Comparative Study of Electoral Systems

CSES (Comparative Study of Electoral Systems - CSES) is international collaborative program of elections and electoral behavior research that includes over fifty states worldwide. National teams in these countries conduct research based on identical questionnaire in the period following elections.

Questionnaire and research plan is being developed by CSES Planning Committee that includes most influential scientists in the field of electoral behavior and politics. Afterwards, field work is being conducted by national teams (list of Committee members in the last fourth module is available here).

First module (1996 - 2001) was focused on three main themes: influence of electoral institutions on behavior and understanding of certain processes by the citizens in the period of political and social cleavages and evaluation of democratic institutions and processes.

Second module (2001 - 2006) was focused on elections as a mechanism of governmental control, method of ensuring representativeness of attitudes and opinion of citizens, as well as their content with democracy. 

Third module (2006 - 2011) investigated perceptions and evaluations of electoral offer by the voter. The goal was to determine to which extent political system provides platform for competition of meaningful alternatives. This module provided researchers with an instrument to understand how the voters differentiate political parties as well as information how the context influences this differentiation.

Montenegro was included in fourth module (2011 - 2016) that focuses on issues such are distributive politics and social protection. The goal of the module was to increase knowledge and understanding of voters’ preference in context of wealth and income distribution in the period of limited growth, deficit cuts and austerity. Research was inspired by current economic crises and state politics of budgetary restraints. This research included special battery of questions that aimed to collect information about voters’ mobilization.

CSES archive will be updated with new elections studies in the period by 2016. At the moment first ten studies are available:

  • Austria
  • France
  • Ireland
  • Mexico
  • Montenegro
  • New Zealand
  • Serbia
  • Switzerland
  • Taiwan

Source: Comparative Study of Electoral Systems