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Analyzing party competition through the comparative manifesto data: some theoretical and methodological considerations


  • Mattia Zulianello



This paper deals with some of the theoretical and methodological concerns arising from an in-depth analysis of one of the most successful research groups in comparative politics: the Comparative Manifesto Project. The first part of the paper discusses its theoretical background: the dimensionality of the political space, the operationalisation of the saliency theory and whether through election manifestos it is possible to determine the actual party positions. The second part attempts to contribute to the methodological debate by focusing on generally neglected weaknesses of the CMP’s method with regard to both the classification scheme and the coding procedure. In particular, it shows that it is probably impossible to correct the major problems here identified without destroying their comparability across time and space, since they are so deeply rooted in the CMP’s approach. Copyright Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2014

Suggested Citation

  • Mattia Zulianello, 2014. "Analyzing party competition through the comparative manifesto data: some theoretical and methodological considerations," Quality & Quantity: International Journal of Methodology, Springer, vol. 48(3), pages 1723-1737, May.
  • Handle: RePEc:spr:qualqt:v:48:y:2014:i:3:p:1723-1737
    DOI: 10.1007/s11135-013-9870-0

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Mikhaylov, Slava & Laver, Michael & Benoit, Kenneth R., 2012. "Coder Reliability and Misclassification in the Human Coding of Party Manifestos," Political Analysis, Cambridge University Press, vol. 20(01), pages 78-91, December.
    2. repec:cup:apsrev:v:64:y:1970:i:04:p:1033-1053_13 is not listed on IDEAS
    3. Anthony Downs, 1957. "An Economic Theory of Political Action in a Democracy," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 65, pages 135-135.
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    Cited by:

    1. repec:zbw:espost:172197 is not listed on IDEAS
    2. Kostas Gemenis, 2015. "An iterative expert survey approach for estimating parties’ policy positions," Quality & Quantity: International Journal of Methodology, Springer, vol. 49(6), pages 2291-2306, November.
    3. repec:zbw:esmono:175436 is not listed on IDEAS


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