WAPOR 71st Annual Conference
27-30 June 2018 ● Marrakesh, Morocco

Public Opinion Research in a Changing World

The political and technological environment in which public opinion research operates has experienced dramatic changes in the past few years. Politically, we have witnessed unrest and wars in many parts of the world, a rise of populism and anti-immigration sentiments in large parts of the Western World, and the threat of escalation in the Korean Peninsula. In situations where public opinion is evenly divided, it has been very difficult for pollsters to accurately predict the final results, like in the UK election of 2015 and the Brexit referendum of 2016, the US 2016 presidential elections and the Israeli 2015 elections. Recent technological developments in the modes of communication – spread of cellular phones and of the internet for example – present new challenges – and offer new possibilities – to survey research. Alternate indicators to polling appear, including indicators from citizens’ activities in online social networks and indicators of their online information seeking. In light of these technological and political changes, traditional public opinion research faces many opportunities and challenges.

The 71st WAPOR Annual Conference program will highlight these issues, namely questions relating to how public opinion operates – and can be measured – in these changing environments and how it should operate in order to better serve society. Paper topics will focus on all aspects of public opinion. These topics include, but are not restricted to:

• Methodological challenges and improvements, including in the areas of sampling, measurement, survey design and survey response or non-response
• Challenges of comparative research and International Survey Projects, cross-cultural concerns in data collection and measurement issues
• New sources of information on public opinion and the use of social media to voice public opinion
• News, media, journalism and public opinion
• Political behavior, participation and culture
• Electoral polls in emerging/incomplete democracies
• Social media, big data, sentiment analysis, and emerging technologies

Queries about the Conference

Questions about the conference should be directed to WAPOR Executive Coordinator Renae Reis (renae@wapor.org).

About the Conference Site

The Grand Mogador Menara in Marrakesh is located in the Hivernage district near the Palais des Congres. The district is a tranquil stretch of local cuisine, luxury hotels, and spacious tree-lined avenues, where quiet days give way to a vibrant nightlife scene for Morocco’s after-hours crowds. The neighborhood is only a short walk away from the Medina’s historic district, where visitors can maneuver winding bazaar-lined streets to reach the food stalls and street performers of the city’s central square—the Djemma El Fna. The hotel is easily reached from the Marrakech airport (RAK-Menara, a 9-min drive). Room rates at the Mogador are MAD 900-1200 for people attending the conference. More information about the hotel, along with a registration link, will be available soon.