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Robbins to lecture on terrorism, voting

By Staff | Sep 23, 2011

The first lecture in the Shepherd University’s Faculty Research Forum will be held Monday, Sept. 26 at 1:30 p.m. in the Robert C. Byrd Center for Legislative Studies with “Does Voting Mean the Terrorists Win: Analyzing the Effects of Terrorist Activity on Voter Turnout Levels,” presented by Joseph Robbins, assistant professor of political science.

Many scholars have assessed the relationship between democracy and terrorism, but to this point the relationship between a key facet of democracy, voter turnout and terrorism has remained relatively under explored. Much has been written on the factors underlying voter turnout. The conventional wisdom has relied on institutional, economic and social explanations to predict turnout. While these factors are undoubtedly important, they are unable to capture other significant events. This is troubling since theories on political participation, such as the rally-around-the-flag effect, intimate that citizens are more tuned in to politics during crises.

Robbins will evaluate the effects of terrorism on voter turnout in 54 democracies through data from the Global Terrorism Database and TWEED. Informed by scholarship regarding the effects of heuristics and emotion on political cognition and behavior, Robbins hypothesizes that terrorist attacks prompt more citizens to turn out to vote.

Other Shepherd Faculty Research Forums topics to be presented this fall are “The Effects of Early Clinical Teaching Experiences on Pre-Service Teachers’ Self-Efficacy,” presented by Jared Androzzi, assistant professor of health, physical education, recreation and sport, Tuesday, Oct. 11 at noon in the Robert C. Byrd Center for Legislative Studies; and “Examining the Role of the Special Educator in a Response to Intervention Model,” presented by Belinda Mitchell, assistant professor of education, Wednesday, Nov. 16 at noon in the Robert C. Byrd Center for Legislative Studies.

For more information about the Shepherd Faculty Research Forum, visit www.shepherd.edu/aaweb/frf/.