Personal Campaign Strategies and Political Representation
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.
The project is currently involved in data harmonisation and integration of the first wave of the Comparative Candidates Survey (CCS). This is largely done at the Swiss data archive FORS; the Mannheim project team serves merely as an advisory body. In addition, a book proposal has been elaborated in early 2015 and the editors are currently dealing with the contributors. A final book conference is planned for late spring/early summer 2016.