Mapping Policy Preferences II: Estimates for Parties, Electors, and Governments in Eastern Europe, European Union and OECD 1990–2003
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H.-D. Klingemann, A. Volkens, J. Bara, I. Budge, and M. McDonald. Oxford University Press, Oxford, 2006, 309pp. ISBN: 0-199296316, £53.00.
Policy preferences of political parties help explain how elections are fought, why people vote for certain parties and why parties form certain coalition governments. If you want to know whether parties represent citizens' views or whether they manage to enact these views, you need data on what parties want. To test whether parties really converge in terms of their policy platforms, as is often argued, one has to analyse policy preferences over time. Moreover, the rise of supranational institutions such as the European Parliament prompts questions that require comparison of party positions across countries.
In the existing literature, there are three approaches to measuring policy positions of political parties: by measuring perceptions of these positions in mass surveys, by using an expert survey or by analysing the content of election manifestos....