The Programmatic Similarity across European Party Families

24.03.2014 - 12:00
Location : 
A 5,6 Raum A 231
Type of Event : 
AB B-Kolloquium
Dr. Simon Tobias Franzmann
Lecturer affiliation: 
Heinrich Heine Universität Düsseldorf

Are European parties becoming more similar due to organizational ties and the functional pressure of globalization and Europeanization? While recent studies show the impact of party family ties of West European parties influencing the organizational structure of their CEE counter parts (e.g. van dem Berghe/Poguntke/Obert/Tipei 2013), the findings for programmatic convergence remain unclear. Camia/Caramani (2011) diagnose are Europeanization of party systems in the sense, that in each system parties take similar positions on the context specific left-right axis. However, due to the context dependency of left-right (e.g. Koenig et. Al. 2013) statements about programmatic cross-country convergence can hardly be made using left-right unless one has not established measurement equivalence. The presentation shortly evaluates measurement equivalence of Manifesto based left-right indices and proposes an alternative straightforward procedure of estimating programmatic similarity using manifesto data (MARPOR; e.g. Budge et al. 2001). The argument is that due to the comparative coding scheme it is possible to directly assess programmatic similarity beyond left-right statements (Franzmann 2008). A tool for quickly generating similarity measurements between parties of the same country as well as across countries will be introduced. As key hypothesis the hypothetical influence of the government status is discussed. Assumingly, parties in government of the same party family are becoming more similar to each other caused by similar challenges in office and the necessity of cooperation at least in the EURO countries, while opposition parties try to attract votes by focusing on peculiarities of their national electorate. The presentation should be of interest for both scholars interested in European party politics and methodologies analyzing manifesto data.