Welcome to the PIREDEU Candidate Survey Open Forum
Posted 14/4/2008 18:53 (#9)
Subject: Welcome to the PIREDEU Candidate Survey Open Forum

Location: European University Institute

The candidate survey is coordinated by Bernhard Weßels at the Social Science Research Center Berlin (WZB) in Berlin, Germany. The WZB team works in close cooperation with the group at the University of Mannheim, Germany, who does the manifesto study for PIREDEU, and with the country teams supporting the candidate survey.

The goal of the candidate study is to explore mechanisms of recruitment, representational roles, and political representation. The responsible party model can be considered as the theoretical background of this study. Basic research questions involve the impact of organizational and institutional incentive structures (role of parties in recruitment, electoral system characteristics) on the principal-agent relationship in elections and political representation. This involves the investigation of the role of parties and personalization of politics on the candidate side as well as the analysis of congruence between voters and candidates, or elected respectively. For this program, it is necessary to coordinate closely with the question program of the voter survey and with the measurements used in the media and manifesto studies.

The study also aims at some continuity with earlier efforts connected with elections to the European Parliament, i.e., the European Member of National Parliament survey, the Member of the European Parliament survey conducted in 1996, the European Candidate survey of 1994, and earlier candidate surveys.

A compilation of questionnaires of eight comparative studies is provided in the Open Forum. It allows an easy access to a variety of complexes of questions by bookmarks/hyperlinks.

Proposals for the selection of questions from existing questionnaires and new questions are welcome in the Open Forum until June 14, 2008. Afterwards, the research team will formulate a draft questionnaire. From July 2008 until January 2009, the forum will serve as discussion board for feedback and debate on the proposed questionnaire.

There is central funding for the candidate survey. It will be carried out as a mail survey with the option of an online questionnaire for the respondents. For carrying out the survey in 27 countries, support by country collaborators is a necessary condition, in particular with regard to compiling the addresses of candidates, support for reminders, etc.

You can contact the Candidate Survey Team either through the Open Forum, or directly by getting in touch with:


Bernhard Weßels

Social Science Research Center Berlin (WZB)

Research Unit “Democracy”

Reichpietschufer 50

10785 Berlin


Phone: +49-30-25491-315 or -313 (Secr.)

Email: wessels@wzb.eu

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