Building: VMP 5 Floor: 2 Room: 2067
VAAs have originally been developed to compare parties’ and voters’ positions on relevant political issues around elections and give advice to voters which parties their positions are most congruent with. At the same time, positions of the various competing parties can be compared to each other and provide information about ideological distances between the parties.
While many subfields in political science like the study of party competition, coalition theory or party system analysis require data on positional similarities and dissimilarities of parties, several alternatives to estimate such differences are connected with their own problems. The proliferation of VAAs provides a new alternative to get such kind of data which has some advantages: it is generated close to elections, it is proclaimed to include the relevant topics of an election, and it is easy to get. On the other hand, there might be concerns if VAA data could adequately reflect party distances, e.g. because too complex questions which cannot be simply answered by ‘yes’ or ‘no’ are excluded.
This panel welcomes papers which i) theoretically discuss the usability of VAA data for the above mentioned fields, ii) compare VAA data on party distances with data coming from other methods like expert surveys or manifesto analyses, or iii) use VAA data to analyze empirically party competition, party systems or coalition formation.