Individual Responses to International Democratizing Action (IRIDA)

Research question/goal: 

This project focuses on the field of international democracy promotion and has three aims: conceptual innovation, data gathering and hypotheses testing. First, it conceptualizes the types of outside democratizing actions: evaluations (whether electoral competition functioned in a desirable manner) and interventions (conditioning benefits on the content of the evaluation). The project develops a theory of how the different combinations of actions affects individual attitudes toward the state of democratic rights, toward particular political parties and toward the outside actor/s. The theory suggests that a respondents’ attitude toward the governing party and toward the foreign actor, together with the expectation of benefits from agreeing with the outsider’s position, dictate individual responses. Second, in order to collect data, representative surveys will be conducted in Hungary, Slovakia, Serbia, Bosnia, Ukraine and Turkey. Third, the new data will allow researchers to test hypotheses about who changes their mind and in what ways if outsiders intervene in a democracy. European and German foundations (DFG) will be approached for funding this 3-year project.

Current stage: 

In 2018, the data collection was concluded and a first manuscript was completed with several current and former MZES scholars (Johannes Bubeck, Ashrakat Elshehawy, Kai Jäger, Nikolay Marinov, and Federico Nanni). The study shows that the United States and other Western Democracies are more likely to support free and fair elections abroad if the opposition takes a pro-Western stance. The manuscript was submitted to the journal “International Organization” in September 2018. Further collaborative studies based on the data collection are planned for 2019.

Fact sheet

2014 to 2020
Data Sources: 
representative surveys
Geographic Space: 
Hungary, Slovakia, Serbia, Bosnia, Ukraine and Turkey