Electoral and Political Geography

Panel Code
RC15.06
Language
English
Discussants

Electoral Geography, a field of study within the sub-discipline of Political Geography, has struggled in recent decades to earn acceptance outside of the larger discipline of Geography and indeed, even within Political Geography. However, as Big Data and open source mapping become ever more accessible and popular, electoral geography is playing a larger role in understanding the political landscape. Political Science has been slow to embrace spatial analyses, particularly in the study of elections, dismissing such studies as having “ecological fallacy.” Electoral Geography, however, has a long history and sound methods for examining and analyzing electoral data at a variety of spatial scales. Though there are limitations for spatial analyses, as there are for traditional approaches of elections through the lens of political science, the era of Big Data and spatial technologies advances suggests electoral geography and political science should be working together instead of against one another. One goal of this panel is to exhibit current research and analyses in electoral geography. A second goal is to continue discussions on how electoral geographers and political scientists can work together to provide a more robust understanding of elections and politics. This panel encourages papers focusing on any spatial studies of elections or unique spatial analysis techniques that can be applied to the study of elections across disciplines.