Comparative Electoral Research
The first research program of the MZES (1991-2) set comparative electoral research as a medium-term research emphasis for Working Group II. As a result, significant individual projects were launched that resulted in the comparative election study of 1990 (completed) and the EU election study of 1994 (in progress). In addition, the following tasks were addressed by this Working Group:
- Working up the major results as well as presenting the ongoing questions posed in national electoral studies programs in the countries of Western Europe. These are primarily the responsibility of Hermann Schmitt. The fruits of this work may be found in the issues of the ICORE Newsletter as well as in the organization of various lectures on this topic.
- Evaluating the preliminary study conducted by the MZES of the 1994 German parliamentary election. This study ensured that the central indicators regarded by the research group as necessary for comparative research on voting behavior in multi-party systems (policy preferences, perception of party positions, expectation of parliamentary coalition, and party preference profiles) were also available for a German parliamentary election.
- The role national public opinion plays in the preference formation of governments in international negotiations. After an initial conceptualization phase, Paul Thurner has begun examining international negotiations with an eye to suitability. The negotiations over Maastricht II appear to be a particularly good example, as one can expect that the respective national publics will engage in debates over aspects of the negotiation agenda.