Research methodology / Metodologie de cercetare

Research methodology Change and stability in Romanian Electoral Behaviour project

The most important component of the research design is a panel survey. The purposes of this component are: comparing presidential, local, parliamentary and EP elections (among types of elections and cross-nationally) in terms of turnout and voting behaviour; evaluating the role of economic factors in structuring and changing the voting decision and the evaluation of political consequences of the economic crisis at individual level; as well as evaluating and improving techniques used for measuring self-reported turnout.Since the phenomena studied by this project include a strong dynamic component, between and within elections, we use a panel survey research design that permits three major types of comparisons: Presidential vs. Local vs. Parliamentary Elections; two rounds of EP elections; and ante vs. post campaign for each of these elections. In addition, the full research design, by the cross-sectional surveys component, takes into account possible effects induced by panel conditioning.

Additionally, the project uses secondary data analysis and case studies. The secondary data analysis pays attention to official data reflecting election results and connects them with individual level data. This methodological component will involve the construction of an aggregate data file, based on census and BEC (Central Electoral Bureau) data. From BEC data we will use official results of the election at polling station level (both turnout and vote preferences). Along with contextualizing individual behaviour, this data will allow for separate analyses as well.

The case studies will focus on selected constituency campaigns, with at least two political parties studied in each constituency. The purpose of this component of the research methodology is to assess the effects of electoral system change on constituency campaigns in terms of candidate recruitment, electoral programmes and local party mobilization. Moreover, we will evaluate the public perceptions about the differences (quality of representation, corruption, etc.) between the current electoral system and the previous one. Case selection takes into account the electoral appeal of the constituency, and the competitiveness of the local race. In each case we will conduct an analysis of official statistics, elections results, and political coverage in local media in order to illustrate the context of the campaign and the characteristics of the respective party organisations. This will be accompanied by interviews with local party activists involved in the constituency campaign.

Metodologia de cercetare a proiectului Schimbare si stabilitate in comportamentul electoral din Romania

Componenta cea mai importanta a design-ului de cercetare este o ancheta de tip panel. Aceasta componenta urmareste compararea alegerilor prezidentiale, locale, parlamentare si europene in termeni de prezenta la vot si comportament de vot; evaluarea rolului factorilor economici in structurarea si schimbarea deciziilor de vot si evaluarea consecintelor politice la nivel individual ale crizei economice; precum si evaluarea si imbunatatirea tehnicilor de masurare a prezentei autoraportate la vot. De vreme ce fenomenele studiate de acest proiect au o puternica componenta dinamica, designul anchetei panel permite trei tipuri majore de comparatie: intre alegeri prezidentiale, locale si parlamentare; intre doua runde de alegeri parlamentare europene si intre momentele pre- si post-electorale pentru fiecare dintre aceste alegeri. In plus design-ul anchetei panel ia in considerare efecte posibile ale conditionarii introduse de acest tip de ancheta.

In plus, proiectul uzeaza de analiza datelor secundare si studii de caz. Analiza datelor secundare acorda atentie datelor oficiale vizand rezultatele alegerilor si le leaga de datele culese la nivel individual. Aceasta componenta metodologica implica construirea unei baze de date agregate, pe baza datelor de recensamant si a datelor Birourilor Electorale Centrale (prezenta la vot si rezultatele alegerilor la nivel de sectie de votare). Aceasta baza de date permite atat contextualizarea comportamentului individual, cat si analize independente.

Studiile de caz se concentreaza asupra campaniilor electorale la nivel de colegiu electoral. Scopul acestei componente a cercetarii este acela de a evalua efectele schimbarii de formula electorala in termeni de recrutare a candidatilor, programe electorale si mobilizare a organizatiilor locale ale partidelor. Mai mult, aceasta componenta va incerca sa evalueze perceptia publica asupra diferentelor intre vechea si actuala formula electoral in termeni de calitate a reprezentarii, coruptie etc. Cazurile vor fi selectate luand in considerare atractivitatea electorala a colegiului si competitivitatea cursei electorale. In fiecare caz vom analiza statistici oficiale, rezultate electorale, reflectarea campaniei electorale in mass media locale si interviuri de profunzime cu activisti politici locali implicati in campania electorala.

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