Navigation – Plan du site

AccueilAppels à contributionsAppels closElectoral geography and sociology...

Electoral geography and sociology: duel or duet?

Deadline : June 30th, 2013

The L'Espace politique journal will publish, during the first semester of 2014, a special issue devoted to the relations between electoral geography and sociology, directed by Joël Gombin (political scientist at CURAPP – UPJV in Amiens, France) and Jean Rivière (geographer at ESO – University of Nantes, France). Exchanges around this topic have already taken place at a workshop organised during the 10th congress of the French Political Science Association (ST 34, Strasbourg, 2011). After the 2012 French electoral cycle, which witnessed several types of original survey designs, this special issue will allow to set up a more comprehensive update on the relations between electoral geography and sociology, more particularly by including other disciplines contributing to the field of electoral studies (e.g., history, psychology, economics, anthropology...).

The aim of this special issue is also to assess the recent developments of electoral geography as well as the new prospects it offers. More widely, it is interested in every approaches of electoral behaviours concerned with their spatial dimension. It is then our goal to open a space – possibly transnational – for exchange, confrontation and discussion between students of elections. The themes we are interested in receiving proposals about include:

- historical and epistemological approaches of the relations between electoral geography and electoral sociology. How did they evolve since Siegfried [1913]'s seminal work? Are there relations similar in each national tradition? Does this distinction make sense outside France? Where is the renewal of French electoral geography standing, since Guillorel [1989]'s and Bussi [1998]'s reports? Is it still relevant to distinguish between electoral geography and electoral sociology? What are the effects of the way GIS and, more broadly, cartographic softwares, geographical databases, spatial modeling methods have become much more widely and easily accessible? Confronted with the limits of decontextualised, individual interview surveys, do sociologists and political scientists use the geographers' tools and reasoning? Reciprocally, are the theoretical and methodological cleavages structuring electoral sociology and political science to be found among geographers as well? To put it otherwise, are disciplines still the main division among students of elections, or are conflicts based on theoretical and methodological frameworks now prevalent?

- we are also interested in papers about new prospects on the relations between the different disciplines in election studies interested in the spatial dimension, whether from a theoretical and epistemological point of view, or with respect to empirical and methodological approaches. Some multidisciplinary research programs, such as Cartelec (, but also developments in methodology such as multilevel modeling, thus open new ways in the collaboration between geographers and sociologists in the study of electoral phenomena. Which directions should they go? What, if any, scientific division of labour ought to be set up? How to make these collaborations durable? What is to be expected, both empirically and theoretically, from them?

- empirical pieces investigating the relations between electoral geography and electoral sociology, and more broadly approaches from other disciplines taking into account the spatial dimension of electoral behaviours and processes. What does taking into account their spatial dimension add to the understanding of electoral behaviours? Are the spatial dimension and the demographic variables to be opposed, for instance? Or do these approaches enrich each other? Should a realistic electoral sociology be contextual, as some recent works suggest [Braconnier, 2010], or is the geographic context a black box sociologists and political scientists ought to avoid [King, 1996]? What kind of data and methodologies are the most relevant?

Paper proposals – no longer than 60,000 characters, footnotes, references and appendix included (see the instructions for authors) – must be sent, by e-mail, before 30th June, 2013, to Joël Gombin ( and Jean Rivière (


Braconnier C. (2010), Une autre sociologie du vote : les électeurs dans leurs contextes : bilan critique et perspectives Lextenso/LEJEP, Paris.

Bussi M. (1998), Éléments de géographie électorale : à travers l’exemple de la France de l’Ouest, Mont-Saint-Aignan, Publ. de l’Université de Rouen.

Guillorel H. (1989), « 70 ans de géographie électorale ». Politix. Revue des sciences sociales du politique, 2[5], p.57–68.

King G. (1996), « Why context should not count ». Political Geography, 15, p.159–164.

Siegfried A. (1913), Tableau politique de la France de l’Ouest sous la troisième République, Paris, Armand Colin.

Haut de page
Rechercher dans OpenEdition Search

Vous allez être redirigé vers OpenEdition Search