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: 

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.

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