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

Neil Thomas Carter, Robert Ladrech, Conor Little, Vasiliki Tsagkroni

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


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 United Kingdom 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.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)731-742
Number of pages12
JournalParty Politics
Issue number6
Early online date23 Mar 2017
Publication statusPublished - 1 Nov 2018

Bibliographical note

© The Author(s) 2017.


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

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