Winter School 2011

True European Voter - Winter School 2011

Welcome to the True European Voter 2011 Winter School
on Methodological Issues in Comparative Electoral Analysis

The True European Voter: A Strategy for Analyzing the Prospects of European Electoral Democracy that Includes the West, the South and the East of the Continent

7-10 February 2011,

Warsaw School of Social Sciences and Humanities/SWPS

Warsaw, Poland

The COST Action IS0806 “The True European Voter: A Strategy for Analysing the Prospects of European Electoral Democracy that includes the West, the South and the East of the Continent” is organizing a second Winter School on “Methodological Issues in Comparative Electoral Analysis chaired by Professor Cees van der Eijk. It will be held in the facilities of the University of Warsaw from Monday 7th in the morning (arrival of participants required on Sunday 6th) until Thursday 10th (departure of participants in the late afternoon / evening).

This second Winter School follows up on the highly successful first one which was held at the University of Nottingham in March 2010. It is expected that participants to the 2010 Winter School will highly profit from attending again, as the new program will deepen and expand their knowledge and practical competence in comparative research. However, participation in the first Winter School is no prerequisite for taking part in the second one, and newcomers are therefore equally encouraged to apply (familiarity with research methods and statistics is assumed up to the level of OLS regression, as is familiarity with a statistics package such as SPSS, STATA, etc.). Participation in this second Winter School is of particular importance for Early Stage Researchers who attended the True European Voter “Think Tank Meeting” (and who will be working on harmonization of national election surveys into a European micro-level database).

Whereas the first Winter School focused largely on broad ranging strategy in comparative research, the second one is more directed towards the practical implementation, the ‘nuts and bolts’ of working with multiple datasets pertaining to different time periods and/or to different countries. There will be extensive hands-on training with actual datasets used in comparative electoral research (such as the EES, the CSES or national election panel studies), providing participants with the skills and experience to successfully solve the problems involved in the analysis of such survey data, starting with the preparation of multiple datasets for joint analysis. This includes advanced data management, linking of data about survey respondents with data about other units of analysis (such as countries, parties or media sources), the practical handling of weighting and missing-data problems (and the evaluation of the used procedures), creating a ‘stacked’ data matrix about electoral preferences and choice, assessing comparability issues and applying practical solutions for dealing with them.

In addition, the Winter School will feature a practical tutorial about multiple item measurement and the construction of composite measures; and a realistic overview of ways of dealing with problems in multilevel modeling arising from a limited number of contexts. Both guest lectures and discussions within small interactive sub-groups will provide the participants with ample opportunity to interrogate lecturers and instructors about their own research. Various statistical packages will be used and a number of original software tools (freeware), some of which will be presented by their authors, Eliyahu Sapir and Lorenzo de Sio.