fashionable today. Is it true that liberal democracies grant a relatively spacious political room for representatives? How can illiberal democracies deal with the idea of political representation (explicitly and implicitly)?
The upcoming April elections in Hungary provide us with fresh stuff for illustrations and tests but please note that this section does not aim at discussing and interpreting the elections directly.
Elections are the backbone of a democracy and the subject that has been at the forefront of political science for most of the discipline’s history. This year, on the 70th anniversary of Paul Lazarsfeld, Bernard Berelson, and Hazel Gaudet’s seminal book, The People's Choice: How the Voter Makes Up His Mind in a Presidential Campaign, and on the heels of the 2018 Hungarian Parliamentary Election, the Hungarian Political Science Association chose the topic of elections as its central theme. This section will be held in English to further advance the international character of Hungary’s flagship political science event. All studies of elections and democracy (and beyond, addressing adjacent topics within political science) are welcome for our English language section from both Hungarian and International scholars, featuring a national or comparative perspective, with a focus on any country.