The Planning Committee of the Comparative Study of Electoral Systems (CSES) is currently working towards finalizing the proposed content of CSES Module 6. The Module’s theme, Representative Democracy under Pressure, has already been approved by the CSES Planning Committee. Given the current events, we are inviting informal proposals for questions to include in Module 6 relating to the political and electoral impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. The pandemic raises various issues and challenges relating to well-being, inequalities, the economy, and democracy, so the potential questions that can be asked are broad.

While we will accept your proposed questions in any format, as many of the following items as possible should ideally be included in proposals:

  1. Title of proposal
  2. A brief overview of the proposal
  3. A brief discussion of the theory and broader literature that the proposal would contribute to
  4. A brief discussion of methodological issues, for instance regarding equivalence across countries
  5. Specific survey questions relevant to the political and electoral consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic. If applicable or available, please include any evidence from the questions having been previously tested elsewhere, as prior testing will make for a stronger application.
  6. Please also suggest any contextual/macro variables which would be necessary to include in the dataset in order to make full use of the proposed questions.

Survey questions which address as many as possible of the following criteria will be more favorably reviewed:

  • The number of questions should be very limited, up to a maximum of 5 questions.
  • Given that Module 6 will be fielded between 2021 and 2025, the questions should be suitable for implementation over a long time period.
  • The potential of the questions to significantly advance science, in particular concerning elections and parties.
  • The suitability of the theme for cross-national comparison and to be run in all participating nations, and not just for established democracies; for a list of nations which have previously participated in CSES please visit this link:
  • The questions being of broad interest to the scientific community, lending itself to a variety of different analyses and allowing for the writing of many papers.
  • The questions should deal directly with the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The CSES is a collaboration of election studies from around the world who volunteer their time and space on their surveys for our modules. Participating election studies must be willing and able to implement all of the content that is included in a CSES module. Any proposal containing specialized designs, for instance, experimental components, should address how the design is possible and feasible to implement across all election studies in a comparative, multi-mode, international setting, in addition to meeting each of the criteria mentioned above.

Please direct your proposals for consideration by the CSES Module 6 Task Force to the following email address:

Proposed questions received on or before July 17, 2020, will be presented for feedback and discussion at a meeting of the CSES Planning Committee in late 2020.

Please be aware that questions may be adapted and modified by the CSES Planning Committee.

Data collection for CSES Module 6 is anticipated to begin sometime in 2021.
For more information about CSES, please visit our website at:
Thank you in advance for your ideas, and for your support of the CSES project!