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COMPARISON OF ELECTORAL MANIFESTOS' ISSUE STRUCTURES IN CONTEMPORARY DEMOCRACIES – THE METHODOLOGICAL PERSPECTIVE

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Author(s): Samo KROPIVNIK

Journal: Journal of Comparative Politics
ISSN 1337-7477

Volume: 6;
Issue: 1;
Start page: 81;
Date: 2013;
Original page

Keywords: political party program | elections | issue positions | issue domains | MARPOR | comparative studies | country profiles | Euclidean distances | Galaxy | agglomerative hierarchical clustering | k-means clustering

ABSTRACT
From methodological perspective we address a substantive question of political science research. What are similarities and differences in issue structures in contemporary democracies? Issue structures are recognized on the basis of the content of national electoral programmes (manifestos) in the period from 1992 to 2003. In analyses, we use multivariate clustering methods first to obtain groups of countries as aggregates of manifestos and then to obtain groups of manifestos. Eventually countries are categorised drawing on the importance of four different types of manifestos in a country. The results are, whenever possible, graphically presented as line graphs, dendrograms and a galaxy. We find out that only in some countries manifestos clearly belong to one dominant type, and therefore only these countries make sense as aggregates of manifestos in comparative studies. Unfortunately for studies taking countries merely as aggregates of manifestos, the heterogeneous countries are in majority.
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