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March 31, 2017

Dear Comparative Study of Electoral Systems (CSES) user community,

We are very pleased to announce that Dani Marinova of the Autonomous University of Barcelona is the winner of the 2017 GESIS Klingemann Prize for the Best CSES Scholarship, for her book "Coping with Complexity: How Voters Adapt to Unstable Parties" published by ECPR press.

There will be a reception to honor Dani and her work on Friday June 23, 2017 at 12:30pm in Milan, Italy at the 7th Annual General Conference of the European Political Science Association (EPSA). The reception will include refreshments and a brief presentation of the winning work.

This year's Selection Committee consisted of Aida Just (Chair) of Bilkent University in Turkey, Stephen Quinlan of the GESIS - Leibniz Institute for the Social Sciences in Germany, and Carlos Shenga of the Centre for Research on Governance and Development (CPGD) in Mozambique. The Selection Committee described their selection of the winning work as follows:

"Instability of political parties and party systems has become a notable feature of many contemporary democracies. Today political parties emerge, fuse, split, and die off not only in newer democracies, but also in established ones. Marinova's Coping with Complexity is a timely contribution on a highly salient phenomenon: the emergence of new party organizations and reshuffling of pre-existing ones. It offers a systematic account of party instability and its consequences for citizen electoral behavior. Drawing on insights from a wide range of studies in political psychology and party organizations, Marinova argues that party instability makes it more difficult for voters to acquire information relevant to elections. It also alters voters' decision-making strategies in response to increased complexity of their electoral environment. Drawing extensively on CSES Modules 1-3 and fusing it with original data on party and party system instability from established and newer democracies 1987-2011, Marinova finds that party instability leads to low-information environment where citizens are more likely to engage in directional-intensity rather than proximity voting, and are more likely to rely on candidate characteristics when casting their votes. Moreover, she shows that citizens are less likely to employ retrospective economic evaluations in their vote choice if parties undergo significant organizational changes."

"This is a theoretically innovative and empirically rigorous study that challenges and refines principal theories of political behavior, including economic voting, proximity voting and the use of informational heuristics. Moreover, it provides a richer insight into the relationship between voters and political parties, as well as opens avenues for future comparative research. Coping with Complexity therefore constitutes an important contribution to knowledge in the field of political behavior that is based on in all respects a commendable and impressive use of the CSES."

The CSES would like to thank the Selection Committee for their work, and the many persons who nominated works for consideration. We furthermore thank the GESIS - Leibniz Institute for the Social Sciences for their sponsorship and support of the prize since its establishment in 2011.


The GESIS Klingemann Prize for the Best CSES Scholarship is awarded for best CSES scholarship (paper, book, dissertation, or other scholarly work, broadly defined) published or finalized in the calendar year prior to the award. The prize is named in honor of Professor Doctor Hans-Dieter Klingemann, an internationally renowned political scientist, major contributor to comparative research, and co-founder of the CSES project.