From October 12th to 14th, the VII WAPOR Latin-American Conference was held in the city of Monterrey, México. The event took place in the facilities of the Faculty of Political Science and Public Administration of the Autonomous University of Nuevo León, congregating the most recognized professionals in the public opinion research field.
A total of 208 presentations were given at the conference, in 51 panels, plus two keynote talks delivered by specialists of the National Elections Institute (INE). Around 200 speakers attended from universities and institutions of 11 countries: Colombia, Brazil, Peru, Chile, Argentina, Ecuador, Canada, United States, Uruguay, Spain and Mexico. Three languages from the continent became present at the meetings: Portuguese, English and Spanish.
The conference was organized around three main panels, highlighting known personalities of public opinion studies in Latin-America and the world: Alejandro Moreno, Manuel Mora y Araujo, John Sudarsky, Ignacio Zuasnabar, William “Chip” Eveland, Dhavan Shah, Hernando Rojas, Elizabeth Zechmeister, Mariano Torcal y Gerardo Maldonado, were some of the names present in those working sessions.
On behalf of the National Elections Institute (INE), Arturo Sanchez, electoral counselor, and Paula Ramirez, advisors coordinator of the Executive Secretariat, shared with the audience a reflection on the role of the Institute in the consolidation of the Mexican democracy. The officials also referred to electoral surveys as a tool that gives certainty to the electoral processes, and stated that surveys must operate within a legal framework that guarantees the impartiality and the methodological rigor of such instruments.
It is important to highlight the special attention that the conference gave to the participation of young researchers. The first day of the conference was dedicated to the fourth edition of the Young Researchers Journey, gathering 36 presentations in nine panels. The presentation of Sebastian Rivera, masters-degree student, excelled among others. His talk, entitled: “Politics personalization and presidential assessment, Chile 2006-2016”, was awarded the Marcus Figueiredo Prize, granted by the Brazilian Association of Survey Companies (ABEP).
Likewise, Dr. David Sulmont of the Catholic University of Peru was awarded the Edgardo Catterberg Prize for his presentation entitled “Attitudes towards economy and the rule of law, and its relation to electoral behavior: Peru 2016”. This prize recognizes the best paper presented in the WAPOR Latin American Conference.
Some of the innovative discussions held in the event swirled around the rising role of social media in the public sphere, framing in traditional mass media, citizens’ trust in Latin American government institutions, and the role of surveys in electoral affairs. On the last subject, a special emphasis was made on the fails and successes of surveys in the last Mexican elections.
Six books were presented with state of the art approaches on politics and opinion from a variety of angles. As a matter of fact, the diversity of focuses was a characteristic of this conference were a single subject —public opinion— was the motive of sociological, communications, psychological, statistical, and political studies.
You can find more information about the conference on conference the website and you can also view some of the panels via YouTube. Below you will find a collection of photos, to see more photos related to the conference, visit the Facebook page.