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.

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Party Politics
Erasmus University Rotterdam

Carter, N. (Neil), Ladrech, R. (Robert), Little, C. (Conor), & Tsagkroni, V. (2018). Political parties and climate policy: A new approach to measuring parties’ climate policy preferences. Party Politics, 24(6), 731–742. doi:10.1177/1354068817697630