International Social Survey Programme

The ISSP

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 program started in 1984 with four founding members - Australia, Germany, Great Britain, and the United States – and has now grown to about 50 member countries from all over the world. 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 program 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 organizational structure, please click here.

Third, each ISSP member funds its own survey. There are no central funds for program coordination, questionnaire design or methodological research.

Fourth, the ISSP regularly conducts and publishes 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 (147 KB) 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 Christof Wolf from GESIS – Leibniz-Institute for the Social Sciences.