Seminars & Events

5 February 2024
15:15 - 16:45
Online - see link below

Seminar: Serena Does & Philipp Lutz – Understanding (Mis)Perceptions of Democracy and Immigration

Title: Understanding (Mis)Perceptions of Democracy and Immigration

Abstract: Project 1 explores perceived democracy in the face of an objectively declining U.S. democracy. Using cross-sectional archival data and a longitudinal quasi-experiment spanning three presidential administrations, we show that Americans’ perceptions of democracy are influenced by their preferred party’s hold on power. Despite this alignment, both sides fail to accurately perceive changes in objective democracy over time, underscoring the pervasive impact of partisanship. During the 2020 election cycle, supporters of Biden and Trump displayed divergent perceptions of democracy, across several timepoints from pre-election to post-inauguration of Biden (including one day after the post Capitol attack). Patterns allowed for a ‘real-time’ documentation of the winner-loser gap.

Project 2 shifts focus to Europe and the nature of the political conflict/divide, studying the political cleavage between winners and losers of globalization. Centered on immigration, the research, conducted in Germany, exposes citizens’ tendency to perceive public opinion as more restrictive and polarized than reality. Notably, this misperception is more pronounced among globalization losers, highlighting the crucial role of citizens’ perceptions in navigating the challenges posed by the deepening global divide. Both projects provide nuanced insights into the dynamics of democracy and globalization, emphasizing the intricate relationship between partisanship and individual perceptions.

Bio: Serena Does (she/her) is a scientific advisor and senior researcher at the Verwey-Jonker Institute and endowed professor in Social Inequality & Resilience at VU Amsterdam. The chair is funded by the Ministry of Social Affairs and Employment through the Knowledge platform for an Inclusive Society (KIS). Her research focuses primarily on intergroup relations and the psychology of social inequality.

Philipp Lutz (him/his) is an assistant professor of Political Science at the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, a Senior Researcher at University of Geneva and a Visiting Fellow at the London School of Economics and Political Science. His main research interest is in understanding the political consequences of international migration and European integration, covering comparative politics as well as international governance.



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