The Bogota conference: Our annual project meeting was held in Bogota, Colombia, September 21-22, 2018. Most of the conference was devoted to presentations and discussion of preliminary findings based on CNEP data that our various research teams are currently analyzing. Some time, however, was devoted to reviewing the current status of our most recent post-election surveys and making some revisions in our core questionnaire and our data archives.
In accord with our standing policy, eleven surveys were transferred from the password protected segment of this website to the Publicly Available page. The new data sets that are now available to the general public are for Indonesia 2009, South Africa 2009, the Dominican Republic 2010, Spain 2011 and 2015, Mexico 2012 and 2018, the United States 2012, Italy 2013, Kenya 2013, and Colombia 2014. In addition, these data were incorporated into the merged data set (called Merge37) that is also open to all scholars. This merged file includes data from 37 national election surveys. Minor changes in the core questionnaire were also discussed. In order to make room for questionnaire items relating to new or expanded research themes, this “culling” of the questionnaire is necessary. It was proposed that we revise the battery of questions dealing with face-to-face discussion of politics. A working group was created to formulate a proposal for modifying that segment of the questionnaire. In addition, eight other questions that were regarded as of low priority were deleted.
The most recent book produced through the collaborative efforts of our CNEP team of researchers has been published in hardback, paperback and electronic editions by Routledge. Based on data from 26 CNEP surveys through 2008, Voting in Old and New Democracies, ed. by Richard Gunther, Paul A. Beck, Pedro Magalhães and Alejandro Moreno, includes the following chapters:
Chapter 1: Introduction (Pedro C. Magalhães, with Paul A. Beck, Richard Gunther and Alejandro Moreno)
Chapter 2: Global Patterns of Exposure to Political Intermediaries (Paul A. Beck and Richard Gunther)
Chapter 3: Mobilization, Informal Networks and the Social Contexts of Turnout (Pedro C. Magalhães, with Paolo Segatti and Tianjian Shi)
Chapter 4: Value Cleavages Revisited (Alejandro Moreno)
Chapter 5: The Changing Determinants of the Vote (Richard Gunther, Marina Costa Lobo, Paolo Bellucci and Marco Lisi)
Chapter 6: Parties, Elections, Voters and Democracy (Robert Mattes, with Saiful Mujani, R. William Liddle, Tianjian Shi and Yun-han Chu)
Chapter 7: Intermediation, Mobilization, Voting and Citizen Participation: Findings From In-Depth and Longitudinal Analyses of Spain
(Richard Gunther, José Ramón Montero and Hans-Jürgen Puhle)
Chapter 8: Conclusion (Alejandro Moreno, with Paul A. Beck, Richard Gunther and Pedro C. Magalhães)
Previous recent conferences:
In early October 2016, Ohio State University’s Mershon Center, Department of Political Science, and School of Communication hosted a CNEP conference at the Mershon Center focused on the project’s progress to date and plans for the future. Nineteen CNEP collaborators attended the conference, including many long-time participants, as well as new members from Chile, Germany and Russia. The core questionnaire was refined for future CNEP surveys and plans were laid for future meetings. Presentations of preliminary results were made on the following major themes for future research:
- Democratic consolidation and citizen participation
- The meanings of democracy
- The Internet and social networking
- Political parties and the changing dynamics of partisan
- The integrity of the electoral process
- Identity politics
- Value cleavages, value change, and their political implications
- The impact of partisan bias in intermediation
- The impact of economic downturns
- Party contacting and canvassing in election campaigns
- Vote switching
- Electoral behavior in presidential vs. parliamentary systems
- Continuity and change in CNEP countries with multiple surveys
In addition, conferees Thorsten Faas, Olga Kamenchuk, Pedro Magalhães, Robert Mattes, Gerardo Maldonado and Erik Nisbet participated in a panel discussion on The Media in Elections for a campus-wide audience.
The expansion of this project has accelerated. Over the past two years, eleven new surveys have been undertaken: in Iran, Russia, Taiwan and the U.S. in 2016; in France, Germany, Great Britain and Chile in 2017; and in Italy, Colombia and Mexico in 2018. Particularly exciting among these surveys are four parallel 2016-17 surveys conducted after the most recent national elections in the U.S., France, Britain and Germany. In addition to long-standing CNEP common core questions, these surveys added instrumentation on research topics that have emerged as important in the western world (and beyond): populism, the effects of disinformation in election campaigns, and the emergence of new and/or anti-establishment candidates and parties [see https://mershoncenter.osu.edu/news/mershon-news/mershon-affiliates-win-nsf-grant-for-comparative-elections-study.html]. The findings of one facet of this new round of research was so newsworthy as to have been covered in news articles published in The Washington Post, The New York Times, and other press outlets.
Our 2015 conference/workshop was held in Oaxaca, Mexico, July 3-5. This meeting was hosted by the municipal government of Oaxaca and the Instituto Estatal Electoral y de Participación Ciudadana de Oaxaca. At this meeting, revisions in the CNEP IV core questionnaire were discussed and various technical issues were addressed and resolved. The most important of these revisions involved shortening the core questionnaire in an effort to make it easier for both new and continuing country-teams to adopt, particularly by survey teams facing time and space constraints resulting from commitments to other projects (such as CSES and the Global Barometer surveys).
An important goal of the CNEP is to disseminate our research findings not only among the scholarly community but also to the general public and institutions charged with responsibility for guaranteeing the integrity of the electoral process in both long-established and emerging democracies. Accordingly, CNEP principal investigators participated in two public conferences held in conjunction with the Oaxaca meeting. One of these was a Foro internacional sobre procesos electorales (International Forum on Electoral Processes)–a roundtable discussion co-sponsored by the Instituto Estatal Electoral y de Participación Ciudadana de Oaxaca, the Centro de Investigación y Docencia Económicas (CIDE), and the Instituto Tecnológico Autónomo de México. CNEP principal investigators provided country-specific responses to a series of questions based upon their personal experiences and expertise. This conference was held in the historic Francisco de Burgoa Library in Oaxaca, and attracted an audience of nearly 100 members of the general public and Oaxacan state and municipal governments. The other was a full-day conference on “Voters, Elections and Political Intermediation in the World” at the CIDE campus just outside Mexico City.