Party Positions from Wikipedia Classifications of Party Ideology
2023, Herrmann, Michael, Döring, Holger
We develop a new measure of party position based on a scaling of ideology tags supplied in infoboxes on political parties’ Wikipedia pages. Assuming a simple model of tag assignment, we estimate the locations of parties and ideologies in a common space. We find that the recovered scale can be interpreted in familiar terms of “left versus right.” Estimated party positions correlate well with ratings of parties’ positions from extant large-scale expert surveys, most strongly with ratings of general left–right ideology. Party position estimates also show high stability in a test–retest scenario. Our results demonstrate that a Wikipedia-based approach yields valid and reliable left–right scores comparable to scores obtained via conventional expert coding methods. It thus provides a measure with potentially unlimited party coverage. Our measurement strategy is also applicable beyond Wikipedia.
Evaluating Scripting Languages : How Python Can Help Political Methodologists
2008, Döring, Holger
Political methodologists tend to make passionate statements about their software tools. The PolMeth mailing list frequently gives strong advocacy for the use of Linux, LATEX, Emacs and other specific programmes. For statistical analysis R has become the mainstream programming language. However, frequent encouragements to use PHP for web purposes or Perl for various scripting tasks highlight the need for a major scripting language beside R. Once political scientists need systematic parsing of markup languages or have to generate web presentations from their data, R quickly reaches its limits. For me, Python has become my favourite scripting language of choice. Having had some previous exposure to C, Java, PHP and Perl, Python turned out to meet all my needs for software development, that R can not fulfil. So let me introduce you to the beauty of Python.
The Composition of the College of Commissioners : Patterns of Delegation
2007, Döring, Holger
Recent theoretical studies question the view that the European Commission is a preference outlier. This paper addresses this question by discussing the composition of the European College of Commissioners and by focusing on the appointment process. The analysis is based on a data set that contains biographical information for all Commissioners since 1958. The analysis highlights the importance of Commissioners party affiliation and their previous political positions. Multivariate regression analysis shows that smaller member states have tended to send more highranking politicians to the College of Commissioners than have larger member states. However, party affiliation has not become more important as an appointment criterion. What has changed with time has been not the party link but the calibre of positions held by Commissioners before they are appointed to the College.
Electoral and Mechanical Causes of Divided Government in the European Union
2008, Manow, Philip, Döring, Holger
Voters who participate in elections to the European Parliament (EP) apparently use these elections to punish their domestic governing parties. Many students of the EU therefore claim that the party political composition of the Parliament should systematically differ from that of the EU Council. This study shows that opposed majorities between council and parliament may have other than simply electoral causes. The logic of domestic government formation works against the representation of more extreme and EU-skeptic parties in the Council, whereas voters in EP elections vote more often for these parties. The different locations of Council and Parliament are therefore caused by two effects: a mechanical effect relevant for the composition of the Council when national votes are translated into office and an electoral effect in European elections. The article discusses the implications of this finding for our understanding of the political system of the EU and of its democratic legitimacy.