University of Gothenburg

Jörgen Westerståhl Lectures

The Jörgen Westerståhl Lecture is an annual event at the Department since 2014. In the spirit of Jörgen Westerståhl, these lectures offer knowledge about the importance of democracy and politics for the development of society.

Who was Jörgen Westerståhl?

Jörgen Westerståhl
Photo: Göran Olofsson

During 1952-1982, Jörgen Westerståhl was the holder of the August Röhss Professorship in Political Science at the University of Gothenburg. He modernized Swedish political science research and oriented it towards political behavior and quantitative studies.

Jörgen Westerståhl was a pioneer in media research and opinion formation in Sweden. In 1954, he introduced the large voter surveys that became the starting point for the Election Research Program. Today, research on public opinion and democracy is one of Gothenburg University's areas of strength, and Jörgen Westerståhl is sometimes called "the father of election research."

With the Jörgen Westerståhl Lectures, we want to pay tribute to this political scientist's work.


Jörgen Westerståhl Lecture 2021
Title: International Norms, Moral Psychology and Neuroscience.
Lecturer: Kathryn Sikkink, Ryan Family Professor of Human Rights Policy at the Harvard Kennedy School.

Jörgen Westerståhl Lecture 2020
Title: Political Entrepreneurs: The Rise of Challenger Parties in Europe.
Lecturer: Catherine De Vries, Professor of Political Science, Bocconi University.

Jörgen Westerståhl Lecture 2019
Title: Homo politicus and the "problem of agency".
Lecturer: Colin Hay, Professor of Political Analysis, University of Sheffield.

Jörgen Westerståhl Lecture 2018
Title: Populist movements and counter-movements in the Great Recession.
Lecturer: Donatella Della Porta, Professor of Political Science and Political Sociology, the Institute for Humanities and the Social Sciences at the Scuola Normale Superiore, Florens.

Jörgen Westerståhl Lecture 2017
Title: Why Bother? Rethinking Participation in Elections and Protests.
Lecturer: Susan Stokes, John S. Saden Professor of Political Science, Yale University.

Jörgen Westerståhl Lecture 2016
Title: Governance in Areas of Limited Statehood: Effective and Legitimate.
Lecturer: Professor Dr. Thomas Risse, Free University of Berlin.

Jörgen Westerståhl Lecture 2015
Title: The Case for Coercion - And How to Make that Coercion Legitimate
Lecturer: Jane Mansbridge, Adams Professor of Political Leadership and Democratic Values, Harvard University.

Jörgen Westerståhl Lecture 2014
Title: Lorenzettis utfordring og demokratiets århundre.
Lecturer: Johan P. Olsen, Professor Emeritus, ARENA Centre for European Studies, Oslo University.

This year's lecturer is Simon Hix, a Professor of political science at the European University Institute (EUI). The lecture title is "The Dance of European Integration: How Ideology and Policy Shape Public Support for the EU".

Comparing 50 years of public opinion data, Simon Hix will show how the relationship between political ideology and support for European integration has changed dramatically. He develops a novel method for identifying the left-right position of EU policy outcomes and shows how citizens’ ideological distance from these outcomes predicts their support for European integration. This has implications for the design of EU policies going forward.

Simon Hix

Recorded lectures

Video (42:21)
International Norms, Moral Psychology and Neuroscience
Video (48:44)
Political Entrepreneurs: The Rise of Challenger Parties in Europe
Video (51:02)
Why Bother? Rethinking Participation in Elections and Protests
Video (57:06)
Governance in Areas of Limited Statehood: Effective and Legitimate?
Video (55:2)
The Case for Coercion - And How to Make that Coercion Legitimate