UCL Uncovering Politics

Voter Information

Episode Summary

Is more information for voters always unambiguously a good thing?

Episode Notes

Many of us are very concerned about the quality of information that’s available to voters during election and referendum campaigns. Misinformation and manipulation appear to be rampant, and voters can struggle to find the information that they want from sources they trust. Few people would doubt the importance in democracy of ensuring that voters can hear a wide range of different viewpoints and that information is accurate, accessible, and relevant to people’s lives and priorities.

But is more information for voters always unambiguously a good thing? Recent research by one of our colleagues suggests not. That research is by Dr Inken von Borzyskowski, who is Lecturer in Global Policy and International Relations here at UCL, working with Patrick Kuhn from Durham University. Inken and Patrick find that, in places where electoral violence is a real possibility, having more information may actually have some serious negative side effects. And their analysis also offers a cautionary tale for the methods of political research.

Host: Dr Alan Renwick

Dr Inken von Borzyskowski

Dr Adam Harris