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International Relations *: International Elections and Opinion

A guide to databases and scholarly web sites in support of research in international relations and comparative politics.

International Elections

Listed below are links to sites that provide data on election results, voter turnout, and political party information outside of the United States. Descriptions of resources are adapted or quoted from vendor websites.

  • African Elections Database -- provides a comprehensive archive of past and present election results for the 48 countries of Sub-Saharan Africa.
  • Australian Politics and Elections Database -- provides detailed information about Australian national and state parliamentary politics and elections, including votes won and seats gained by Australian political parties, the periods in office of various state, national and territorial elected officials, and summary tables on state and territory parliaments, elections, and governments over more than a century.
  • Carter Center Election Reports -- a collection of reports documenting ninety-six elections in thirty-eight countries. During elections, the observers monitor voting and counting and remain after the ballots have been counted to monitor vote tabulation.This information is then summarized into reports, often including data on results and voter turnout.
  • Comparative Political Data Sets -- provided by the Institute of Political Science at the University of Bern in Germany, data is divided into several part: Part 1 has dates of national parliamentary elections, voter turnout, and share of votes by party for 23 OECD countries from 1960-2009. Part II has election dates and turnout for parliamentary and presidential elections in 28 post-Communist countries from 1989-2006. Parts I and II also contains some additional demographic, socio- and economic variables. Part III combines I and II for 35 OECD and/or EU countries, 1990-2010. This data set is suited for cross national, longitudinal and pooled time series analyses.
  • Constituency-Level Elections Archive (CLEA) -- a repository of detailed election results at the constituency level for lower house legislative elections from around the world. Subset data can be generated by region, country, or time period.
  • Election Passport -- provides access to comprehensive datasets of constituency election results in over ninety countries throughout the world. The data includes votes won by very small parties, independents, and candidate names that are often difficult to locate. This data will eventually be incorporated into the CLEA database linked above but, for now, search both sites.
  • Election Resources on the Internet -- this site offers detailed national and local election statistics, including sections dedicated to election results and electoral systems in diverse countries around the world. The site also has a useful directory of other election resources available on the web and maintains a blog that covers key elections worldwide.
  • Election Results Archive (ERA) -- a collection of electronic files containing data on presidential and national legislative election results from 134 countries that have met a minimum threshold of democratic performance as measured by Freedom House and the University of Maryland Polity III / IV rankings. The site contains results back to 1974.
  • ElectionGuide Digest -- launched in 1998 through a grant from USAID and currently funded by the same, this site provides the most comprehensive and timely source of verified election information available online, including national elections around the world; sub-national elections of high interest; political parties and candidates; referendum provisions; news on election-related laws and developments around the world; political institutions and electoral systems; and, election results and voter turnout.
  • Elections and Democracy in Africa, 1989-2007 -- a  website that includes a freely download data set created by Dr. Staffan I. Lindberg in the Department of Political Science and the Center for African Studies at the University of Florida. Database can be downloaded in Stata and SPSS portable formats. Data sets are at the boittom of the web page.
  • European Election Database -- this site provides access to election results on a regional level for European countries. The archive covers the period from 1990 until present and publishes results from parliamentary elections, European Parliament elections, presidential elections, as well as EU-related referendums for a total of 35 European countries. Regional election results are presented according to the Nomenclature of Territorial Units for Statistics (NUTS), level 1 to 3. Data are collected from national election authorities, national statistical agencies, and other official sources.
  • Global Elections Database -- provides information on the results of both national and sub-national elections around the world presented at two levels of analysis: results of elections within a country as a whole or within particular constituencies or districts of a country. All parties are included in the database regardless of the number of votes that they won. The data are based on countries' official election results and are accessible as spreadsheets, tables, and GIS maps.
  • IDEA [International Institute for Democracy and Electoral Assistance] -- a database unifying data from a variety of sources related to voter turnout, issues of direct democracy, gender quotas, political finance, electoral justice, and voting from abroad, electoral system design for countries around the world. Information on institutions and/or bodies responsible for managing elections  is being developed.
  • International Foundation for Electoral Systems ElectionGuide -- produced by the International Foundation for Electoral Systems (IFES), an international nonprofit organization dedicated to strengthening electoral democracy, this is a comprehensive resource of verified election information that includes data on national elections around the world, including detailed  election results and voter turnout as well as information on sub-national elections of high interest, political parties and candidates, referendum provisions, political institutions and electoral systems, and news on election-related laws and developments around the world.
  • Psephos -- archive of election data created and maintained by Dr. Adam Carr, a political and social activist in Australia, this is promoted to be the largest, most comprehensive and most up-to-date archive of electoral information in the world, with election statistics from 182 countries. Very good site to begin ones search for information.
  • Latin American Electronic Data Archive (LAEDA) -- the focus of the collection is to provide access to electoral data, household survey microdata, and data relevant to social policy evaluation relevant to Latin American research, policy analysis, and teaching. Data sets and related information can be downloaded from the LAEDA collection in the University of Texas Digital Repository (UTDR).
  • Latin American Election Statistics: A Guide to Sources -- consists of a series of volumes on selected Latin American countries that provide chronologies of elections since independence at the municipal, state, and federal levels and lists sources of statistics for each election as identified. The statistics themselves are not reproduced on this site except occasionally for national-level results of presidential elections, seats won in congressional elections, or numbers of municipalities won by specific parties. Also included is information on events affecting election outcomes; the emergence and development of political parties; electoral code changes; and, on the roles of women, indigenous populations, and religious organizations in each country's electoral politics. Data is available from the early nineteenth century to about 2000 [data for Dominican Republic begins in 1791].
  • World Elections -- a non-partisan and neutral blog covering major world elections and referendums as well as discussions on matters directly related to elections, electoral systems, and voting behavior.  Entries are posted monthly beginning in October 2008.

Descriptions of resources are adapted or quoted from vendor websites.

Foreign Election Data

Jeremy Darrington, the Politics Librarian at Princeton University, has created an excellent guide to foreign election data sites at the multi-country level, the electoral constituency/ district level, as well as voting data for international organizations. I encourage you to visit the site to find overseas election results. The data is located HERE

International Public Opinion

Listed below are resources that provide public opinion data for regions and nations. 

  • PEW Global Attitudes Project -- "Interactive database allows users to explore public opinion trends in 55 countries on topics ranging from attitudes toward the U.S. to people's assessments of their own lives to views about globalization, democratization, extremism and other important issues."
  • Roper Center I-Poll -- the Center maintains an archive of public opinion survey data--including a limited collection of non-U.S. data (specifically, Great Britain, France, Canada, Brazil, Germany, Mexico, Italy, Japan, Venezuela, Argentina). Allows users to search survey questions or download data directly. Users will need to enter their USC email address to access data.
  • Polling the Nations  -- a database of roughly 500,000 questions from more than 14,000 public opinion polls and surveys covering the United States and 100 other countries going back to 1986. Users can use this database to search for questions by keyword, topic, or other specification and quickly pull-up top-line percentage distributions.
  • WorldPublicOpinion.org -- a consortium of research centers in more than 25 countries across all of the major continents that provides information and analysis about public opinion on international policy issues from around the world.
  • World Values Survey -- the Survey is administered to nationally representative samples covering values and perceptions of life, the environment, work, family, politics and society, religion and morale, and national identity, as well as demographic characteristics. Download data files or analyze online.

Public Opinion -- International Barometer Studies

Regional “barometer” surveys, in general, look at the social, political and economic atmosphere in various countries—often including opinions on democracy. Generally, these surveys are given annually or in waves to nationally representative samples of adults; however, methodology, scope, content, and availability may vary.

  • Globalbarometer -- Globalbarometer project combines a common module of questions from the African, Arab, Asian, and Latino barometer surveys. While representing only a selection of the questions asked in the regional barometer surveys, these data are available for online analysis allowing for significant cross-national comparisons (see http://www.jdsurvey.net/gbs/gbs.jsp).
  • Afrobarometer -- Afrobarometer began in 1999 surveying 12 countries while the fourth, and most recent, wave was conducted in 20 African countries in 2008. Users must apply to download the complete data files; however, a comprehensive online analysis option is freely available as well as summary findings and data documentation.
  • ArabBarometer -- the first phase of ArabBarometer was conducted in 2006-07 in seven countries. The second phase is planned for additional countries and, while no online analysis is available, users can view summary statistics and download datafiles from the first phase.
  • Asian Barometer -- formerly East Asian Barometer, surveys focus on ‘citizens’ attitudes toward democracy, governance, and development’ in the East Asian region. Two waves of surveys have been conducted so far: the first wave (2001–2003) in 8 countries and the second wave (2005–2008) in 13 countries. While data files from the Asian Barometer surveys are freely available, researchers must apply for access.
  • AsiaBarometer -- AsiaBarometer has been conducted annually since 2003 to between 6 and 14 countries in East, Southeast, South, and Central Asia. The survey focus is the “daily lives of ordinary people and their relationships to family, neighborhood, workplace, social and political institutions and market place.” Users must apply to download data from this survey series; however, top-level statistics for each question (by country) can be freely viewed online.
  • European Commision (Eurobarometer) -- Established in 1973, Eurobarometer surveys are conducted two or more times a year encompassing social and political attitudes in all European Union member states. Published reports and an interactive search function are available on the European Commission Public Opinion webpage.
  • Latinobarómetro -- Latinobarómetro is an annual public opinion survey of 18 Latin American countries that began in 1995. While the most recent years’ datafiles must be purchased, some online analysis is freely available.
Text box pasted from Katharin Peter's Statistics and Data Research Guide.