Recent Research Interests

Rational Choice/Area Studies/Democratic Transition in Korea (Click)

Measures of Ideology and Democratic Performance
(For Actual Data, Click on "Datasets" tab above) 
Over the years Richard Fording of the University of Alabama and I have developed various measures of ideology based on Comparative Manifestos Data Set (Kim and Fording 1998, 2001, 2002, 2003). They include:

The Kim-Fording Measure of Party Ideology
The Kim-Fording Measure of Voter Ideology
The Kim-Fording Measure of Parliament Ideology I (A Weighted-Mean Version)
The Kim-Fording Measure of Parliament Ideology II (A Median Version). 
The Kim-Fording Measure of Government Ideology
The Kim-Fording Measure of Democratic Performance

All of these measures are available for 25 Western Democracies. They are available on this site for public consumption. The Kim-Fording Measures of Parliament Ideology, Government Ideology, and Democratic Performance are based upon work supported by the National Science Foundation under Grant No. SES-0237820.

Our measures of voter and government ideology were included in a book published by the original creators of the CMP data. Mapping Policy Preferences: Estimates for Parties, Electors, and Governments, 1945-1998, London: Oxford University Press (2001) came with a CD containing the original party manifestos data and our two measures. Our work on various measures and some early studies of democratic performance based on these measures was translated and published in Korea in 2007. 매니페스토의 올바른 이해와 사용 (An Accurate Understanding and the Proper Use of Manifestos: Analyses of Party Manifestos in 25 Western Democracies}, Seoul: ORUEM Publishing House (조진만, 김홍철 번역).

As the CMP data are constantly updated, some scholars correct for the non-random error in the CMP data, still others advocate the use of survey data instead, and question the operationalization of the concept of democratic performance, our measures need to be updated, and new measures need to be built, some of which use survey data such as Eurobarometer, World Values Survey, and CSES. Also alternative concepts of democratic performance need to be explored. We intend to deal with these issues at our own pace as we are involved in many other research projects.

Political Institutions and Democratic Performance

HeeMin Kim, G. Bingham Powell Jr., and Richard C. Fording. 2010. "Electoral Systems, Party Systems, and Ideological Representation: An Analysis of Distortion in Western Democracies." Comparative Politics 42: 167-185 (

HeeMin Kim and Richard C. Fording. 2012. "Do Voter Preferences Matter between Elections?: Democratic Performance in Western Democracies." International Area Studies Review 15: 122-140. 


HeeMin Kim, Jenifer Whitten-Woodring, and Patrick James. “The Role of Media in the Repression-Protest Nexus: A Game-Theoretic Model.”  Journal of Conflict Resolution, in press.

“Candidate Quality and Negative Voting in New Democracies: A Test Based on a Korean Presidential Election.” (with Jun Y. Choi), Under Review.

“You Say Potato…: A Re-examination of the Effects of the Economy, Government Spending, and Incumbent 
Ideology on National Policy Mood.” (with Jackie Demeritt and Glynn Ellis), Being Revised for Journal