Political parties and climate policy: A new approach to measuring parties' climate policy preferences

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JournalParty Politics
DateAccepted/In press - 12 Feb 2017
DateE-pub ahead of print (current) - 23 Mar 2017
Number of pages12
Pages (from-to)1-12
Early online date23/03/17
Original languageEnglish


This study presents an innovative approach to hand-coding parties’ policy preferences in the relatively new, cross-sectoral field of climate change mitigation policy. It applies this approach to party manifestos in six countries, comparing the preferences of parties in Denmark, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, and the UK over the past two decades. It probes the data for evidence of validity through content validation and convergent/discriminant validation and engages with the debate on position-taking in environmental policy by developing a positional measure that incorporates ‘pro’ and ‘anti’ climate policy preferences. The analysis provides evidence for the validity of the new measures, shows that they are distinct from comparable measures of environmental policy preferences, and argues that they are more comprehensive than existing climate policy measures. The new measures strengthen the basis for answering questions that are central to climate politics and to party politics. The approach developed here has important implications for the study of new, complex, or cross-cutting policy issues and issues that include both valence and positional aspects.

Bibliographical note

© The Author(s) 2017.

    Research areas

  • Climate change, political parties, party policy, manifestos, environmental politics


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