International Social Survey Programme


The International Social Survey Programme (ISSP) is a continuous programme of cross-national collaboration running annual surveys on topics important for the social sciences. The programme started in 1984 with four founding members - Australia, Germany, Great Britain, and the United States – and has grown to 48 member countries from all over the world in 2013. For more details on the ISSP history, please click here. 

The ISSP is unique in a number of ways:

First, the cross-national collaboration is not ad hoc or intermittent, but continuous. Thus, the ISSP makes cross-national research a basic part of the national research agenda of each participating country.

Second, the programme is based on voluntary co-operation. Major decisions on modules or questionnaires, on membership or membership obligations are taken by the ISSP in common, by votes in the ISSP’s general assembly. For more details on the organisational structure, please click here.

Third, each ISSP member funds its own survey, there are no central funds.

Fourth, the ISSP is also one of the few cross-national studies to conduct and publish study monitoring reports of the annual studies.

Finally, ISSP surveys are designed to serve as replications. Hence, the ISSP offers two powerful research strategies to study societal processes - by combining a cross-time with a cross-national perspective. 

Implementation and archiving of modules are carried out in accordance with the ISSP Working Principles and the requirements for data and background variables.

For more information on the ISSP, please visit the ISSP web site, maintained by the ISSP Secretary, currently Noah Lewin-Epstein from Tel Aviv University in Israel. Publications on ISSP data are listed in the ISSP bibliography which can be downloaded.