Thomas König, Bernd Luig
Party Ideology and Legislative Agendas: Estimating Contextual Policy Positions for the Study of EU Decision-Making

European Union Politics, 2012: 13, issue 4, pp. 604-625
ISSN: 1741-2757

This article introduces a novel approach for generating agenda-related estimates of the policy positions of political parties from party manifestos and expert surveys. We show that current party estimates provide for little variation across policy areas and over time. In response, we propose to relate the issue-specific ideological preference profiles of political parties to the legislative context. For the dimensional representation of policy positions of political parties our procedure weights the issue-specific preference profiles by their prominence on the agenda of each policy area. We apply this procedure to EU legislation and locate national political parties on a national/supranational and left/right dimension, which can be used for the analysis of Council decision-making.