Personal Campaign Strategies and Political Representation

Research question/goal: 

The crisis of political parties stresses individual representatives as alternative linkages between citizens and the state. This project studies the election campaigns of individual candidates regarding a number of problems that become relevant in this respect. It puts a special emphasis on campaign styles and on the following research questions: How can we systematically describe individualized election campaigns? How do they differ from party driven campaigns? To what degree are we able to observe individualized campaigns in European elections? Which factors foster, which ones hinder the diffusion of individualized election campaigns? Based on a newly developed core questionnaire we coordinate surveys of individual candidates standing for office in national parliamentary elections across Europe and across different incentive structures that might matter to their campaigns.

Current stage: 

A comparative dataset including approximately 50 candidate surveys, conducted with the wave 1 questionnaire of the Comparative Candidates Survey (CCS), has been published by the Swiss data archive FORS. We are currently integrating some 2nd wave surveys for publication in a first-release dataset. With regard to the comparative book on wave one, we have adapted the composition of the editorial team (now de Winter, Schmitt, Karlson) and will submit a book proposal to Routledge in early 2018. This proposal will include an outline, the introduction to the book, and two or three sample chapters.

Fact sheet

University of Mannheim, DFG, Fritz Thyssen Foundation
2005 to 2018
Data Sources: 
Geographic Space: 



Behnke, Joachim, Thomas Gschwend, Delia Schindler and Kai-Uwe Schnapp (Eds.) (2006): Methoden der Politikwissenschaft. Neuere qualitative und quantitative Analyseverfahren. Baden-Baden: Nomos. more