European Political Science

, Volume 17, Issue 3, pp 366–377 | Cite as

assessing party membership figures: the mapp dataset

  • emilie van hauteEmail author
  • emilien paulis
  • vivien sierens


Assessments of party decline and decline of traditional forms of political participation often rely on the argument of party membership decline. Most studies analysing trends in party membership over time focus on aggregate country-level data at a few points in time. While they allow grasping general membership trends, they are not without shortcomings. This article presents the Members and Activists of Political Parties (MAPP) dataset related to the MAPP project. The dataset makes a large amount of data on party membership available to the larger public. The dataset provides 6,307 party membership data observations (M) covering 397 parties in 31 countries, mostly between 1945 and 2014. The article discusses the existing literature and data on party membership trends, how membership trends have been assessed so far, and the potential added value of the MAPP dataset.


political parties party membership party organisations 



We would like to thank all country experts who contributed to the data collection: Baras Montserrat, Barberà Oscar, Barrio Astrid, Bennie Lynn, Bolin Niklas, Christophorou Christophoros, Correa Patricia, Cross William, Delwit Pascal, Ennser-Jedenastik Laurenz, Enyedi Zsolt, Espirito Santo Paula, Gauja Anika, Heidar Knut, Holsteyn Joop van, Ikstens Jānis, Indridason Indridi, Ionascu Alexandra, Jastramskis Mažvydas, Jupskås Anders Ravik, Kenig Ofer, Kocijan Bojana, Koole Ruud, Kosiara-Pedersen Karina, Krasovec Alenka, Ladner Andreas, Linek Lukas, Paczesniak Anna, Pettai Vello, Rahat Gideon, Ribeiro Pedro Floriano, Ridder Josje den, Rodriguez Teruel Juan, Sandri Giulia, Soare Sorina, Spier Tim, Voerman Gerrit, Weeks Liam, Westinen Jussi, Zemanik Michal. The MAPP project is supported by the Belgian Fonds National de la Recherche Scientifique (FRS-FNRS) via a MIS grant (Mandat d’Impulsion Scientifique – Incentive Grant for Scientific Research).

Supplementary material

41304_2016_98_MOESM1_ESM.docx (18 kb)
Supplementary material 1 (DOCX 19 kb)
41304_2016_98_MOESM2_ESM.xlsx (806 kb)
Supplementary material 2 (XLSX 807 kb)


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Copyright information

© European Consortium for Political Research 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • emilie van haute
    • 1
    Email author
  • emilien paulis
    • 1
  • vivien sierens
    • 1
  1. 1.Centre d’étude de la vie politiqueUniversité libre de BruxellesBrusselsBelgium

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