Measuring Centre–Periphery Preferences: The Regional Manifestos Project

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Series Details Vol.23, No.2, May 2013, p189-211
Publication Date May 2013
ISSN 1359-7566
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We propose a methodology for measuring political parties' centre–periphery preferences and positions. The proposal is based on an extension of the Manifesto Project's methodology that allows us to analyse manifestos in multi-level settings (i.e. manifestos written for sub- and supra-state electoral arenas). This adaptation requires extending the Manifesto classification scheme to include territorial preferences together with policy preferences specific to each electoral level. It has two major objectives: on the one hand, it allows us to apply content analysis to manifestos written for all possible electoral levels; on the other, it measures parties' centre–periphery preferences beyond the widely used and uninformative categories of ‘centralization/decentralization’ and ‘nationalism’. We have applied our methodology to Spanish state-level and regional-level manifestos between 2009 and 2012 with encouraging results.

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