There’s no Business like Opinion Polling Business: Conducting Public Opinion Polls in Post-Communist Romania

September 24, 2012 - 17:30 - 19:00
Nador u. 9, Monument Building
Gellner Room(103)
Event type: 
Event audience: 
Open to the Public
Catalin Augustin Stoica

"Since 1990, Romanians (among others in Central and Eastern Europe) have become more and more accustomed with and regular consumers of public opinion polls. Right after the collapse of communism, public opinion polls were met with distrust by the large public and politicians. In the late 1990s and early 2000s, the public distrust in public opinion polls on political topics diminished to a certain extent but it has started again to stir controversy and attract criticism since 2006. Local journalists and other pundits deem virtually all opinion polls “untrue,” “manipulative,” and the work of crooked individuals (pollsters) who have been bought off by various clients. Politicians who do not fare well in current opinion polls also join the choir of critics of public opinion polling. Yet, some of these critics – be they media analysts or politicians – are among the most avid secret consumers of opinion polls. Based on my experience as a pollster in Romania, I examine the social and political spaces in which opinion polls are conducted. The discussion will focus on the social types of political clients of public opinion polls and on the difficulties of conducting this type of research in Romania." (Catalin August Stoica(NSPAS and CURS, Romania))