Skip to main content
×
Home
    • Aa
    • Aa

The potential of online sampling for studying political activists around the world and across time

  • Kai Jäger (a1)
Abstract

Parties and social movements play an important role in many theories of political science. Yet, the study of intraparty politics remains underdeveloped as random samples are difficult to conduct among political activists. This paper proposes a novel procedure to sample different parties over time and space by utilizing the advertising option of the social media webpage Facebook. As this method allows for quotas and the collection of large samples at relatively low cost, it becomes possible to improve the representativeness through poststratification and subsample robustness checks. Three examples illustrate these advantages of Facebook sampling: First, a Facebook sample approximated intraparty decisions and the outcome of a leadership contest of the Alternative for Germany. Second, a weighted Facebook sample achieved similar estimates as a representative local leader survey of the Social Democratic Party of Germany. Third, by evaluating subgroups of key demographics for parties with unknown population parameters, two Facebook samples show that the color-coded conflict in Thailand was driven by different concepts of regime type, but not by a left–right divide on economic policy-making. Facebook sampling appears to be the best and cheapest method to conduct time-series cross-sectional studies for political activists.

  • View HTML
    • Send article to Kindle

      To send this article to your Kindle, first ensure no-reply@cambridge.org is added to your Approved Personal Document E-mail List under your Personal Document Settings on the Manage Your Content and Devices page of your Amazon account. Then enter the ‘name’ part of your Kindle email address below. Find out more about sending to your Kindle.

      Note you can select to send to either the @free.kindle.com or @kindle.com variations. ‘@free.kindle.com’ emails are free but can only be sent to your device when it is connected to wi-fi. ‘@kindle.com’ emails can be delivered even when you are not connected to wi-fi, but note that service fees apply.

      Find out more about the Kindle Personal Document Service.

      The potential of online sampling for studying political activists around the world and across time
      Available formats
      ×
      Send article to Dropbox

      To send this article to your Dropbox account, please select one or more formats and confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your Dropbox account. Find out more about sending content to Dropbox.

      The potential of online sampling for studying political activists around the world and across time
      Available formats
      ×
      Send article to Google Drive

      To send this article to your Google Drive account, please select one or more formats and confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your Google Drive account. Find out more about sending content to Google Drive.

      The potential of online sampling for studying political activists around the world and across time
      Available formats
      ×
Copyright
Corresponding author
* Email: kai.jaeger@mzes.uni-mannheim.de
Footnotes
Hide All

Author’s note: I would like to thank Ron Lehrer, Nikolay Marinov, Adam Scharpf, and Daniel Weitzel for helpful comments and suggestions. I would also like to thank Marlis Benze, Jens Meiners, and Pittaya Petchmark for survey collaboration. The ethics commission of the University of Mannheim decided that it has no general objection against the Facebook-based sampling procedure of the study. The replication materials are available on the Harvard Dataverse at http://dx.doi.org/10.7910/DVN/346Y30. Supplementary materials for this article are available on the Political Analysis website.

Contributing Editor: R. Michael Alvarez

Footnotes
Linked references
Hide All

This list contains references from the content that can be linked to their source. For a full set of references and notes please see the PDF or HTML where available.

J. Alemán , and D. D. Yang . 2011. A duration analysis of democratic transitions and authoritarian backslides. Comparative Political Studies 44(9):11231151.

K. Arzheimer 2015. The AfD: Finally a successful right-wing populist Eurosceptic party for Germany? West European Politics 38(3):535556.

P. J. Batterham 2014. Recruitment of mental health survey participants using internet advertising: Content, characteristics and cost effectiveness. International Journal of Methods in Psychiatric Research 23(2):184191.

C. B. Bhutta 2012. Not by the book: Facebook as a sampling frame. Sociological Methods & Research 41(1):5788.

D. E. Broockman , and D. P. Green . 2014. Do online advertisements increase political candidates’ name recognition or favorability? Evidence from randomized field experiments. Political Behavior 36(2):263289.

M. Conroy , J. T. Feezell , and M. Guerrero . 2012. Facebook and political engagement: A study of online political group membership and offline political engagement. Computers in Human Behavior 28(5):15351546.

L. Diamond 2002. Thinking about Hybrid Regimes. Journal of Democracy 13(2):2135.

C. Gilligan , K. Kypri , and J. Bourke . 2014. Social networking versus facebook advertising to recruit survey respondents: A quasi-experimental study. JMIR Research Protocols 3(3):e48.

K. Jäger 2012. Why did Thailand’s middle class turn against a democratically elected government? The information-gap hypothesis. Democratization 19(6):11381165.

J. M. Kapp , C. Peters , and D. P. Oliver . 2013. Research recruitment using Facebook advertising: Big potential, big challenges. Journal of Cancer Education 28(1):134137.

A. O. Larsson 2016. Online, all the time? A quantitative assessment of the permanent campaign on Facebook. New Media & Society 18(2):274292.

C. D. Maestas , M. K. Buttice , and W. J. Stone . 2014. Extracting wisdom from experts and small crowds: Strategies for improving informant-based measures of political concepts. Political Analysis 22(3):354373.

D. McCargo 2009. Thai Politics as Reality TV. Journal of Asian Studies 68(1):719.

E. J. Nelson , J. Hughes , J. M. Oakes , J. S. Pankow , and S. L. Kulasingam . 2014. Estimation of geographic variation in human papillomavirus vaccine uptake in men and women: An online survey using facebook recruitment. Journal of Medical Internet Research 16(9):e198.

P. Phongpaichit , and C. Baker . 2008. Thaksin’s Populism. Journal of Contemporary Asia 38(1):6283.

O. Pye , and W. Schaffar . 2008. The 2006 Anti-Thaksin movement in Thailand: An analysis. Journal of Contemporary Asia 38(1):3861.

D. E. Ramo , and J. J. Prochaska . 2012. Broad reach and targeted recruitment using Facebook for an online survey of young adult substance use. Journal of Medical Internet Research 14(1):e28.

S. C. Rife , K. L. Cate , M. Kosinski , and D. Stillwell . 2016. Participant recruitment and data collection through Facebook: The role of personality factors. International Journal of Social Research Methodology 19(1):6983.

D. J. Samuels , and C. Zucco . 2014. The power of partisanship in Brazil: Evidence from survey experiments. American Journal of Political Science 58(1):212225.

Z. Tufekci , and C. Wilson . 2012. Social media and the decision to participate in political protest: Observations from Tahrir Square. Journal of Communication 62(2):363379.

S. Vissers , and D. Stolle . 2014. Spill-over effects between Facebook and on/offline political participation? Evidence from a two-wave panel study. Journal of Information Technology & Politics 11(3):259275.

W. Wang , D. Rothschild , S. Goel , and A. Gelman . 2015. Forecasting elections with non-representative polls. International Journal of Forecasting 31(3):980991.

F. Zakaria 1997. The rise of illiberal democracy. Foreign Affairs 76(6):2243.

Recommend this journal

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

Political Analysis
  • ISSN: 1047-1987
  • EISSN: 1476-4989
  • URL: /core/journals/political-analysis
Please enter your name
Please enter a valid email address
Who would you like to send this to? *
×
MathJax
Type Description Title
UNKNOWN
Supplementary Materials

Jäger supplementary material
Jäger supplementary material 1

 Unknown (1.1 MB)
1.1 MB

Metrics

Altmetric attention score

Full text views

Total number of HTML views: 23
Total number of PDF views: 175 *
Loading metrics...

Abstract views

Total abstract views: 677 *
Loading metrics...

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between 15th May 2017 - 23rd August 2017. This data will be updated every 24 hours.