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Call for papers for ESRA session
November 25, 2008

Dear CSES Colleagues,

The third European Survey Research Association Conference (ESRA) will be held in Warsaw, Poland, June 29th through July 3rd of 2009. Their website can be visited here:

At this conference, we are organizing a joint session about the Comparative Study of Electoral Systems (CSES) and International Social Survey Programme (ISSP) projects. The session is titled “Comparing Social Survey Data in a Global Perspective. The cases of the CSES and the ISSP.” The description of the session is found below our signature. The call for the session can be visited at the following link:

If you or any of your colleagues would be interested in presenting as part of the session, please send an email to “[email protected]” with a proposed title and abstract. To meet the conference deadline, we must receive your proposals no later than January 15, 2009. We would also be very grateful if you could circulate this call to your own networks.

We are looking forward to hearing from you!

Best wishes,
David A. Howell (CSES) and Knut Kalgraff Skjåk (ISSP)


The Comparative Study of Electoral Systems (CSES) ( and the International Social Survey Programme (ISSP) ( are independent, international research programmes covering more than 40 countries around the world. The CSES conducts new surveys each five-year period, with a common module of questions appearing in each country’s post-election study. The ISSP conducts new surveys annually on topics that are central to the social sciences.

A hallmark of both the CSES and the ISSP is the extensive cross-national collaboration in all stages of the projects. Research agendas, study designs, substantive themes, survey instruments, and methodologies are all developed in close collaboration among the participating countries. These efforts are coordinated by the CSES Planning Committee and the ISSP General Meetings, respectively, whose members are leading international scholars.

This session aims to investigate the issue of equivalence of survey instruments from these two research programmes in a global, cross-cultural context. During the last decade the countries represented in the CSES and the ISSP are increasingly diverse culturally, politically and economically. This has allowed survey instruments originally developed for use in Western European and Anglo-American settings to be applied within a larger framework.

Are the measures in use equivalent in a global context? Have the research programmes succeeded in developing truly international surveys? Or is equivalence only confirmed in regional contexts? If these equivalences and differences are analysed in more depth, what can we learn about the design of survey instruments more generally? And what do the instruments really measure in different cultures?