Determinants and Effects of the Short-Term Dynamics in Issue Ownership.

Auteur Adrien PETITPAS
Directeur /trice Prof. Pascal Sciarini
Co-directeur(s) /trice(s)
Résumé de la thèse

The aim of my PhD dissertation is to provide an in-depth understanding of the determinants

and effects of short-term dynamics in issue ownership (IO). Issue Ownership is the link between

parties, voters, and issues. More specifically, it is voters’ perceptions of party competence to

deal with certain issues. While IO was initially considered as a stable phenomenon explaining

election outcomes, recent studies show that citizens can change their competence attributions

in the short term. Nevertheless, little is yet known about the sources and the consequences

of such dynamics. The goal of my thesis is to provide theoretical and empirical explanations

to this phenomenon. The first paper of my thesis will concern the origins of IO perception

dynamics. It will stress the role of parties’ direct and indirect communication on the instability

of IO perceptions. Although there is growing evidence on the origins of IO dynamics, evidence

on its effects remains scarce. Accordingly, the second paper will tackle the consequences of

IO perceptions on electoral choice formation. The third paper will posit IO instability as a

determinant of electoral volatility, in addition to classic sources of party switching. Finally, the

fourth paper will tackle the origins and consequences of IO dynamics in a unified way. Thus, my

PhD dissertation will offer a comprehensive view of the short-term dynamics in IO perceptions

and party preferences within a real campaign setting. For that purpose, I use panel data, media

data, and ads data collected during the 2015 Swiss National Elections. My thesis has scientific,

political, and practical implications.

Délai administratif de soutenance de thèse