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The Voice of the People?: Europe, Democracy and the Eurovision Song Contest

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February 27, 2015 at 13:00
Dvorana Zemljepisnega muzeja, Gosposka 16, Ljubljana

Established in 1956, the Eurovision Song Contest is the world’s largest popular music event and one of the most popular television programmes in Europe. As it is based on national entries, Eurovision provides case studies of how states promote themselves to a pan-European audience, and its voting results are often interpreted as a measure of how different national publics perceive each other. Throughout its history, the voting system in the contest has undergone many changes but has remained controversial, especially with regards to tensions between big and small states and the role of expert versus public voting. As Eurovision marks its sixtieth edition this year, what can its voting tell us about democracy in contemporary Europe?


Dr. Dean Vuletic is a historian who specialises in contemporary Europe. He is currently a Marie Curie Fellow in the Department of East European History at the University of Vienna, where he is working on the project “Eurovision: A History of Europe through Popular Music.” He is writing a book and teaching a course about the significance of the Eurovision Song Contest for the history of Europe. Dr. Vuletic's research has been published in several books and journals, and he has been interviewed about it in various European media outlets. Dr. Vuletic has also taught at Columbia University, New York University and the European University Institute, where he was a Max Weber Post-Doctoral Fellow from 2010 to 2012. He was awarded his doctorate in history from Columbia University in 2010, and he also has a Master’s degree in East European Studies from Yale University, where he was a Fulbright Scholar, and a Bachelor’s degree in European Studies from the Australian National University.