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World of Political Science Survey 22/23


Political Research Exchange - PRX

World of Political Science Survey 22/23

We are delighted to be collaborating with Pippa Norris and the International Political Science Association (IPSA) this year on the second World of Political Science survey. We urge and invite all members of our community to complete the survey and contribute to this fascinating ongoing project looking at academic life.

The 22/23 survey will be open between 29 November 2022 and 31 January 2023 – simply follow the link below to get started.

Complete survey

About WPS

2,446
responses
102
countries
8
global regions

The first World of Political Science survey was designed by Pippa Norris and shared across both the ECPR and IPSA communities in spring 2019. It gathered nearly 2,500 responses from 102 countries across eight global regions and provided a fascinating insight into the social background, professional training, technical skills and formal qualifications, role perceptions, methodological approaches, sub-fields of research, and perceptions of changes to academic life.

The results informed Pippa’s chapter – The World of Political Science: Internationalization and its Consequences – in ECPR’s 50th anniversary book. Building on this project also is an analysis of perceptions and attitudes towards ‘cancel culture’ in Political Studies Cancel Culture: Myth or RealityPippa has also generously made the baseline WPS-2019 dataset, questionnaire and codebook available to all via Harvard Dataverse for secondary analysis.

The 2022/23 survey builds on the baseline from 2019 by adding questions around the Executive Committee’s areas of special strategic interest: academic freedom, climate change and equality diversity and inclusion.

Scope

The surveys of the profession have been designed to address several issues:

1. What are the background characteristics, qualifications, and career profiles of political scientists employed in higher education in different cohorts, regions and countries around the world, such as in terms of gender, work status, institutional affiliations, and academic rank? How has this changed in recent years?

2. Do political scientists living and working worldwide share common or divergent perceptions about their work roles, and thus the relative importance of teaching and mentoring, research and publication, university and professional service, and real-world policy impact?

3. What are the perceptions and experiences of colleagues towards the ‘cancel culture’ and academic freedom, and do these vary by ideological viewpoint, background characteristics, and country?

4. How does the social diversity of political science vary and how do opportunities differ for diverse groups in the profession?

5. How do colleagues evaluate developments in the profession, including opportunities for virtual and in-person interactions and communications, and what is thought to have been lost -- and what gained in recent years?

Methods and data

The World of Political Science (WPS) surveys of the profession have been designed to gather information about the discipline as described in the previous section and provide the broadest geographic scope for any previous equivalent study in the discipline.

The 2019 and 2022/23 surveys are administered through our SurveyMonkey platform; all individual responses are treated as anonymous, and no identifiable personal data is collected. Data are collected under the terms of the UK Data Protection Act and in accordance with our Privacy Policy. The 2022/23 survey was subject to ethical approval by the University of Victoria (home institution of ECPR Executive Committee member, Amy Verdun). Technical queries can be sent to ECPR’s Head of Communications, Rebecca Gethen rgethen@ecpr.eu.

We will repeat the survey on a regular basis every few years to monitor developments since the original 2019 baseline survey while adding rotating thematic batteries on topical issues of widespread concern to the profession.

WPS-2019: Sample and response rate

For the WPS-2019 survey, 2,446 responses were collected overall, including from respondents who were studying or working in 102 countries and eight global regions, including North America (the US and Canada), Western, Northern, Southern and Eastern Europe, Latin America and the Caribbean, Asia-Pacific and continental Africa. Unfortunately, too few data points limit reliable analysis of the profession in the Middle East and North Africa, where political science departments are also least likely to be well developed. 

The dataset also allows analysis of national samples in several countries with many participants, such as in Italy (79), Australia (70), Russia (73), Canada (78), the Netherlands (87), Nigeria (116), the UK (238), Germany (246), and the United States (281).

The WPS-2019 questionnaire can be downloaded in PDF format here.

Disclaimer

One important qualification to the survey should be noted, however; by tapping into ECPR and IPSA networks and email membership lists, the survey may potentially systematically over-represent political scientists who are already actively involved in these organisations and thus most likely to be globalised, while under-representing colleagues who have not joined these international organizations.

This potential bias was checked by examining the survey data which monitored how actively respondents said that they attended meetings of the ECPR, IPSA and their national association. The results suggest that the overwhelming majority of survey participants reported that they ‘Never’ or ‘Not very often’ attended the ECPR (70%) or IPSA (84%) meetings, while the majority (62%) said that they were ‘Fairly’ or ‘Very’ active in their national association meetings. Thus, the survey may overestimate the most internationally engaged scholars, but respondents are likely to provide a reasonably representative cross-section of the profession as a whole.