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10: Public opinion, opinion research and political decision-making

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Hauptschule
Seminar / Seminar
english language

Public opinion is a key term in theories of democracy because it connects the collective beliefs, moods and preferences of citizens, voters and media audiences with the actions and decisions of governing elites and elected officials. Public opinion is closely measured and monitored by professional opinion researchers and political pollsters. But what constitutes public opinion? How volatile and media-driven is it? What are professional tools and techniques of political opinion polling? How is public opinion constructed? What does it mean to frame public opinion? Which roles do the media play in the formation of public opinion? How is public opinion covered by the media? Who shapes public opinion? To what degree do political elites rely on the results of public opinion surveys and what is their impact on the strategies and practices of political decision making? These and other core questions will be dealt with and discussed intensely in the course of this seminar.

Speakers

Head of Research Department, MediaWatch Institute for Media Analysis GmbH, Innsbruck
Head and Key Account Manager, Political Research, GfK Austria GmbH, Vienna; Assistant Professor for Political Science, University of Vienna
Professor, Department of Social and Political Studies, University of Milan Chair
Dean, Faculty for Political Science and Sociology, University of Innsbruck Chair

Dr. MA Günther LENGAUER

Head of Research Department, MediaWatch Institute for Media Analysis GmbH, Innsbruck

1998 M.A. (Magisterium), University of Innsbruck, Political Science
2000-2001 Freelance Research Assistant at the Center for Applied Political Research, Vienna
2000-2002 DOC-Fellow at the Austrian Academy of Science
2001-2003 Fulbright Fellow at the University of Illinois, Chicago
2003 Research Assistant of the Pew Internet & American Life Project
2004 Freelance Research Assistant at the Ludwig-Boltzmann-Institute for Applied Political Research
since 2004 Head of Research Department, MediaWatch Institute for Media Analysis, Innsbruck
2005 Doctorate, University of Innsbruck, Political Science
since 2006 Visiting Lecturer, Department of Political Science, University of Innsbruck
2007 Master of Arts in Communication, University of Illinois, Chicago
since 2007 Project Member of European Research Project "Political Communication Cultures in Western Europe", University of Innsbruck

Dr. Peter ULRAM

Head and Key Account Manager, Political Research, GfK Austria GmbH, Vienna; Assistant Professor for Political Science, University of Vienna

1971-1976 Study of Political Science, University of Vienna (1976 Dr.Phil)
1975-1976 Postgraduate Study of Political Science, Institute for Advanced Studies Vienna (diploma)
1977-1978 Research grants for Bologna and Stockholm (first book 1978)
1978-1983 Responsible for Basic Research (ÖAAB-Bundesleitung)
1990 Habilitation, University of Vienna (Univ.-Doz.)
since 1983 Fessel&Co., Fessel-GfK, GfK Austria
since 1989 Head of Political Research Department

Dr. Gianpietro MAZZOLENI

Professor, Department of Social and Political Studies, University of Milan

 Professor of Sociology of Communication and of Political Communication at the University of Milan. He is Post-Graduate Coordinator of the MSc Program in Public & Corporate Communication.
1969 Received his BA in Sociology from St Anselm College, Manchester, N.H.
1974 Doctorate from the University of Rome-La Sapienza
1988-2001 Associate Professor, he has taught communication at the Universities of Salerno and Genoa
2000 Visiting Professor of Political Communication at the University of Innsbruck
2006 Visiting Professor at George Mason University, Fairfax, V.A.
 In the last twenty-five years he was also visiting scholar at the Annenberg School for Communication (Philadephia), the Wissenschaftszentrum Berlin, Sciences Po (Paris), the Institute of Political Sciences of the University of Erlangen-Nuremberg, the Centre for Communication Research and Development of the University of Southern Queensland (Australia)
 He is co-founder and editor of the refereed journal Comunicazione Politica (www.com-pol.it), published by Franco Angeli (Milan). He serves also in the editorial boards of the European Journal of Communication (Sage) and of Political Communication (Taylor & Francis), and is editor of the book series in Political Communication of Hampton Press (www.hamptonpress.org).
 His main research interests are in the areas of mass communication, media policy and political communication. He has been member and coordinator of several international teams working on comparative research projects in the above areas.
2007 Visiting Professor at the University of South Australia, Adelaide

Dr. Fritz PLASSER

Dean, Faculty for Political Science and Sociology, University of Innsbruck

1976-1980 Head of Political Research Unit at Dr. Fessel Institute in Vienna
1980-1990 Political Pollster and Strategic Consultant at the OeVP - Headquarter in Vienna
1990-2005 Director, Center of Applied Political Research in Vienna
since 1993 Professor of Political Science at the University of Innsbruck
2000-2001 Fahrenkopf-Mannat Professor at the Graduate School of Political Management at George Washington University
2004-2005 Shorenstein Fellow at the Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University in Cambridge, MA

Seminar Week

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14.08.2008

17:00 - 17:30Opening of the European Forum Alpbach 2008Plenary
17:30 - 19:00Opening speechesPlenary
19:00 - 20:30Presentation of the seminarsPlenary
20:30 - 23:00Opening receptionSocial

14.08.-21.08.2008

Seminar 01: Climate change and what we need to do about itSeminar
Seminar 02: Utopias and alternative (visions of) worldsSeminar
Seminar 03: Wirtschaftsforschung und WirtschaftspolitikSeminar
Seminar 04: Geschichtliche Situationsdeutungen und historische EntscheidungenSeminar
Seminar 05: A European people? Perception and formation of European citizensSeminar
Seminar 06: Ethics and biomedicine: Analysis of decisions and value judgementsSeminar
Seminar 07: Security policy becoming a European issueSeminar

14.08.-20.08.2008

Seminar 08: Who is in control? How the brain controls our thoughts and actionsSeminar
Seminar 09: PredictabilitySeminar
Seminar 10: Public opinion, opinion research and political decision-makingSeminar
Seminar 11: Transatlantic relationsSeminar
Seminar 12: Understanding fundamentalism: An interdisciplinary analysis of "Strong Religion"Seminar
Seminar 13: "Global Constitutional Network" - Limits and Possibilities of (Inter-)national JurisdictionsSeminar
Seminar 14: Art and perceptionSeminar

15.08.2008

20:30 - 21:30Special Lecture: Europe - Strategic decisions for the continentPlenary

16.08.2008

17:30 - 19:00Plenary session: Climate change and PredictabilityPlenary

18.08.2008

19:00 - 20:30Plenary session: 40 years after the Prague SpringPlenary

19.08.2008

17:30 - 19:00Plenary session: What has remained of 1968?Plenary