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Professor Pippa Norris Public Lecture and Seminar

Professor Pippa Norris will be receiving an honorary award at the summer degree congregation on the afternoon of Thursday 20th July 2017.

Pippa Norris did her undergraduate degree at PAIS and is now  professor in Comparative Politics at Harvard University, and she is one of the world-leading scholars, working on elections, integrity, populism, democracy, communication etc. See for more information:

She has published more than 40 books, dozens of articles and edited many books:

We are happy to announce that Pippa Norris will give a lecture and a seminar while being here at Warwick. The two events will take place on July 19, between 1pm and 6pm.

The lecture is open to everybody. As space is limited for the seminar, please contact Renske Dooreenspleet if you would like to participate.

Public lecture by Prof Pippa NorrisThe Silent Revolution's Twin Progeny: Populist-Authoritarians and Populist-Progressives

Wed, 19 Jul 2017, 1pm-3pm, Room: A0.28 (Millburn)

The argument presented in this study starts from the ‘silent revolution’ theory of value change, which holds that the unprecedentedly high levels of existential security experienced by Western societies during the post-war decades brought an intergenerational shift toward post-materialist values. A substantial body of survey-based research has documented the cultural transformation that occurred during the last half century in Western societies, exemplified by growing public support for Post-Materialist and Self-expression values and the decline of traditional values-- and the organizational expression of these values in the late-twentieth century through the rise of new cultural issues, social movements, and political parties. Massive time-series evidence demonstrates growing tolerance among the younger cohorts and the college educated in Western societies for progressive cultural values. The cultural revolution has been linked with the rise of Green parties, as well as with progressive social movements and transnational activist organizations reflecting values such as environmental protection, LGBT rights, racial and gender equality, and support for humanitarian development assistance and human rights around the world. As post-materialists gradually became more numerous in the population, they brought new issues into politics, leading to a declining emphasis on issues of economic redistribution, weakened social class voting, and growing party polarization based on cultural issues and social identities. The key question which arises, however, concerns those who are left behind by cultural trends - including the older generation and less educated sectors of the population - and whether a reaction against value change has spurred populist movements, parties and leaders. This study, drawn from a larger book project, develops the Cultural Backlash thesis and then examines the survey evidence linking cultural attitudes to voting for populist parties and leaders in Europe and the U.S.

Seminar by Prof. Pippa Norris on democracy, elections and integrity

Wed, 19 Jul 2017, 3pm-6pm, Room: TBC: F.25A (Millburn), or in E2.02 (Politics Building, PAIS)

Pippa Norris will give a seminar, based on her forthcoming book ‘Strengthening Electoral Integrity: The Pragmatic Case for Assistance’ (New York: Cambridge University Press, 2017).

Today a general mood of pessimism surrounds Western efforts to strengthen elections and democracy abroad. Observers claim that democracy is in decline or retreat. Scepticism among scholars has spread to political leaders. Donald Trump calls American attempts to build democracy a dangerous mistake triggering instability and chaos from Iraq to Egypt to Libya. European aid for democratic governance programs are slashed, with resources reassigned to deal with the refugee crisis at home. This fuels isolationist calls for Western powers to abandon nation-building abroad and put domestic interests first. To counter the prevailing ethos, this book presents new evidence for the pragmatic case why programs of electoral assistance work. New research demonstrates that electoral integrity is strengthened by a series of practical projects where international organizations and bilateral donors support the efforts of local stakeholders – to reform electoral laws, strengthen women’s representation, develop independent journalism, regulate money in politics, and improve voter registration. Success should not be exaggerated. Not everything works, by any means. Electoral assistance is most effective where the strengths and weaknesses of international agencies and programs match the threats and opportunities on the ground. There are good reasons for genuine doubt about impact. Even small technical errors can erode public confidence in elections. The most resources are often invested in the riskiest contexts. Expectations are inflated. Agencies need to gather better evidence to evaluate programs. But just because it’s difficult, does not mean that international attempts to help elections should be cut or even abandoned. Since 1948, the world has been committed to supporting free and fair contests reflecting the general will of the people. It would be a tragedy to undermine progress by slipping backwards, withdrawing from international.

To register for the seminar, or if you have any questions, please email: