Skip to main content
×
×
Home

Measuring political protest in Western Europe: assessing cross-national equivalence

  • Mario Quaranta (a1)
Abstract

This article tests the cross-national equivalence of the political protest scale, as developed by Barnes and Kaase, in 20 Western European countries using a battery of items included in the fourth wave of the European Values Study. The scale measuring the concept of political protest is widely used, but no evidence of cross-country equivalence has yet been provided in the literature. The article illustrates the concept of political protest, the relationship between concept formation, operationalization, and measurement equivalence, and the possible consequences of a lack of equivalence. It is argued that comparative research may be threatened by a lack of measurement equivalence. The spread of international surveys eases comparative designs, but at the same time enlarges the chances that we compare what is not actually comparable. The article then outlines an empirical strategy to assess the political protest scale's measurement equivalence. To assess cross-country equivalence, Mokken Scale Analysis, a nonparametric scaling method within the family of Item Response Theory models, is used. This has been shown to work better than Confirmatory Factor Analysis when dealing with dichotomous and polytomous items forming ordinal scales. The results show that the cross-country equivalence of the political protest scale depends on the type of measure the scholar wishes to build and use.

Copyright
Corresponding author
E-mail: mario.quaranta@sumitalia.it
References
Hide All
Adcock, R.Collier, D. (2001), ‘Measurement validity: a shared standard for qualitative and quantitative research’, American Political Science Review 95(3): 529546.
Ariely, G., Davidov, E. (2012). ‘Assessment of measurement equivalence with cross-national and longitudinal surveys in political science’, European Political Science 11(3): 363377.
Barnes, S.H.Kaase, M. (eds) (1979), Political Action: Mass Participation in Five Western Democracies, Beverly Hills: Sage.
Benson, M.Rochon, T.R. (2004), ‘Interpersonal trust and the magnitude of protest: a micro and macro level approach’, Comparative Political Studies 37(4): 435457.
Bollen, K.A. (1989), Structural Equations with Latent Variables, New York: John Wiley.
Byrne, B.M. (2008), ‘Testing for multigroup equivalence of a measuring instrument: a walk through the process’, Psicothema 20(4): 872882.
Collier, D.Gerring, J. (eds) (2008), Concepts and Method in Social Science. The Tradition of Giovanni Sartori, London: Routledge.
Dalton, R.J. (1988), Citizen Politics in Western Democracies. Public Opinion and Political Parties in the United States, Great Britain, West Germany, and France, Chatham: Chatham House.
Dalton, R.J. (2004), Democratic Challenges, Democratic Choices: The Erosion of Political Support in Advanced Industrial Societies, Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Dalton, R.J. (2008), Citizen Politics: Public Opinion and Political Parties in Advanced Industrial Democracies, Chatham: Chatham House.
Dalton, R.J., Van Sickle, A. 2005. ‘The roots of political protest: a contextual analysis of protest behavior’, Presented at the Annual Meeting of the International Studies Association, March 2005, Honolulu, HI.
Dalton, R.J., Van Sickle, A.Weldon, S. (2010), ‘The individual-institutional nexus of protest behaviour’, British Journal of Political Science 40(1): 5173.
Della Porta, D. (ed.) (2007), The Global Justice Movement. Cross-National and Transnational Perspectives, Boulder-London: Paradigm Publishers.
Della Porta, D., Andretta, M., Mosca, L.Reiter, H. (2006), Globalization from Below. Transnational Activists and Protest Networks, Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press.
Della Porta, D.Diani, M. (2006), Social Movements: An Introduction, London: Wiley-Blackwell.
European Social Survey (ESS) (2011), European Social Survey Cumulative File, ESS 1–4, Bergen: Norwegian Social Science Data Services.
European Values Study (EVS) (2011), European Values Study 1981–2008, Longitudinal Data File, GESIS Data Archive, Cologne, Germany, ZA4804 Data File Version 1.0.0 (2011-04-30). doi:10.4232/1.4804.
Gelman, A.Hill, J. (2006), Data Analysis Using Regression and Multilevel/Hierarchical Models, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Gerring, J. (1999), ‘What makes a concept good? A criterial framework for understanding concept formation in the social sciences’, Polity 31(3): 357393.
Goertz, G. (2006), Social Science Concepts: A User's Guide, Princeton: Princeton University Press.
Guttman, L. (1945), ‘A basis for analyzing test-retest reliability’, Psychometrika 10(4): 255282.
Horn, J.L.McArdle, J.J. (1992), ‘A practical and theoretical guide to measurement invariance in aging research’, Experimental Aging Research 18(3): 117144.
Hui, C.H.Triandis, H.C. (1985), ‘Measurement in cross-cultural psychology: a review and comparison of strategies’, Journal of Cross Cultural Psychology 16(2): 131152.
Inglehart, R. (1990), Culture Shift in Advanced Industrial Society, Princeton: Princeton University Press.
Inglehart, R. (1997), Modernization and Postmodernization: Cultural, Economic, and Political Change in 43 Societies, Princeton: Princeton University Press.
Inglehart, R.Welzel, C. (2005), Modernization, Cultural Change and Democracy, New York: Cambridge University Press.
International Social Survey Programme (ISSP) (2007), ZA3950: International Social Survey Programme 2004: Citizenship (ISSP 2004), Universitaet zu Koeln: Zentralarchiv fuer Empirische Sozialforschung.
Jackman, S. (2008), ‘Measurement’, in J. Box-Steffensmeier, H.E. Brady and D. Collier (eds), The Oxford Handbook of Political Methodology, Oxford: Oxford University Press, pp. 119151.
Jacoby, W.G. (1999), ‘Levels of measurement and political research: an optimistic view’, American Journal of Political Science 43(1): 271301.
Jennings, K.M., Van Deth, J.W., Barnes, S.H., Fuchs, D., Heunks, F.J., Inglehart, R., Kaase, M., Klingemann, H.D.Thomassen, J.J.A. (eds) (1989), Continuities in Political Action: A Longitudinal Study of Political Orientations in Three Western Democracies, Berlin and New York: De Gruyter.
Kaase, M. (1989), ‘Appendix C. The cumulativeness and dimensionality of the participation scales’, in K.M. Jennings, J.W. Van Deth, S.H. Barnes, D. Fuchs, F.J. Heunks, R. Inglehart, M. Kaase, H.-D. Klingemann and J.J.A. Thomassen (eds), Continuities in Political Action: A Longitudinal Study of Political Orientations in Three Western Democracies, Berlin and New York: De Gruyter, pp. 393396.
Kaase, M.Marsh, A. (1979a), ‘Political action. A theoretical perspective’, in S.H. Barnes and M. Kaase (eds), Political Action: Mass Participation in Five Western Democracies, Beverly Hills: Sage, pp. 2756.
Kaase, M.Marsh, A. (1979b), ‘Political action repertory. Changes over time and a new typology’, in S.H. Barnes and M. Kaase (eds), Political Action: Mass Participation in Five Western Democracies, Beverly Hills: Sage, pp. 137166.
Kerman, J.Gelman, A. (2007), ‘Manipulating and summarizing posterior simulation using random variable objects’, Statistics and Computing 17(3): 235244.
King, G., Keohane, R.O.Verba, S. (1994), Designing Social Inquiry: Scientific Inference in Qualitative Research, Princeton: Princeton University Press.
King, G., Murray, C.J.L., Salomon, J.A.Tandon, A. (2004), ‘Enhancing the validity and cross-cultural comparability of measurement in survey research’, American Political Science Review 98(1): 191207.
King, G., Honacker, J., Anne, J.Kenneth, S. (2001), ‘Analyzing incomplete political science data: an alternative algorithm for multiple imputation’, American Political Science Review 95(1): 4969.
Mair, P. (2008), ‘Concepts and concepts formation’, in D. Della Porta and M. Keating (eds), Approaches and Methodologies in the Social Sciences, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, pp. 177197.
Marsh, A.Kaase, M. (1979), ‘Measuring political action’, in S.H. Barnes and M. Kaase (eds), Political Action: Mass Participation in Five Western Democracies, Beverly Hills: Sage, pp. 5797.
Meyer, D.S.Tarrow, S. (1998), ‘A movement society: contentious politics for a new century’, in D.S. Meyer and S. Tarrow (eds), The Social Movement Society: Contentious Politics for a New Century, Lanham: Rowman & Littlefield, pp. 128.
Milbrath, L.W. (1965), Political Participation: How and Why Do People Get Involved in Politics, Chicago: Rand McNally College Publishing Company.
Mokken, R.J. (1971), A Theory and Procedure of Scale Analysis, Berlin: De Gruyter.
Morales, L. (2009), Joining Political Organizations, Colchester: ECPR Press.
Norris, P. (2002), Democratic Phoenix: Reinventing Political Activism, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Norris, P. (2009), ‘The globalization of comparative public opinion research’, in T. Landman and N. Robinson (eds), The Sage Handbook of Comparative Politics, London: Sage, pp. 522540.
Parry, G., Moyser, G.Day, N. (1992), Political Participation and Democracy in Britain, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Raghunathan, T.E., Lepkowski, J.M., Van Hoewyk, J.Solenberger, P. (2001), ‘A multivariate technique for multiply imputing missing values using a sequence of regression models’, Survey Methodology 27(1): 8595.
Rubin, D.B. (1987), Multiple Imputation for Nonresponse in Surveys, New York: Wiley.
Rucht, D. (2007), ‘The spread of protest politics’, in R.J. Dalton and H.-D. Klingemann (eds), The Oxford Handbook of Political Behavior, Oxford: Oxford University Press, pp. 708723.
Sartori, G. (1970), ‘Concept misformation in comparative politics’, American Political Science Review 64(4): 10331053.
Sartori, G. (1984), ‘Guidelines for concept analysis’, in G. Sartori (ed.), Social Science Concepts: A Systematic Analysis, Beverly Hills: Sage, pp. 1585.
Sartori, G., Riggs, F., Teune, H. (eds) (1975), The Tower of Babel, University of Pittsburgh: International Studies Association, Occasional Paper no. 6.
Sijtsma, K. (1998), ‘Methodology review: Non-parametric IRT approaches to the analysis of dichotomous item scores’, Applied Pshychological Measurement 22(1): 331.
Sijtsma, K.Molenaar, I.W. (1987), ‘Reliability of test scores in nonparametric item response theory’, Psychometrika 52(1): 7997.
Sijtsma, K.Molenaar, I.W. (2002), Introduction to Nonparametric Item Response Theory, Thousand Oaks: Sage.
Sijtsma, K., Debets, P.Molenaar, I.W. (1990), ‘Mokken Scale Analysis for polychotomous items: theory, a computer program and an empirical application’, Quality and Quantity 24(2): 173188.
Sijtsma, K., Meijer, R.R.Van der Ark, A.L. (2011), ‘Mokken Scale Analysis as time goes by: an update for scaling practitioners’, Personality and Individual Differences 50(1): 3137.
Steenbergen, M.R.Jones, B.S. (2002), ‘Modeling multilevel data structures’, American Journal of Political Science 46(1): 218237.
Steenkamp, J.-B.E.M.Baumgartner, H. (1998), ‘Assessing measurement invariance in cross-national consumer research’, Journal of Consumer Research 25(1): 78107.
Stegmuller, D. (2011), ‘Apples and oranges? The problem of equivalence in comparative research’, Political Analysis 19(4): 471487.
Teorell, J., Torcal, M.Montero, J.R. (2007), ‘Political participation. Mapping the terrain’, in J.W. Van Deth, J.R. Montero and A. Westholm (eds.), Citizenship and Involvement in European Democracies. A Comparative Analysis, London and New York: Routledge, pp. 334357.
Tilly, C.Tarrow, S. (2006), Contentious Politics, Lanham: Paragon Press.
Van de Vijver, F.J.R.Tanzer, N.K. (2004), ‘Bias and equivalence in cross-cultural assessment: an overview’, European Review of Applied Psychology 54(2): 119135.
Van der Ark, L.A. (2007), ‘Mokken Scale Analysis in R’, Journal of Statistical Software 20(11): 119.
Van der Meer, T.W.G., Grotenhuis, M.T.Scheepers, P.L.H. (2009), ‘Three types of voluntary associations in comparative perspective: the importance of studying associational involvement through a typology of associations in 21 European countries’, Journal of Civil Society 5(3): 227241.
Van Deth, J.W. (1986), ‘A note on measuring political participation in comparative research’, Quality and Quantity 20(2): 261272.
Van Deth, J.W. (ed.) (1998a), Comparative Politics: The Problem of Equivalence, London and New York: Routledge.
Van Deth, J.W. (1998b), ‘Equivalence in comparative research’, in J.W. Van Deth (ed.), Comparative Politics: The Problem of Equivalence, London and New York: Routledge, pp. 119.
Van Deth, J.W., Montero, J.R.Westholm, A. (eds) (2007), Citizenship and Involvement in European Democracies. A Comparative Analysis, London and New York: Routledge.
Van Schuur, W.H. (2003), ‘Mokken Scale Analysis: between the Guttman Scale and parametric Item Response Theory’, Political Analysis 11(2): 139163.
Vandenberg, R.J.Lance, C.E. (2000), ‘A review and synthesis of the measurement invariance literature: suggestions, practices, and recommendations for organizational research’, Organizational Research Methods 3(1): 470.
Verba, S.Nie, N.H. (1972), Participation in America: Political Democracy and Social Equality, New York: Harper and Row.
Welzel, C.Deutsch, F. (2012), ‘Emancipative values and non-violent protest: the importance of ‘ecological’ effects’, British Journal of Political Science 42(2): 465479.
Recommend this journal

Email your librarian or administrator to recommend adding this journal to your organisation's collection.

European Political Science Review
  • ISSN: 1755-7739
  • EISSN: 1755-7747
  • URL: /core/journals/european-political-science-review
Please enter your name
Please enter a valid email address
Who would you like to send this to? *
×

Keywords

Metrics

Full text views

Total number of HTML views: 0
Total number of PDF views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

Abstract views

Total abstract views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between <date>. This data will be updated every 24 hours.

Usage data cannot currently be displayed