POLIS student Edie has been selected to present her research at the International Conference of Undergraduate Research

Congratulations to BA Politics student Edie Fisher who has been selected to present her research to an international audience in eight countries, across five continents.

The International Conference of Undergraduate Research (ICUR) is an annual, two-day academic conference that uses video-conferencing technology to provide undergraduate researchers with a unique opportunity to present and discuss their own research in real-time across the globe.

ICUR challenges undergraduate students to rethink their work in an international context. As a forum, it requires presenters to consider the perspective of students from different backgrounds, and to anticipate what may be shared across cultures and local contexts. This challenge translates to research questions as well, encouraging students to examine global and regional trends in their research field, and how these might conflict with local concerns and specificities.

Edie will present her research entitled:

‘Power Through Song? An Empirical Study of Soft Power Influence within the Great Powers of Europe, through the lens of Voting Trends in the Eurovision Song Contest’.

Edie measures Joseph Nye’s theory of soft power through the Eurovision Song Contest. During the presentation she will highlight her findings that major power status has a negative effect on points received.

Edie's findings suggested that countries with a lower Human Development Index score receive substantially more points, suggesting that Eastern countries - that, on average, have lower scores than Western countries – are more likely to receive more points. Combined with the theory of bloc voting, the results suggest that Eastern countries receive a higher vote share.

Within the Great Powers, Russia can be seen to be exercising the most influence within the contest. These results, coupled with historic mirroring, suggest that Russia is currently the strongest power in Europe.

Find out more about the International Conference of Undergraduate Research.