GHI Spring Lecture Series 2012

Get Out the Vote! Mobilization, Media, and Money

Organized by David Lazar and Jan Logemann

Electoral campaigns are a fundamental yet often criticized part of the political process in modern democracies. Campaigns provide opportunity for candidates and parties to spell out their positions and, conversely, for voters to compare the competitors for public office. Precisely because of those crucial functions, political campaigning has been a recurring focus of criticism and reform efforts. This lecture series, drawing on the experiences of the United States and Germany, will explore the history of campaigning techniques and efforts to mobilize voters. What was the impact of changing media technologies in effecting the turn-out? What role did campaign financing play in shaping the active electorate? As the franchise expanded, how were new groups of voters courted and what impact did they have on campaign strategies?

Supplementing the lecture series, a small exhibition titled "Moving Images: Two Centuries of Campaign Posters in the United States and Germany" will be on view at the GHI for the duration of the series.

All lectures begin at 6:30 pm (refreshments will be served from 6:00 to 6:30 pm) and will be held at the German Historical Institute, 1607 New Hampshire Avenue NW (Directions). Please RSVP (acceptances only) by Tel. 202.387.3355, Fax 202.387.6437 or E-mail.

  • Mobilizing the Nineteenth-Century American Electorate: The Elections of 1828 and 1840
    March 22, 2012
    Speaker: Michael Holt (University of Virginia)

  • Voters Without Democracy: Elections in Imperial Germany
    April 12, 2012
    Speaker: James Retallack (University of Toronto)

  • Americanizing the Electoral Process? Elections in the Federal Republic of Germany
    May 3, 2012
    Speaker: Frank Bösch (Zentrum für Zeithistorische Forschung Potsdam)

  • American Campaign Mobilization in the Age of New Media
    May 31, 2012
    Speaker: Kate Kenski (University of Arizona)
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