Professor Ian Budge

Emeritus Professor
Department of Government
Professor Ian Budge



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).


  • MA (History) University of Edinburgh, (1959)

  • MA (Political Science) Yale University, (1961)

  • PhD Yale University, (1967)

Research and professional activities

Research interests

How democracy works in terms of party competition

Party government and interaction with the population


Journal articles (48)

Best, RE., Budge, I. and McDonald, MD., (2018). Jettisoning Illusions About the Median Mandate. Legislative Studies Quarterly. 43 (1), 11-20

Budge, I., (2015). Issue Emphases, Saliency Theory and Issue Ownership: A Historical and Conceptual Analysis. West European Politics. 38 (4), 761-777

McDonald, MD. and Budge, I., (2014). Getting it (approximately) right (and center and left!): Reliability and uncertainty estimates for the comparative manifesto data. Electoral Studies. 35, 67-77

McDonald, MD., Budge, I. and Best, RE., (2012). Electoral Majorities, Political Parties, and Collective Representation. Comparative Political Studies. 45 (9), 1104-1131

Budge, I. and McDonald, MD., (2012). Conceptualising and measuring ‘centrism’ correctly on the Left–Right scale (RILE) - without systematic bias. A general response by MARPOR. Electoral Studies. 31 (3), 609-612

BEST, RE., BUDGE, IAN. and MCDONALD, MD., (2012). Representation as a median mandate: Taking cross-national differences seriously. European Journal of Political Research. 51 (1), 1-23

Budge, I., Ezrow, L. and McDonald, MD., (2010). Ideology, Party Factionalism and Policy Change: An integrated dynamic theory. British Journal of Political Science. 40 (4), 781-804

Volkens, A., Bara, J. and Budge, I., (2009). Data quality in content analysis. The case of the comparative manifestos project. Historical Social Research. 34 (1), 234-251

Budge, I. and McDonald, MD., (2007). Election and party system effects on policy representation: Bringing time into a comparative perspective. Electoral Studies. 26 (1), 168-179

Budge, I. and Pennings, P., (2007). Do they work? Validating computerised word frequency estimates against policy series. Electoral Studies. 26 (1), 121-129

Budge, I. and Pennings, P., (2007). Missing the message and shooting the messenger: Benoit and Laver's ‘response’. Electoral Studies. 26 (1), 136-141

Budge, I. and McDonald, MD., (2006). Choices Parties Define. Party Politics. 12 (4), 451-466


McDONALD, MD., MENDES, SM. and BUDGE, IAN., (2004). What Are Elections For? Conferring the Median Mandate. British Journal of Political Science. 34 (1), 1-26

McDonald, MD., Budge, I. and Pennings, P., (2004). Choice versus sensitivity: Party reactions to public concerns. European Journal of Political Research. 43 (6), 845-868

BUDGE, IAN., (2001). Validating Party Policy Placements. British Journal of Political Science. 31 (01), 179-223

Bara, J., (2001). Party Policy and Ideology: Still New Labour?. Parliamentary Affairs. 54 (4), 590-606

BUDGE, IAN., (2000). Expert judgements of party policy positions: uses and limitations in political research. European Journal of Political Research. 37 (1), 103-113

(1999). Discussion. Electoral Studies. 18 (4), 587-596

Hearl, DJ., Budge, I. and Pearson, B., (1996). Distinctiveness of regional voting: A comparative analysis across the European Community (1979–1993). Electoral Studies. 15 (2), 167-182

Budge, I., (1994). A New Spatial Theory of Party Competition: Uncertainty, Ideology and Policy Equilibria Viewed Comparatively and Temporally. British Journal of Political Science. 24 (4), 443-467

King, G., Laver, M., Hofferbert, RI., Budge, I. and McDonald, MD., (1993). Party Platforms, Mandates, and Government Spending. American Political Science Review. 87 (3), 744-750

Budge, I. and Laver, M., (1993). The Policy Basis of Government Coalitions: A Comparative Investigation. British Journal of Political Science. 23 (4), 499-519

Hofferbert, RI. and Budge, I., (1992). The Party Mandate and the Westminster Model: Election Programmes and Government Spending in Britain, 1948–85. British Journal of Political Science. 22 (2), 151-182

Budge, I. and Hofferbert, RI., (1990). Mandates and Policy Outputs: U.S. Party Platforms and Federal Expenditures. American Political Science Review. 84 (1), 111-131

BUDGE, IAN., (1985). Party Factions and Government Reshuffles: a General Hypothesis Tested against Data from 20 Post-war Democracies*. European Journal of Political Research. 13 (3), 327-333

Budge, I., (1984). Parties and democratic government: A framework for comparative explanation. West European Politics. 7 (1), 95-118

Budge, I. and Farlie, D., (1983). Party competition - selective emphasis or direct confrontation? An alternative view with data.. Western European party systems: continuity and change, 267-305

Budge, I., Farlie, D. and Laver, M., (1983). Shifts of meaning within explanations of voting and party competition. Electoral Studies. 2 (1), 23-38

BUDGE, IAN., (1982). Strategies, Issues, and Votes. Comparative Political Studies. 15 (2), 171-196

Budge, I., (1982). Electoral volatility: Issue effects and basic change in 23 post-war democracies. Electoral Studies. 1 (2), 147-168

BUDGE, IAN., FARLIE, D. and IRWIN, G., (1981). Predicting Parliamentary Careers: A Quantitative Index Generated and Tested with Dutch Data*. European Journal of Political Research. 9 (2), 201-208

Budge, I. and Farlie, DJ., (1981). Predicting regime change: A cross-national investigation with aggregate data 1950?1980. Quality and Quantity. 15 (4), 335-364


Budge, I., (1978). Representations of Political Argument: Applications within Meta-Planning. Political Studies. 26 (4), 439-449

Budge, I., (1978). Voter Rationality and Party Competition: A Comment on Laver's Suggested Approach. British Journal of Political Science. 8 (4), 511-511

Budge, I. and Herman, V., (1978). Coalitions and Government Formation: An Empirically Relevant Theory. British Journal of Political Science. 8 (4), 459-477

Farlie, D., Budge, I. and Irwin, G., (1977). Political Recruitment and Drop-Out: The Netherlands and the United States. British Journal of Political Science. 7 (4), 465-492

Farlie, D. and Budge, I., (1977). Newtonian Mechanics and Predictive Election Theory. British Journal of Political Science. 7 (3), 413-418

Farlie, D. and Budge, I., (1976). A Rejoinder. British Journal of Political Science. 6 (1), 126-127

Budge, I. and Farlie, D., (1975). Political Recruitment and Dropout: Predictive Success of Background Characteristics Over Five British Localities. British Journal of Political Science. 5 (1), 33-68

BUDGE, IAN., (1973). RECENT LEGISLATIVE RESEARCH: ASSUMPTIONS AND STRATEGIES1. European Journal of Political Research. 1 (4), 317-330

Budge, I., (1973). The Scientific Status of Political Science: A Comment on Self-fulfilling and Self-defeating Predictions. British Journal of Political Science. 3 (2), 249-250

Budge, I., (1973). Consensus Hypotheses and Conflict of Interest: an Attempt at Theory Integration. British Journal of Political Science. 3 (1), 73-98

Budge, I., (1971). Jeremy Bentham: A Re-Evaluation in the Context of Empirical Social Science. Political Studies. 19 (1), 18-36

Budge, I., (1971). Support for Nation and Government Among English Children: A Comment. British Journal of Political Science. 1 (3), 389-392

Budge, I., (1971). Correspondence. Political Studies. 19 (3), 381-382

Budge, I., (1965). Electors' Attitudes towards Local Government: A Survey of a Glasgow Constituency. Political Studies. 13 (3), 386-392

Books (6)

Budge, I., (2019). Politics. Routledge. 9780367025083

Budge, I. and Birch, S., (2014). National Policy in a Global Economy. Palgrave Macmillan UK. 9781349501335

Budge, I., Mckay, D., Newton, K. and Bartle, J., (2013). The New British Politics. Routledge. 9781315834801

Budge, I., McDonald, M., Pennings, P. and Keman, H., (2012). Organizing Democratic Choice. Oxford University Press. 9780199654932

McDonald, MD. and Budge, I., (2005). Elections, Parties, Democracy. Oxford University Press. 0199286728. 9780199286720

Budge, I. and O’Leary, C., (1973). Belfast: Approach to Crisis. Palgrave Macmillan UK. 9781349001286

Book chapters (7)

Budge, I., (2015). Political Parties: Manifestoes. In: International Encyclopedia of the Social & Behavioral Sciences. Elsevier. 417- 420. 9780080970868

(2012). Evaluating Democratic Innovations. In: Evaluating Democratic Innovations: Curing the Democratic Malaise?. Routledge. 23- 38. 9780203155196

(2012). Party Government in the New Europe. In: Party Government in the New Europe. Routledge. 27- 56. 9780203111611

(2008). Comparative European Politics. In: Comparative European Politics: Third Edition. Routledge. 17- 57. 020394609X. 9780203946091

Budge, I., (2008). Direct Democracy. In: The Oxford Handbook of Political Institutions. Oxford University Press. 9780199548460

Budge, I., (2006). Identifying Dimensions and Locating Parties: Methodological and Conceptual Problems. In: Handbook of Party Politics. SAGE Publications Ltd. 422- 433. 9780761943143

(2003). Political Institutions in Europe. In: Political Institutions in Europe: Second Edition. Routledge. 17- 55. 0203303555. 9780203303559

Conferences (1)

Budge, I., (1987). Manifestos and mandates



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