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International Committee for Research into Elections and Representative Democracy

GESIS Data Archive has collected several major election studies on national parliaments in Europe in cooperation with the International Committee for Research into Elections and Representative Democracy (ICORE) and the Council of European Social Science Data Archives (CESSDA).

ICORE was established by the principal investigators from nine European countries: Belgium, Denmark, France, Germany, Great Britain, Hungary, the Netherlands, Norway and Sweden. Elections studies available in these countries have been documented in the "ICORE Inventory of National Election Studies 1945 - 1995". The study descriptions included in this inventory can also be searched through the ISYS full-text retrieval system.

Data access

The ICORE holdings at the EUROLAB presently comprises more than 160 election studies with documentation from the above mentioned countries for the time period 1949 until 2002.

  • Please note that most studies can only be accessed in the EUROLAB with prior formal permission. For further information contact  EUROLAB staff.
  • In the meantime several other countries have joined ICORE, among others Portugal. The Portuguese election study 2002 can be ordered via GESIS Data  Archive.

excerpt from ICORE NEWS No. 1 (July 1993) - first chapter by Jacques Thomassen - University of Twente - Chairman ICORE

.... ICORE stands for International Committee for Research into Elections and Representative Democracy, and was established at an ECPR Research Session on Electoral Studies held in Rimini in 1989. Its membership consists of the directors of established surveys of national electorates in Europe. The initiative to establish ICORE was taken by John Curtice, presently at the University of Strathclyde. His effort was based on the observation of a remarkable paradox in the field of electoral research in Europe. At first sight it seems to be one of the best developed and best integrated subdisciplines in political science. A growing number of countries has an established program of academically directed election studies based on national probability samples of the electorate. Mainly because of their common intellectual roots the "Michigan school" - the similarity of most of these studies, both in their theoretical and methodological features is striking. This similarity suggests a well developed program of comparative research. However, such a program does hardly exist. Despite the common intellectual roots of most European election studies, really comparative research is remarkably rare. One of the reasons for this situation is that there are a number of logistical barriers to the use of the various national election studies in cross-national research. To mention only the most obvious one: for a number of studies written documentation, even the questionnaires, are only available in the original language and not in English, the modern lingua franca. In order to remove a number of these logistical barriers ICORE has decided to start its activities by creating a European Elections Database consisting of all the national election studies documented in English. This ambitious task requires the following steps: the translation of questionnaires and documentation into English where studies are not already available in that language. - the creation of an electronically searchable database of questions asked in the national election studies. - the creation of an electronically searchable database of study descriptions. - the collation of all of the European national election studies in a central archive, i.e. the ZA in Cologne. - the creation of an electronically searchable database of publications emanating from each national election study. Some parts of this program are already in progress ... Others need additional funding.
Creation of this data set is one of the tasks that need to be done in order to further the opportunities for comparative research into European electoral behaviour. But, of course, it is not more than a necessary facility. Real intellectual progress demands the communication of ideas among people. The main objective of ICORE is to promote the exchange of ideas and to stimulate international research.

This Inventory of National Election Studies in Europe documents election dates and election studies conducted in European countries with well established election research programmes, that cooperate in the International Committee for Research into Elections and Representative Democracy (ICORE). The time period covered extends from the Second World War till 1995.

The purpose of this inventory is to inform about electoral data suitable for longitudinal and/or cross-national election research in Europe. Thus for each country a list of election dates, an overview table containing detailed information about the election study, study descriptions and a list of literature is provided

  • Belgium
  • Denmark
  • France
  • Germany
  • Great Britain
  • Hungary
  • The Netherlands
  • Norway
  • Sweden

by Ekkehard Mochmann, Ingvill C. Oedegaard,  Reiner Mauer in cooperation with the

  • International Committee for Research into Elections and Representative Democracy (ICORE)
  • Council of European  Social Science Data Archives (CESSDA)

ISBN 3-931219-04-6 /1998 / 422 pages / hardcover / 29 x 21 cm  /50,11 € - Bergisch Gladbach: Edwin Ferger Verlag - Bestellen