CSES at ECPR 2017

Are you attending the 2017 general conference of the European Consortium for Political Research (ECPR) in Oslo during September 6 – 9?  If so, you may be interested to attend one or more of the below presentations, panels and poster sessions which make use of CSES data.

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


Panel: Measuring Rising Forms of Political Participation
Thursday September 7, 11:00 am, Building BL27 Georg Sverdrups hus Room: GS 2531

Presentation:  Mapping Online Political Participation Across Europe: A Comparative Study of How and why Europeans Get Engaged on the Internet
Wiebke Drews, European University Institute

Modern democracies are faced with stagnant or even decreasing levels of political participation, yet the advent of the Internet, and more specifically of social media, nurtured hopes about a revival of political activism because they decrease transaction and participation costs. The paper is a comparative study of how Europeans participate on the Internet by investigating different forms of engagement (quality) and their frequency (quantity). Moreover, it explains cross-national diversity by connecting micro-level aspects of resources and demographics with macro-level institutional factors.

Panel: Expressing Dissatisfaction
Thursday September 7, 3:50 pm, BL20 Helga Engs hus Room: HE U35

Presentation: Don’t Forget the Supply Side: Dissatisfaction, Volatility, and the Anti-Establishment Vote
Remko Voogd, University of Amsterdam; Ruth Dassonneville, University of Montreal

This paper connects three very pronounced developments that have been taking place in most Western Democracies over the last decades: ‘increasing distrust in political actors’, ‘rising electoral volatility’ and ‘growing support for anti-establishment parties’. Empirically it has been observed that political disaffection motivates voters to increasingly start to switch their voting choices. At the same time, dissatisfied voters are also said to be the most likely voters of anti-establishment parties in whom they find a voice against the established political forces whom they distrust. While there is some general evidence for both propositions on the individual level, we argue that they might also be contradictory under certain supply side conditions. Continue reading “CSES at ECPR 2017”

CSES at APSA 2017

Are you attending the 2017 annual meeting of the American Political Science Association (APSA) in San Francisco during August 31 – September 3?  If so, you may be interested to attend one or more of the below presentations, panels and poster sessions which make use of CSES data.

This year’s conference theme is: The Quest for Legitimacy: Actors, Audiences and Aspirations

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


Panel: Media Diversity and Media Freedom
Friday September 1, 8:00 to 9:30am, Hilton Union Square, Continental Parlor 2

Presentation:  Increasing Media Diversity and Political Knowledge Gaps: A Longitudinal Study
Atle Haugsgjerd, University of Oslo; Stine Hesstvedt, University of Oslo; Rune Karlsen, Institute for Social Research

Recent dramatic events such as the “Brexit” referendum in England and the electoral victory of Trump in the US election testify to the dramatic impact of an increasing gap between “insiders” accustomed to modern politics and “outsiders” feeling detached from the political system. We investigate what role the disruptive changes in the political communication systems play in this process. Combining CSES survey data with media system data (level of media diversity) we study if polarization in political knowledge has increased in the period from the mid-1990s until today and the role of media fragmentation. Continue reading “CSES at APSA 2017”

The Tough Decision to Remove Political Knowledge from the CSES Module 5

The Tough Decision to Remove Political Knowledge from the CSES Module 5
By Elisabeth Gidengil and Elizabeth Zechmeister

Political information questions will be absent from the CSES core module for the first time with the 5th installment of the CSES module. The CSES Planning Committee’s Political Knowledge Subcommittee[1] reached this decision despite shared agreement that political knowledge is a venerated workhorse in the field of voter choice. Differences exist among those high and low in political knowledge in numerous domains, such as economic voting behavior and the use of heuristic aids in voting decisions (though exceptions exist). Given the significance of this concept to scholars of political behavior, voting, and elections, we have some explaining to do.

Evaluation of Past CSES Political Knowledge Batteries

The first task of the Political Knowledge Subcommittee was to evaluate the effectiveness of past political knowledge modules as comparative indicators of political sophistication in the CSES project. We first considered the degree to which previous modules had resulted in sufficient variation in scores within countries to allow for meaningful analysis. Delli Carpini and Keeter (1993) recommend that the level of difficulty vary between 30% and 70% correct answers on the items to be included in a political knowledge index in order to achieve sufficient differentiation.

The first three CSES modules sought to achieve adequate variation by instructing local investigators to select one question that two thirds would answer correctly, one question that half would answer correctly and one question that only one third would answer correctly. This approach was deemed a failure (Elff 2009). In module 2, for example, only seven countries achieved the desired distribution of correct answers. Continue reading “The Tough Decision to Remove Political Knowledge from the CSES Module 5”

Announcing CSES Module 5

Announcing CSES Module 5:
Democracy Divided? People, Politicians and the Politics of Populism
Post prepared by John Aldrich, David Howell, and Stephen Quinlan

The Comparative Study of Electoral Systems (CSES) project is delighted to announce the launch of its fifth module, designed on the theme of Democracy Divided? People, Politicians and the Politics of Populism.  The CSES Module 5 questionnaire will be included in national post-election surveys around the world during the years 2016 through 2021.

CSES Module 5 was discussed, revised, and approved during a Plenary Session of CSES collaborators which was held in August 2016 in Philadelphia, United States, just before the annual meeting of the American Political Science Association.  The Plenary Session was attended by 44 persons representing 36 different national election studies and included a number of presentations followed by intensive discussion. Each subcommittee of the Planning Committee presented their work, and these are noted below. The Plenary included presentations on a CSES bibliography and on pretesting of the proposed (and subsequently approved) new module, each of which were conducted by the CSES Secretariat.

Group Photo from Plenary Session
Group Photo from 2016 Plenary Session (Philadelphia, United States)

Continue reading “Announcing CSES Module 5”

CSES at APSA 2016

Are you attending the 2016 annual meeting of the American Political Science Association (APSA) in Philadelphia during September 1-4?  If so, you may be interested to attend one or more of the below presentations and panels which make use of CSES data.

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


Panel: Get it Right the First Time: Preferences for Leader Responsiveness and Reform
Thursday September 1st, 8:00 to 9:30am, Marriott, Salon I

Presentation: The Impact of Electoral- & Party-systems on Congruence from a Micro-perspective
Mirjam Dageförde, Sciences Po Paris

The principle of representation is organizing principle of modern large-scale democracies but faces to be criticized as the ongoing critical discourse about a presumed “crisis of representation” indicates. Mainly, the quality of representation is analyzed from an objective point of view and from a macro-perspective in terms of congruence.

Panel: Congruent Representation?
Thursday, September 1st, 10:00 to 11:30am, Marriott, Meeting Room 502

Presentation: Citizen Perceptions, Manifesto Statements, Failures of Ideological Congruence
Bingham Powell, University of Rochester

Many versions of democratic theory expect competitive elections to link the preferences of citizens to the policies of the governments that they elect. Considerable agreement has emerged on the causal chain that theoretically should connect citizens and their governments. But there are various points at which the chain can break. Continue reading “CSES at APSA 2016”

CSES: A Short History and New Challenges

CSES: a short history and new challenges
Jacques Thomassen


The launch of the new Comparative Study of Electoral Systems (CSES) blog is a perfect occasion to reflect upon CSES’ 22 years history and its future challenges. CSES was a joint initiative of the established election studies in a number of European countries, since 1989 joined in ICORE, and the American National Election Studies. It was kicked off in a memorable conference in Berlin in 1994.

The pièce de résistance at this meeting was a stimulus paper written by representatives from the established election studies in Western Europe and the US. This paper focused on the effect of political institutions on political behavior and the mechanisms of representative democracy. This focus lead to a fierce debate. Representatives from developing democracies argued that the paper hardly took into account the specific problems new democracies were facing. They wanted to know what kind of political institutions would enhance people’s support for democracy. As a consequence the impact of political institutions on people’s support for democracy became a second main research topic.

Ever since its tumultuous start CSES has been a tremendous success, both from an organizational and substantive perspective. We have learned  a lot more about the impact of electoral institutions both on political behavior and people’s assessment of the performance of democracy. But what we have learned might be a bit disappointing for whoever might have thought that CSES would find us the Holy Grail containing the toolbox to design the best possible political institutions for an effective and sustainable system of representative democracy. Continue reading “CSES: A Short History and New Challenges”

About the CSES blog

Welcome to the new blog of the Comparative Study of Electoral Systems (CSES) project!

Through the blog, we are excited to provide a different glimpse into the work of the CSES project and its many associated scholars and broad user community. Through the blog you’ll be able to discover research that uses CSES data, learn about our election study collaborators that are located around the world,  get updates on data collection from the field, read about and discuss national elections, and receive updates about CSES and the world of comparative academic social science research more generally.

We hope you enjoy the blog! Please feel free to send comments, suggestions, and ideas to: cses@umich.edu

Yioryos Nardis and David Howell
Comparative Study of Electoral Systems (CSES)
Web: www.cses.org
Email: cses@umich.edu