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 regard. 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: 

This project provides the theoretical framework in which the Comparative Candidate Survey (CCS) is conducted. The international CCS research group in 2013 has entered its second round of data collection. First wave data were integrated in large part at the MZES, and a comparative data set based on survey data from about 20 national studies has been made available by the Swiss data archive FORS (Lausanne). A second round questionnaire has been agreed in early 2013. An English language book reporting on the round one findings is currently being prepared (eds. Lieven de Winter, Georg Lutz and Hermann Schmitt).

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