CSES at APSA 2018

The 2018 annual meeting of the American Political Science Association (APSA) will take place in Boston, August 31 – September 3, 2018. If you’re planning to attend, you may be interested in one or more of the sessions listed below, which make use of CSES data.

This year’s conference theme is: Democracy and Its Discontents.

If you are making a presentation which makes use of CSES data and it does not appear here, please let us know via email to: cses@umich.edu.

When you arrive at APSA, please verify the below room locations in the final conference program, as they are subject to change.

Thursday, August 30, 2018


Panel: Sources of Political Knowledge

10:00 to 11:30 am, Sheraton, Beacon E
Presentation: Decentralization and the Promotion of Locally-Rooted Knowledge
Nicholas J. Clark, Susquehanna University

This paper examines the relationship between decentralization and the public’s knowledge about political affairs, theorizing that more independent regional governments may serve to promote greater political knowledge. Such decentralization brings governance closer to the average citizen, potentially mobilizing a greater sense of political efficacy and providing more opportunities for individuals to observe and learn about the political process.

Panel: Political Economy of Sovereign Debt

Noon to 1:30 pm, Sheraton, Hampton
Presentation: Overindebted Mexico: Does Polarization Affect Debt Policy Decisions?
Heidi Jane M. Smith, Universidad Iberoamericana

This research evaluates Alesina and Tabellini’s polarization theory within the newly democratizing Mexico. By using data from 2000-2014, the study first uses Dalton (2008) measure of polarization, based on voter perceptions of party positions in the Comparative Study of Electoral Systems (CSES), and secondly as the margin of victory in a panel data set with public finance indicators (percentage of total expenditures gathered by Mexico’s National Geography and Statistics Institute (INEGI) and type of debt issuance presented by Mexico’s National Treasury office (Secretaria de Hacienda y Credito Publico –SHCP).

Panel: The Hand of the Past in Political Dynamics: Cohort Effects on Voting Behavior

Noon to 1:30 pm, Marriott, Salon J
Presentation: Authoritarian Legacies and Populist Party Emergence in New Democracies
Anja Neundorf, University of Nottingham; Sergi Pardos, University of Oxford, Merton College

In this paper, the authors present a new theory of party system fragmentation based on the historical legacies of authoritarian regimes. Evidence presented is based on Age-Period-Cohort models using party manifesto data, V-Dem, and pooled CSES survey data. The findings have implications for which types of populism are more successful in some countries than others, and unveils the mechanisms through which dictatorships affect politics long after having disappeared.

Panel: Economic Crisis, Policy, and Time: Beyond the Traditional Valence Voting Models

2:00 to 3:30 pm, Marriott, Tremont
Session Submission Type: Full Paper Panel
Presentation: A Cross-National Analysis of the Positional Economics Thesis
Stephen Patrick Quinlan, GESIS Leibniz Institute for the Social Sciences; Martin Okolikj, KU Leuven

This paper examines the impact of economic policy preferences on the vote in over 30 states. Using Module 4 of the Comparative Study of Electoral Systems (CSES) and hierarchical models, the authors show that economic policy preferences have a strong impact on the vote in many countries.

Friday, August 31, 2018


Panel: Analyzing Japanese Voters in the 2017 Snap Election with the CSES Data

10:00 to 11:30 am, Marriott, Tremont

This panel analyzes the Japanese voting behavior in the 2017 election, and it also introduces Japanese data of the CSES Module 5 (Comparative Study of Electoral System Module 5), which makes it possible to explain Japanese voting behavior from comparative perspective.

This panel includes three presentations:

“Voting Behavior in the 2017 Snap Election” by Masahiro Yamada of Kwansei Gakuin University, analyzes vote choice in Japanese electorate and shows which factors are important as explanatory variables, i.e., economic voting, populism, nationalism, trust to parties, or other issues.

“The Image of Prime Minister in Voters’ Minds” by Yukio Maeda, of Univeristy of Tokyo, analyzes answers in open-ended question about the image of the Prime Minister, Shinzo Abe.

“Lost in Translation?: Testing the Validity of Ideological Scales in Japan” by Airo Hino and Masahisa Endo of Waeda University, focuses on the validity of ideological scales in Japan. By rigorously examining various ideological scales fielded in Japan, the paper sheds light on a possible trade-off between the local lexicons and global and comparable terminologies in voting behavior research in general.

Poster Session I: Elections and Voting Behavior

2:30 to 3:00 pm, Hynes, Hall A
Poster: Divide and Conquer? The Impact of the Rise of Challenger Parties on Voters’ Issue Positions
Julian Hoerner, London School of Economics and Political Science; Sara B Hobolt, London School of Economics

The rise of populist challenger parties has recently received significant scholarly attention. However, little is known about how mainstream parties and centrist voters have reacted to this phenomenon. The paper highlights the impact of the strategies and cues of mainstream parties on centrist voters’ reactions to populist challengers.

Saturday, Sept 1, 2018


Panel: Discontented Citizens and Political Parties

10:00 to 11:30 am, Sheraton, Berkeley
Presentation: Negative Partisanship and Satisfaction with Democracy in the U.S. and Europe
Kristin Kanthak, University of Pittsburgh; Jae-Jae Spoon, University of Pittsburgh

This paper draws on data from the Comparative Study of Electoral Systems (CSES) from 1996-2015 to assess the cross-national effect of negative partisanship on levels of satisfaction with the democratic process in one’s own country. In doing so, the authors hope to shed light on the role negative partisanship might have more broadly on the stability and health of democratic systems worldwide.

Panel: Polarization and Dimensionality in Advanced Industrial Societies

Noon to 1:30 pm, Sheraton, Hampton
Presentation: Party System Polarization Trends: Measuring Change and Identifying Its Causes
G. Bingham Powell, University of Rochester; Sergio Jesus Ascencio Bonfil, University of Rochester

The paper uses CSES perception data, manifesto RILE scores (in two different ways,) and an alternative method of treating the MRG manifesto codes, (proposed by Simon Franzmann and André Kaiser,) to explore the similarities and differences in estimating polarization trends.

Panel: The Role of Gender in Elections

4:00 to 5:30 pm, Marriott, Salon J
Presentation: The Electoral Gender Gap in Cross-National Comparison: Bringing Politics Back In
Rosalind Shorrocks, Department of Politics, University of Manchester

This paper thus aims to bring politics back into the comparative study of gender vote gaps by linking data from the Comparative Study of Electoral Systems (CSES) with macro-level data on party positions from the Comparative Manifesto Project and other databases on political party characteristics such as ParlGov and Chapel Hill.

CSES GESIS-Klingemann Prize Reception

7:30 to 9:00 pm, Sheraton Boston hotel, Hampton room on the third floor

Please join us in honoring André Blais, Eric Guntermann and Marc André Bodet, the winners of the 2018 GESIS Klingemann Prize for the Best CSES Scholarship, for their article “Linking Party Preferences and the Composition of Government: A New Standard for Evaluating the Performance of Electoral Democracy” in Political Science Research and Methods.

The reception will include finger foods, beverages, and a brief presentation of the winning work.

Sunday, Sept 2, 2018


Panel: Mobilization

8:00 to 9:30 am, Marriott, St. Botolph
Presentation: Party Contacting in Comparative Perspective
Tristan Klingelhöfer, Johns Hopkins University; Daniel Schlozman

This paper explores patterns within and across 35 countries in party contacting. Parties directly contact voters as part of their election campaigns in order to increase involvement and garner support at the polls. While there is a long-standing and vibrant literature on the US, this case is far from typical, displaying unusually high levels of contacting. Previous comparative accounts have focused on aggregate cross-national differences in contacting, showing that the pervasiveness of party contacting depends on characteristics of the electoral system and of the party system. We push forward to the individual level, employing multivariate analyses for the countries included in the fourth wave of the Comparative Study of Electoral Systems dataset. Critically, we ask both who contacts and who is contacted. These questions are connected. First, as scholars across democracies have noted, the distinctive challenges facing parties on the left and the right, and the rise of “anti-(party-)system parties” of varying stripe, have reoriented old patterns of loyalties. We want to explore how different parties, at different points across the political spectrum, and with different organizational characteristics, choose which voters to contact. Second, we undertake analysis at the individual level, probing the full battery of variables long critical in explaining political behavior such as income, education, age, and group demographics. Together, these lines of inquiry allow us to understand patterns of contacting both within and across countries. Moreover, by focusing on parties’ decisions to contact, they allow us to forge institutionally-driven explanations for cross-national difference rooted not just in different electoral systems or social structures, but in parties’ own electoral imperatives and views of the electorate that they seek to represent.

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