the ideology of heads of government, 1870–2012

Abstract

This Note introduces the Heads of Government dataset, which provides summary information about the ideological orientation of heads of government (left, center, or right, with separately provided information about religious orientation) in 33 states in Western Europe, the Americas, and the Asia–Pacific region between 1870 and 2012. The Note also describes some intriguing empirical patterns when it comes to over-time changes in the political prominence of left-wing, centrist, and right-wing parties.

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Figure 1

Note: The entries are proportions of observations, by ideology category in the Heads of Government database. Entries on the diagonal indicate coding agreement; off-diagonal elements indicate disagreement.

Figure 2

Note: The entries are proportions of observations, by ideology category in the Heads of Government database. Entries on the diagonal indicate coding agreement; off-diagonal elements indicate disagreement.

Figure 3

Note: The entries are proportions of observations, by ideology category in the Heads of Government database. Entries on the diagonal indicate coding agreement; off-diagonal elements indicate disagreement.

Figure 4
Figure 5

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Correspondence to Johannes Lindvall.

Appendix: Variables in the dataset

Appendix: Variables in the dataset

In this appendix, we define all the variables that are included in the Heads of Government dataset. We provide two versions. The main dataset is in the country-year format and concentrates on the head of government that was in office during the greater part of the year. We also provide a dataset in the leader-year format (similar to that of the Archigos dataset of political leaders, Goemans et al, 2009), but we do not provide data on the ideology of leaders who were only in power for a few months.2

cname. The name of the country, using naming conventions derived from the QOG dataset (Teorell et al, 2012).

ccode. A three-digit numeric country code based on the ISO 3166-1 standard system.

ccodecow. A numeric country code based the classification by the Correlates of War project.

ccodeiso. A three-letter country code based on the ISO 3166 alpha-3 system.

year. The year.

hogname. The name of the head of government (president, prime minister, chancellor, etc.).

hogid. A unique identifier code for individual head of governments, consisting of the three-letter country code and the last name of the head of government (and, in the event that several heads of government from one country had the same last name, a counter).

archigos leadid. The leader identification code used by the Archigos database (Goemans et al, 2009) (included to simplify the combination of information from the two databases).

hogideo. The ideological orientation of the head of government. The variable takes five values: R(ight), L(eft), C(enter), O(ther), or NA. We use the ‘Other’ category if the head of government’s ideological position does not fit into either of the three main ideologies or if we have insufficient information (for example, if there are competing wings within the head of government’s party and his or her own ideological position cannot be determined).3 We use the code ‘NA’ if there is no head of government.

hogrel. This variable takes the value 1 for heads of government with explicitly Christian platforms, 0 for all others. Whether the state is secular and whether the leader him or herself is Christian does not in itself determine the coding. Empirically, most of the Christian heads of governments that we identify belong to Catholic or other Christian parties before the Second World War or to Christian democratic parties after the Second World War.

hogindate. The date the head of government took office. Most of these data, but not all, are derived from Goemans et al (2009).

hogoutdate. The date the head of government left office. Most of these data, but not all, are derived from Goemans et al (2009).

hogtenure. The overall length of tenure of the head of government in office in days.

hogtenureyear. The total number of days in office during the calendar year.

hogcandnr. The order of heads of government within a country-year with respect to the number of days in office (hogcandnr = 1 thus identifies the head of government with the longest time in office during the calendar year).

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Brambor, T., Lindvall, J. the ideology of heads of government, 1870–2012. Eur Polit Sci 17, 211–222 (2018). https://doi.org/10.1057/s41304-017-0124-9

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Keywords

  • heads of government
  • political parties
  • ideology