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: 

We are currently integrating some final datasets into the comparative database and conducting a formal check of the state of data integration. This is carried out mainly at the Swiss data archive FORS and at the Louvain institute; the Mannheim project team serves as an advisory body. A book conference was convened in Brussels in 2016, and the editors are currently dealing with the revised contributions.

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