Emeritus Professors

Professor Ian Budge Professor Emeritus

Position in departmentEmeritus Professor
Staff positionVisiting Professor
Telephone01206 872499
Office hoursBy appointment email budgi@essex.ac.uk

Founder of international Manifesto Research Project which has produced Mapping Policy Preferences I and II - APSA prizewinners for the over 300 publications they have supported across the world. Author or co-author of some thirty volumes and sixty monographs on democratic theory and practice (most recently the Organizing Democratic Choice (with Keman, McDonald and Pennings and The New Challenge of Direct Democracy): Co-author of The New British Politics. Past Executive Director of the ECPR, Head of Department, Graduate Director, and Founder of Essex Summer Schools on quantitative social research. Current research: the mandate theory of party democracy around the world. His research has been honoured in a Festschrift (Bara and Weale eds. Democratic Politics and Party Competition (London, Routledge, 2006); and by the Lifetime Achievement Award of the European Consortium for Political Research (2013).

Active for over forty years as a political scientist, Ian Budge has made major contributions both to cumulative research on democracy and to organizational developments in the discipline. His earliest research on Glasgow and Belfast focused on causes of democratic breakdown. After a middle period studying elections, voting behaviour and party competition he turned to public policy and how it could be made responsive to popular preferences - the central democratic dilemma. His research covers both Direct and Representative Democracy.

Organisationally, Budge founded the Essex Summer Schools in Quantitative Social Science - now in their forty-fifth year - and played a major part in developing both the European Consortium for Political Research as second Executive Director and the distinguished Department of Government at Essex as Head and Graduate Director several times.  He has also been internationally recognised by visiting professorships at many universities including the Wissenschaftzentum Berlin, Netherlands Institute for Advanced Study, European University Institute Florence, UC Irvine, Suny Binghamton and ANU Canberra.

Combining research and organisational concerns has been his Directorship of the Comparative Manifestos Project (MRG/CMP/MARPOR). This has collected and anaylised the election programmes of all significant parties in all post-war elections in over 50 democracies world-wide, to provide long policy time series for parties, electorates and governments. These have supported over 300 published pieces of research, including Budge's own. Their importance to comparative politics was recognised by an American Political Science Association Award in 2003, and by a festschrift dedicated to them (Democratic Politics and Party Competition ed. Bara & Weale, Routledge, London, 2006).


ORGANIZING DEMOCRACTIC CHOICE: PARTY REPRESENTATION OVER TIME, (2012, OUP), (with Keman, McDonald and Pennings).  Models how democracy necessarily brings public policy into line with popular preferences through its basic mechanisms of party competition in elections and their alternation in government.  it then shows that the model works substantively by checking predictions against evidence from 25 post-war democracies using declared policy targets of parties and governments, election surveys and public expenditures.  On this basis it develops a policy equilibrium measure to measure how well actual democracies are working.

MAPPING POLICY PREFERENCES FROM TEXTS: STATISTICAL SOLUTIONS FOR MANIFESTO ANALYSTS (2013, OUP (with Volkens, Bara, McDonald and others).  The definitive guide to estimating party, government and citizen preferences as declared in political texts and voting statistics for 54 post-war democracies.  Provides full documentation on the Manifesto Project Data Base at the Wissenschaftzentrum Berlin, with evidence for their general Validity and Reliability and procedures for error estimation and use in political and economic research.


MA (History), First Class 1959, Edinburgh

MA (Political Science) Distinction, 1961, Yale

PhD, 1967, Yale

Current research

Crisis of Contemporary National Democracies (with Sarah Birch)

Updating the CMP/MARPOR Manifesto Data-Set for extended public use

Research interests

How democracy works in terms of party competition, party government and interaction with the population


Published Books

Ian Budge and D W Urwin, (1966), Scottish Political Behaviour, (London, Longman)

Ian Budge, (1970), Agreement and the Stability of Democracy, (Chicago, Markham), (Spanish Edition, Buenos Aires, 1971)

Ian Budge, et.al., (1972), Political Stratification and Democracy, (London, Macmillan)

Ian Budge and C O’Leary, (1973), Belfast: Approach to Crisis, (London, Macmillan)

Ian Budge, Ivor Crewe, D J Farlie et.al., (eds) (1976), Party Identification and Beyond, (London and New York, Wiley).  Reprinted 2010

Ian Budge and D J Farlie, (1977), Voting and Party Competition, (London and New York, Wiley)

Ian Budge and D J Farlie, (1983), Explaining and Predicting Elections, (London, Allen and Unwin). Spanish edition, Centre for Constitutional Studies, Madrid, 1986 ‘Pronosticos Eletorales’

Ian Budge, David McKay et.al., (1983), The New British Political System, (London, Longman). Second edition The Changing British Political System, 1987: Third edition The Developing British Political System: the 1990s, 1993

Ian Budge, D Robertson, D J Hearl et.al., (1987), Ideology, Strategy and Party Movement, (Cambridge, CUP).  Reprinted 2008

Ian Budge and Hans E Keman, (1990), Parties and Democracy: Coalition Formation and Government Functioning in 22 Democracies, (Oxford, OUP) Paperback 1993

M J Laver, Ian Budge et.al., (1992), Party Policy and Government Coalitions, (London, Sage)

J Woldendorp, Hans E Keman, Ian Budge, (1993), Handbook of Democratic Government, (Dordrecht, Kluwer). Also published as special issue of European Journal of Political Research, (1993)

Ian Budge and David McKay (eds), Developing Democracy, (London, Sage, 1994), (with two editorial chapters)

H D Klingemann, R I Hofferbert, Ian Budge et.al., Parties, Policies and Democracy (Boulder Co, Westview, 1994)

Ian Budge, The New Challenge of Direct Democracy, (Polity, 1996); Japanese Edition, 2001

Ian Budge, K Newton et.al., The Politics of the New Europe, (Longman, 1997); Polish, Spanish and Korean Editions

Ian Budge, Ivor Crewe, David McKay, Kenneth Newton, The New British Politics (Addison Wesley Longman, London, 1998) revised edition 2000. Second edition 2002. Third edition 2004. Fourth edition 2007.

Jaap Woldendorp, Hans Keman, Ian Budge, Party Governments in 48 Democracies, (1945-1998) (Kluwer, Dordrecht, 2000)

Ian Budge, H D Klingemann, Andrea Volkens, Judith Bara, et al, Mapping Policy Preferences, Estimates for Parties, Governments and Electors 1945-1998, (Oxford U.P, Oxford 2001). Reprinted 2004: Winner, APSA Comparative Data-Set Prize, 2003.

Michael McDonald and Ian Budge, Elections, Parties, Democracy: Conferring the Median Mandate, (Oxford, OUP, 2005)

Klingemann, H-D, Andrea Volkens, Judith Bara, Ian Budge and Michael D. McDonald, Mapping Policy Preferences II: Estimates for Parties Governments & Electors in the OECD, EU and Central and Eastern Europe 1990-2003 (Oxford, OUP, 2006)

Ian Budge (with J.E. Keman, M. McDonald and Paul Pennings) Organizing Democratic Choice: Party Representation Over Time Oxford, OUP, 2012)

Ian Budge (with Volkens et al) Mapping Policy Preferences from Texts: Measurement Solutions for Manifesto Analysts (Oxford, OUP, 2013)

Articles and Monographs

Budge, Ian.  (forthcoming) Issue Emphases, Saliency Theory and Issue Ownership: An Historical and Conceptual Analysis.   West European Politics Special Issue

McDonald, Michael D., and Budge, Ian. (2014) Getting it (approximately) Right (and Center and Left!: Reliability and Uncertainty Estimates for the Compative Manifesto Data.  Electoral Studies 35: 67-77

Budge, Ian and Michael D. McDonald.  (2012) Conceptualizing and measurement and 'centrism' correctly on the Left-Right scale (RILE) - without systematic bias.  A general response by MARPOR.  Electoral Studies 31: 609-612

McDonald, Michael D., Ian Budge and Robin Best. (2012). Electoral Majorities, Political Parties, and Collective Representation.  Comparative Political Studies 45:1104
Best, Robin, Ian Budge, and Michael D. McDonald.(2012)   Representation as a Median Mandate: Talking Cross-national Differences Seriously.  EJPS 51: 1-23
Factionalism, Ideology and Party Policy Movement (with Ezrow & McDonald) British Journal of Political Science 40, 2010
‘Dimensions & Locating Parties – Methodological & Conceptual Problems’, Chap 4c of R. Katz and W. Crotty (eds) Handbook on Political Parties (Sage, London & Beverley Hills, 2005
‘Direct Democracy’ Chapter 30 of The Oxford H-31andbook of Political Institutions ed Rhodes, Binder & Rockman (Oxford, OUP, 2006)
(with Paul Pennings) Missing the Message & Shooting the Messenger: Benoit & Laver’s ‘Response’ in Electoral Studies special edition on policy indicators. 2007
(with McDonald) ‘Election and Party System Effects on Policy Representation: Bringing Time into a Comparative Perspective’, Electoral Studies, 2007
(with McDonald) ‘Choices Parties Offer: A Survey of 17 Countries; Party Politics, (2006)
(with Paul Pennings) ‘Do They Work?’ Validating Computerized Word Frequency Approaches Against Long Policy Series’ for a special issue of Electoral Studies on Policy Indicators, edited by Gary Marks (2007)
(M. Kim, M. McDonald), ‘Party Families and National Parties in Western Europe: A Comparative Assessment’ pp. 263-284 of Tsatos et al (eds) Political Parties in the 21st Century (Sarkoutis, Athnes; Berliner Wissenchaftverlag; Bruyant, Brussels; 2004)
‘Anthony Downs: ‘Master of Many Models’, Rivista Italiana di Scienza Politica, 2003
(with Bara) Party Policy and Ideology: Still New Labour? Parliamentary Affairs’, Vol. 54 (October 2001) No. 4, pp. 590-606
‘Parties, Pressure Groups and People’, Chap 24 of Direct Democracy: The Central and East European Experience. A. Auer and M. Buetzer (Aldershot, Ashcroft, 2001)
(With McDonald and Pennings), ‘Choice Versus Sensitivity: Party reactions to Public Concerns’, European Journal of Political Research, Vol. 43 (2005) 845-868
)With McDonald and Mendes), ‘What are Elections for?’ Conferring the Median Mandate, BJPS 34, 126 (2004)
‘Political Parties in Direct Democracy’ pp. 67-87 of Mendelsohn Matthew & Andrew Parkin: Referendum Democracy: Citizens, Elites and Deliberation in Referendum Campaigns (London, Palgrave, 2001)
‘Discursive Democracy vs Direct Democracy – plus Political Parties!’ chapter 14 of M. Saward (ed) Democratic Innovation (Routledge, London, 2001)
‘Validating the Manifesto Group Approach: Theoretical Assumptions and Empirical Confirmations’ chapter 4 of Michael Laver (ed) Estimating the Policy Positions of Political Actors (A Routledge, London, 2001)
(with M McDonald and R I Hofferbert) ‘Party Mandate Theory and Time-Series Analysis’ Electoral Studies Vol 18 (1999)
‘Validating Party Policy Positions’ British Journal of Political Science Vol 30 (2000)
‘Expert Judgements of Party Policy Positions: Uses and Limitations in Political Research’ European Journal of Political Research Vol 35 (2000)
‘Great Britain: A Stable but Fragile Party System’ Chapter 7 of Paul Pennings and Janerik Lane Comparing Party System Change (London, Routledge, 1998)
‘Party Policy and Ideology: Reversing the 1950s’ Chapter 1 of G Evans and Pippa Norris (eds.) Critical Elections (London, Routledge, 1999)
(with Jaap Woldendorp and Hans Keman) ‘Party Government in 20 Democracies: an Update (1990-1995)’ European Journal of Political Research Vol 33 (1998), 125-164
(with R I Hofferbert) ‘Comparative textual analysis of government and party activity’ chapter 6 of Comparing Government Activity Louis M Imbeau and Robert D McKinley (eds) (London, Macmillan, 1996)
(with R I Hofferbert) ‘Patterns of Post-war expenditure in ten democracies’ chapter 3 of Comparing Government Activity Louis M Imbeau & Robert D McKinley (eds) (London, Macmillan, 1996)
(with D J Hearl and Bernard Pearson) ‘Distinctiveness of regional voting: a comparative analysis across the European Community (1949-1993)’ Electoral Studies Vol 15 (1996)
‘Great Britain and Ireland: institutional variations within a common culture’ part II of
J Colomar (ed) Political Institutions in Europe Laterza (Rome), Ariel (Madrid), Routledge (London) 1995-96
‘Political parties: a new theoretical approach’ article in Political Parties ed W Crotty, Special issue of American Review of Politics (1995)
‘A New Spatial Theory of Party Competition: Uncertainty, Ideology and Policy Equilibria Viewed Comparatively and Temporarily, BJPS, 24 (1994)
(with K Strøm and M J Laver) ‘Constraints on cabinet formation in parliamentary democracies’ American Journal of Political Science, (1994) vol 38, 303-35
‘Rational choice as comparative theory: beyond economic self-interest’ in Hans Keman (ed) Comparative Politics Perspectives (Amsterdam, CT Press, 1993)
(with H E Keman and J Woldendorp) (1993) Special issue on comparative government data of European Journal of Political Research
(with M J Laver) ‘The policy basis of government coalitions: a comparative investigation’ British Journal of Political Science 23, (1993)
‘Government’ in Dictionary of Society and Theology ed A Lindzey and B Clarke (1993 Routledge)
Economic decline as political issue: ideological assumptions of the debate in post-war Britain Contemporary Record Vol 7 no 1 (1993)
‘Issues, dimensions and change in post-war democracies’ in W H Riker (ed) Agenda-formation (Ann Arbor, University of Michigan Press, 1993)
‘Direct democracy: setting appropriate terms for debate’ in D Held (ed), Prospects for Democracy (Cambridge, Polity Press, 1993)
(with R I Hofferbert and Michael MacDonald) ‘Linkages between platforms and policies revisited’ American Political Science Review 87, (1993)
(with R I Hofferbert), ‘The party mandate and the Westminster model: party programmes and government spending in Britain 1948-85’, British Journal of Political Science 21, (1991)
‘Un’ Analisi Comparata dei Partiti e del Voto A Livello Regionale in Europa, Quaderni dell’ Osservatorio Elettorale 20, (1990)
(with Hans Keman) ‘New concerns for coalition theory: allocation of ministries and sectoral policy-making’ Acta Politica 25 (1990)
(with R I Hofferbert), ‘Mandates and policy outputs: US party platforms and Federal expenditures’, American Political Science Review 84, (1990)
‘Can utilitarianism justify democracy? Benthanism as ‘Positive Theory’ in Lincoln Allison, (ed), The Utilitarian Response. The Contemporary Viability of Utilitarian Political Philosophy, (London: Sage, 1990)
‘L’impatto Politico delle Tecnologie Informatiche: Partecipazione o autoritarismo? Nuove Questioni per la Teoria Democratica’, Teoria Politica 5, (1989)
(with M J Laver), ‘Policy, ideology and party distance: analysis of election programmes in 19 democracies’, LSQ 11, (1986)
(with M J Laver), ‘Office-seeking and policy-pursuit in coalition theory’, Legislative Studies Quarterly 11, (1986)
‘Continuità e Discontinuità Dei Sistemi Partitici? Una Ricerca Comparata’, Quaderni dell’ Osservatorio Elettorale 16, (1986)
‘É’ Possibile Predire I Risultati Elettorali?’, Rivista Italiana di Scienza Politica 15, (1985)
‘Party factions and government reshuffles’, European Journal of Political Research 13, (1985)
‘Parties and democratic government: a framework for comparative explanation’, West European Politics, 7, (1984)
‘Strategies, issues and votes: British general elections 1950-79’, Comparative Political Studies, Vol 15, (1982)
(with D J Farlie and M J Laver), ‘What is a rational choice?’, Electoral Studies, Vol 2, (1983)
‘Electoral volatility: issue effects and basic change in 23 post-war democracies’, Electoral Studies, Vol 1 (1982)
‘Predicting regime change: a cross-national investigation with aggregate data 1950-1980, (with D J Farlie), Quantity and Quality 15, (1981)
‘A predictive index of politicians’ career success’, (with D J Farlie), European Journal of Political Research, Vol 9, 1981
‘Selective emphases versus direct confrontation: an alternative view of party competition with data’, (with D J Farlie), in P Mair and H Daalder (eds) West European Party Systems, (London: Sage, 1982)
‘Social background vs motivational determinants of legislative careers in the Netherlands’, (with G Irwin and D J Farlie), Legislative Science Quarterly Vol 6, 1981
‘The potentiality of dimensional analyses for modelling voting and party competition’, (with D J Farlie), European Journal of Political Research, Vol 6, May 1978
‘Representations of political argument: applications within metaplanning’, Political Studies, Vol 26, (November 1978)
‘Coalitions and government formation: an empirically relevant theory’, (with ( M Herman), British Journal of Political Science, Vol 8, November 1978.
‘Newtonian mechanics and predictive election theory: a point by point comparison’, British Journal of Political Science, (7), 1977, (with D J Farlie)
‘Political recruitment and drop-out: extensions to the Netherlands and United States’, British Journal of Political Science, Vol 7, (1977), (with D J Farlie and G Irwin)
‘Perpetual supremacy and permanent opposition: Parliament in Northern Ireland 1922-72’, (with C O’Leary), in A Eldridge (ed), Legislatures in Plural Societies, (Duke University Press, Durham, NC 1976)
‘Social background and political recruitment’. British Journal of Political Science, Vol 5, (1975), with Dennis Farlie)
‘Social background and issue preferences of elites’, in Yearbook of Political Sociology, Vol 1, ed I Crewe (1974, Croom-Helm, London), (with Dennis Farlie)
‘Recent legislative research: assumptions and strategies’, European Journal of Political Research, Vol 1, (1973)
‘Background and attitudinal cross-cutting’, Midwest Journal of Political Science, Vol 17, Summer 1973 (with C O’Leary)
‘Support for nation and government among English children: an alternative interpretation’, British Journal of Political Science, Vol III, (January 1973)
‘Jeremy Bentham: A Re-evaluation’, Political Studies, Vol 19 (March 1971)
‘Cross-cutting cleavages, agreement and compromise’, Midwest Journal of Political Science, Vol 15 (February 1971), (with C O’Leary)
‘Electors’ attitudes towards local government: a survey of a Glasgow constituency’, Political Studies, Vol XIII, (1965)
Patterns of Democratic Agreement. PhD Thesis 1966 (University Micro-films, Ann Arbor, Michigan, USA)


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