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APSA Short Course
New Opportunities, New Challenges: The CSES & EES Data Sets
Wednesday, September 2, 2009, 9:30am – 5:00pm
Toronto Convention Centre Room 202A, Toronto, Canada

This course is free, but registration is required.
Please register with Jill Wittrock (email: [email protected]).

The CSES and PIREDEU are offering a joint short course on electoral research using data from the Comparative Study of Electoral Systems (CSES) and the European Election Studies (EES) series. The CSES is a collaborative program of research among election study teams from around the world. The CSES is unique among comparative post-electoral studies because of the extent of cross-national collaboration at all stages of the project: the research agenda, the survey instrument, and the study design are developed by the CSES Planning Committee, and this design is then implemented in each country as part of their national post-election studies. The resulting data are deposited along with voting, demographic, district and macro variables. The PIREDEU project aims to design an infrastructure for research into citizenship, political participation and electoral democracy in the member states of the EU. The goal of PIREDEU is to provide a comprehensive empirical database under the auspices of the EES. In the field of electoral studies, the EES is one of the very few cross-system, cross-temporal datasets, and the only comparative data project that combines cross-national voter surveys with elite, media, manifesto and contextual data.

The CSES contributors will provide participants with a broad overview of the rich data set that constitutes the CSES, to develop an appreciation of the wide variety of research questions that can be addressed with CSES data, and to explore some of the methodological challenges that are involved in using multi-level data. The ESS contributors will provide participants an introduction to the content and the analytical possibilities of the EES as an instrument of comparative studies on electoral politics, political parties, political behavior, representation and European integration. The topics covered will include the different components of the EES, information on the contents of available data, and a discussion of the methodological possibilities and challenges related to the use of this data set. During the afternoon session, the instructors will assist participants on issues and concerns that arise in their own research.

The short course is ideally suited for both graduate students and faculty members who are working in these areas and who would like to know more about the current state of cross-national electoral research. You may find more information about CSES at and PIREDEU at

John Aldrich, Duke University (CSES)
David Howell, University of Michigan (CSES)
Jessica Fortin, GESIS (CSES)
Mark Franklin, EUI (EES)
Jill Wittrock, University of Oxford (EES)

Preliminary Schedule:
9:30 – 9:45 … Check-in and registration
9:45 – 10:00 … Introductory remarks & plan for the day
10:00 – 11:15 … CSES: introduction and using the data
11:15 – 11:20 … Break
11:20 – 12:30 … EES: introduction and using the data
12:30 – 2:00 … Lunch break
2:00 – 3:30 … Data issues unique to the CSES and EES
3:30 – 5:00 … Discussion of individual projects

We hope to see you there!