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Bridging the pond: measuring policy positions in the United States and Europe

  • Cory L. Struthers (a1) (a2), Christopher Hare (a2) and Ryan Bakker (a3)

Recent work has pioneered the use of expert surveys to estimate cross-national party positions in a common ideological space. In this paper, we report findings from an original dataset designed to evaluate bridging strategies between European and American party placements. Specifically, we compare the use of “anchoring vignettes” (fictional party platforms) with an alternative approach that asks comparativist scholars who live in the US (whom we call transatlantic or TA experts) to place parties and parties in their country of expertise on a series of issues scales. The results provide an optimistic assessment of the ability of TA experts to serve as valid bridges across the Atlantic. The resulting cross-comparable estimates of party positions show instances of both convergence and divergence between American and European party systems, including parallels between systems on the cross-cutting issue of international economic integration.

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Political Science Research and Methods
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