Rowman and Littlefield International

Matching Voters with Parties and Candidates

Voting Advice Applications in a Comparative Perspective

Edited by Diego Garzia and Stefan Marschall

Against this background, Matching Voters With Parties and Candidates aims first at a comprehensive overview of the VAA phenomenon in a truly comparative perspective.

Paperback ISBN: 9781785521416 Release date: May 2015
£30.00 €41.00 $49.00
Hardback ISBN: 9781907301735 Release date: May 2014
£65.00 €90.00 $105.00

Pages: 278

ECPR Press

Voting Advice Applications – VAAs – have become a widespread online feature of electoral campaigns in Europe, attracting growing interest from social and political scientists. But until now, there has been no systematic and reliable comparative assessment of these tools. Previously published research on VAAs has resulted almost exclusively in national case studies. This lack of an integrated framework for analysis has made research on VAAs unable to serve the scientific goal of systematic knowledge accumulation. Against this background, Matching Voters With Parties and Candidates aims first at a comprehensive overview of the VAA phenomenon in a truly comparative perspective. Featuring the biggest number of European experts on the topic ever assembled, the book answers a number of open questions and addresses debates in VAA research. It also aims to bridge the gap between VAA research and related fields of political science.


List of Figures and Tables vii

Contributors xi

Acknowledgements xv

Chapter One – Voting Advice Applications in a Comparative Perspective:

An Introduction

Stefan Marschall and Diego Garzia 1

Chapter Two – The Content and Formulation of Statements in Voting

Advice Applications: A Comparative Analysis of 26 VAAs

Kirsten Van Camp, Jonas Lefevere and Stefaan Walgrave 11

Chapter Three – Comparing Methods for Estimating Parties’ Positions in

Voting Advice Applications

Kostas Gemenis and Carolien van Ham 33

Chapter Four – What’s Behind a Matching Algorithm? A Critical

Assessment of How Voting Advice Applications Produce Voting


Fernando Mendez 49

Chapter Five – Voting Advice Applications as Campaign Actors:

Mapping VAAs’ Interactions with Parties, Media and Voters

André Krouwel, Thomas Vitiello and Matthew Wall 67

Chapter Six – Data Quality and Data Cleaning

Ioannis Andreadis 79

Chapter Seven – Profiling Users

Stefan Marschall 93

Chapter Eight – The Impact of Voting Advice Applications on Electoral


Diego Garzia, Andrea De Angelis and Joelle Pianzola 105

vi Matching Voters with Parties and Candidates

Chapter Nine – The Impact of Voting Advice Applications on Vote Choice

Ioannis Andreadis and Matthew Wall 115

Chapter Ten – Social Representations of VAAs: A Comparative Analysis

Vasiliki Triga 129

Chapter Eleven – Being a VAA-Candidate: Why Do Candidates Use

Voting Advice Applications and What Can We Learn From It?

Patrick Dumont, Raphaël Kies and Jan Fivaz 145

Chapter Twelve – Using VAA-Generated Data for Mapping Partisan

Supporters in the Ideological Space

Fernando Mendez and Jonathan Wheatley 161

Chapter Thirteen – Matching Voters with Parties in Supranational Elections:

The Case of the EU Profiler

Maria Laura Sudulich, Diego Garzia, Alexander H. Trechsel

and Kristjan Vassil 175

Chapter Fourteen – Does the Electoral System Influence the Political

Positions of Parties and Candidates? Answers from VAA-Research

Andreas Ladner 183

Chapter Fifteen – Keeping Promises: Voting Advice Applications and

Political Representation

Jan Fivaz, Tom Louwerse and Daniel Schwarz 197

Chapter Sixteen – Voting Advice Applications and Political Theory:

Citizenship, Participation and Representation

Joel Anderson and Thomas Fossen 217

The Lausanne Declaration on Voting Advice Applications 227

Bibliography 229

Index 251

Diego Garzia is Jean Monnet postdoctoral fellow at the European University Institute, Florence. Previously, he studied at the Universities of Rome (Sapienza), Leiden, Siena and Oxford. His areas of expertise include comparative political behaviour, parties and elections in Western Europe. He has authored numerous publications and professional reports including articles in journals such as Electoral Studies, Political Psychology, Party Politics, Political Research Quarterly and West European Politics. He is co-editor (with Lorella Cedroni) of Voting Advice Applications in Europe: The State of the Art – the first comparative volume ever devoted to VAAs.

Stefan Marschall is a full professor of political science and Chair of German Politics at the Department of Social Sciences, Heinrich-Heine University, Düsseldorf. Before moving to Düsseldorf in 2010, he was full professor of political science at the University of Siegen. Stefan Marschall is a specialist on the political system of Germany, political communication online, and comparative as well as transnational parliamentarism. He has published textbooks on Germany’s political system and on parliamentarism, as well as numerous journal articles and book chapters about online political communication and parliamentary affairs.

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