This paper deals with some of the theoretical and methodological concerns arising from an in-depth analysis of one of the most successful research groups in comparative politics: the Comparative Manifesto Project. The first part of the paper discusses its theoretical background: the dimensionality of the political space, the operationalisation of the saliency theory and whether through election manifestos it is possible to determine the actual party positions. The second part attempts to contribute to the methodological debate by focusing on generally neglected weaknesses of the CMP’s method with regard to both the classification scheme and the coding procedure. In particular, it shows that it is probably impossible to correct the major problems here identified without destroying their comparability across time and space, since they are so deeply rooted in the CMP’s approach.
Quality & Quantity – Springer Journals
Published: May 15, 2013
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