Coding Scheme: mp v4

hint: you can also download here a csv-spreadsheet (comma-separated, utf8-encoding) that contains all the categories of handbook 4, handbook 5, and the cee-subcategories of handbook 3 for spreadsheet-like access. For each category you get code, variable_name, domain, title, description, and label. This table is based on the category descriptions as documented in the codebook of the 2020a version of our main dataset .

  • 101

    Foreign Special Relationships: Positive

    Favourable mentions of particular countries with which the manifesto country has a special relationship; the need for co-operation with and/or aid to such countries.

  • 102

    Foreign Special Relationships: Negative

    Negative mentions of particular countries with which the manifesto country has a special relationship.

  • 103


    Negative references to imperial behaviour and/or negative references to one state exerting strong influence (political, military or commercial) over other states. May also include:
    • Negative references to controlling other countries as if they were part of an empire;
    • Favourable references to greater self-government and independence for colonies;
    • Favourable mentions of de-colonisation.

  • 104

    Military: Positive

    The importance of external security and defence. May include statements concerning:
    • The need to maintain or increase military expenditure;
    • The need to secure adequate manpower in the military;
    • The need to modernise armed forces and improve military strength;
    • The need for rearmament and self-defence;
    • The need to keep military treaty obligations.

  • 105

    Military: Negative

    Negative references to the military or use of military power to solve conflicts. References to the ‘evils of war’. May include references to:
    • Decreasing military expenditures;
    • Disarmament;
    • Reduced or abolished conscription.

  • 106


    Any declaration of belief in peace and peaceful means of solving crises -- absent reference to the military. May include:
    • Peace as a general goal;
    • Desirability of countries joining in negotiations with hostile countries;
    • Ending wars in order to establish peace.

  • 107

    Internationalism: Positive

    Need for international co-operation, including co-operation with specific countries other than those coded in 101. May also include references to the:
    • Need for aid to developing countries;
    • Need for world planning of resources;
    • Support for global governance;
    • Need for international courts;
    • Support for UN or other international organisations.

  • 108

    European Community/Union: Positive

    Favourable mentions of European Community/Union in general. May include the:
    • Desirability of the manifesto country joining (or remaining a member);
    • Desirability of expanding the European Community/Union;
    • Desirability of increasing the ECs/EUs competences;
    • Desirability of expanding the competences of the European Parliament.

  • 109

    Internationalism: Negative

    Negative references to international co-operation. Favourable mentions of national independence and sovereignty with regard to the manifesto country’s foreign policy, isolation and/or unilateralism as opposed to internationalism.

  • 110

    European Community/Union: Negative

    Negative references to the European Community/Union. May include:
    • Opposition to specific European policies which are preferred by European authorities;
    • Opposition to the net-contribution of the manifesto country to the EU budget.

  • 201

    Freedom and Human Rights

    Favourable mentions of importance of personal freedom and civil rights in the manifesto and other countries. May include mentions of:
    • The right to the freedom of speech, press, assembly etc.;
    • Freedom from state coercion in the political and economic spheres;
    • Freedom from bureaucratic control;
    • The idea of individualism.

  • 202


    Favourable mentions of democracy as the “only game in town”. General support for the manifesto country’s democracy. May also include:
    • Democracy as method or goal in national, international or other organisations (e.g. labour unions, political parties etc.);
    • The need for the involvement of all citizens in political decision-making;
    • Support for either direct or representative democracy;
    • Support for parts of democratic regimes (rule of law, division of powers, independence of courts etc.).

  • 203

    Constitutionalism: Positive

    Support for maintaining the status quo of the constitution. Support for specific aspects of the manifesto country’s constitution. The use of constitutionalism as an argument for any policy.

  • 204

    Constitutionalism: Negative

    Opposition to the entirety or specific aspects of the manifesto country’s constitution. Calls for constitutional amendments or changes. May include calls to abolish or rewrite the current constitution.

  • 301


    Support for federalism or decentralisation of political and/or economic power. May include:
    • Favourable mentions of the territorial subsidiary principle;
    • More autonomy for any sub-national level in policy making and/or economics;
    • Support for the continuation and importance of local and regional customs and symbols and/or deference to local expertise;
    • Favourable mentions of special consideration for sub-national areas.

  • 302


    General opposition to political decision-making at lower political levels. Support for unitary government and for more centralisation in political and administrative procedures.

  • 303

    Governmental and Administrative Efficiency

    Need for efficiency and economy in government and administration and/or the general appeal to make the process of government and administration cheaper and more efficient. May include:
    • Restructuring the civil service;
    • Cutting down on the civil service;
    • Improving bureaucratic procedures.

  • 304

    Political Corruption

    Need to eliminate political corruption and associated abuses of political and/or bureaucratic power.

  • 305

    Political Authority

    References to the manifesto party’s competence to govern and/or other party’s lack of such competence. Also includes favourable mentions of the desirability of a strong and/or stable government in general.

  • 401

    Free Market Economy

    Favourable mentions of the free market and free market capitalism as an economic model. May include favourable references to:
    • Laissez-faire economy;
    • Superiority of individual enterprise over state and control systems;
    • Private property rights;
    • Personal enterprise and initiative;
    • Need for unhampered individual enterprises.

  • 402


    Favourable mentions of supply side oriented economic policies (assistance to businesses rather than consumers). May include:
    • Financial and other incentives such as subsidies, tax breaks etc.;
    • Wage and tax policies to induce enterprise;
    • Encouragement to start enterprises.

  • 403

    Market Regulation

    Support for policies designed to create a fair and open economic market. May include:
    • Calls for increased consumer protection;
    • Increasing economic competition by preventing monopolies and other actions disrupting the functioning of the market;
    • Defence of small businesses against disruptive powers of big businesses;
    • Social market economy.

  • 404

    Economic Planning

    Favourable mentions of long-standing economic planning by the government. May be:
    • Policy plans, strategies, policy patterns etc.;
    • Of a consultative or indicative nature.

  • 405

    Corporatism/ Mixed Economy

    Favourable mentions of cooperation of government, employers, and trade unions simultaneously. The collaboration of employers and employee organisations in overall economic planning supervised by the state.

  • 406

    Protectionism: Positive

    Favourable mentions of extending or maintaining the protection of internal markets (by the manifesto or other countries). Measures may include:
    • Tariffs;
    • Quota restrictions;
    • Export subsidies.

  • 407

    Protectionism: Negative

    Support for the concept of free trade and open markets. Call for abolishing all means of market protection (in the manifesto or any other country).

  • 408

    Economic Goals

    Broad and general economic goals that are not mentioned in relation to any other category. General economic statements that fail to include any specific goal.

  • 409

    Keynesian Demand Management

    Favourable mentions of demand side oriented economic policies (assistance to consumers rather than businesses). Particularly includes increase private demand through
    • Increasing public demand;
    • Increasing social expenditures.
    May also include:
    • Stabilisation in the face of depression;
    • Government stimulus plans in the face of economic crises.

  • 410

    Economic Growth: Positive

    The paradigm of economic growth. Includes:
    • General need to encourage or facilitate greater production;
    • Need for the government to take measures to aid economic growth.

  • 411

    Technology and Infrastructure

    Importance of modernisation of industry and updated methods of transport and communication. May include:
    • Importance of science and technological developments in industry;
    • Need for training and research within the economy (This does not imply education in general (see category 506);
    • Calls for public spending on infrastructure such as roads and bridges;
    • Support for public spending on technological infrastructure (e.g.: broadband internet, etc.).

  • 412

    Controlled Economy

    Support for direct government control of economy. May include, for instance:
    • Control over prices;
    • Introduction of minimum wages.

  • 413


    Favourable mentions of government ownership of industries, either partial or complete. May also include favourable mentions of government ownership of land.

  • 414

    Economic Orthodoxy

    Need for economically healthy government policy making. May include calls for:
    • Reduction of budget deficits;
    • Retrenchment in crisis;
    • Thrift and savings in the face of economic hardship;
    • Support for traditional economic institutions such as stock market and banking system;
    • Support for strong currency.

  • 415

    Marxist Analysis: Positive

    Positive references to Marxist-Leninist ideology and specific use of Marxist-Leninist terminology by the manifesto party (typically but not necessary by communist parties).

  • 416

    Anti-Growth Economy: Positive

    Favourable mentions of anti-growth politics. Rejection of the idea that all growth is good growth. Opposition to growth that causes environmental or societal harm. Call for sustainable economic development.

  • 501

    Environmental Protection: Positive

    General policies in favour of protecting the environment, fighting climate change, and other “green” policies. For instance:
    • General preservation of natural resources;
    • Preservation of countryside, forests, etc.;
    • Protection of national parks;
    • Animal rights.
    May include a great variance of policies that have the unified goal of environmental protection.

  • 502

    Culture: Positive

    Need for state funding of cultural and leisure facilities including arts and sport. May include:
    • The need to fund museums, art galleries, libraries etc.;
    • The need to encourage cultural mass media and worthwhile leisure activities, such as public sport clubs.

  • 503

    Equality: Positive

    Concept of social justice and the need for fair treatment of all people. This may include:
    • Special protection for underprivileged social groups;
    • Removal of class barriers;
    • Need for fair distribution of resources;
    • The end of discrimination (e.g. racial or sexual discrimination).

  • 504

    Welfare State Expansion

    Favourable mentions of need to introduce, maintain or expand any public social service or social security scheme. This includes, for example, government funding of: • Health care;
    • Child care
    • Elder care and pensions;
    • Social housing

  • 505

    Welfare State Limitation

    Limiting state expenditures on social services or social security. Favourable mentions of the social subsidiary principle (i.e. private care before state care);

  • 506

    Education Expansion

    Need to expand and/or improve educational provision at all levels.

  • 507

    Education Limitation

    Limiting state expenditure on education. May include:
    • The introduction or expansion of study fees at all educational levels
    • Increasing the number of private schools.

  • 601

    National Way of Life: Positive

    Favourable mentions of the manifesto country’s nation, history, and general appeals. May include:
    • Support for established national ideas;
    • General appeals to pride of citizenship;
    • Appeals to patriotism;
    • Appeals to nationalism;
    • Suspension of some freedoms in order to protect the state against subversion.

  • 602

    National Way of Life: Negative

    Unfavourable mentions of the manifesto country’s nation and history. May include:
    • Opposition to patriotism;
    • Opposition to nationalism;
    • Opposition to the existing national state, national pride, and national ideas.

  • 603

    Traditional Morality: Positive

    Favourable mentions of traditional and/or religious moral values. May include:
    • Prohibition, censorship and suppression of immorality and unseemly behaviour;
    • Maintenance and stability of the traditional family as a value;
    • Support for the role of religious institutions in state and society.

  • 604

    Traditional Morality: Negative

    Opposition to traditional and/or religious moral values. May include:
    • Support for divorce, abortion etc.;
    • General support for modern family composition;
    • Calls for the separation of church and state.

  • 605

    Law and Order: Positive

    Favourable mentions of strict law enforcement, and tougher actions against domestic crime. Only refers to the enforcement of the status quo of the manifesto country’s law code. May include:
    • Increasing support and resources for the police;
    • Tougher attitudes in courts;
    • Importance of internal security.

  • 606

    Civic Mindedness: Positive

    Appeals for national solidarity and the need for society to see itself as united. Calls for solidarity with and help for fellow people, familiar and unfamiliar. May include: • Favourable mention of the civil society;
    • Decrying anti-social attitudes in times of crisis;
    • Appeal for public spiritedness;
    • Support for the public interest.

  • 607

    Multiculturalism: Positive

    Favourable mentions of cultural diversity and cultural plurality within domestic societies. May include the preservation of autonomy of religious, linguistic heritages within the country including special educational provisions.

  • 608

    Multiculturalism: Negative

    The enforcement or encouragement of cultural integration. Appeals for cultural homogeneity in society.

  • 701

    Labour Groups: Positive

    Favourable references to all labour groups, the working class, and unemployed workers in general. Support for trade unions and calls for the good treatment of all employees, including: • More jobs;
    • Good working conditions;
    • Fair wages;
    • Pension provisions etc.

  • 702

    Labour Groups: Negative

    Negative references to labour groups and trade unions. May focus specifically on the danger of unions ‘abusing power’.

  • 703

    Agriculture and Farmers: Positive

    Specific policies in favour of agriculture and farmers. Includes all types of agriculture and farming practises. Only statements that have agriculture as the key goal should be included in this category.

  • 704

    Middle Class and Professional Groups

    General favourable references to the middle class. Specifically, statements may include references to:
    • Professional groups, (e.g.: doctors or lawyers);
    • White collar groups, (e.g.: bankers or office employees),
    • Service sector groups (e.g.: IT industry employees);
    • Old and/or new middle class.

  • 705

    Underprivileged Minority Groups

    Very general favourable references to underprivileged minorities who are defined neither in economic nor in demographic terms (e.g. the handicapped, homosexuals, immigrants). Only includes favourable statements that cannot be classified in other categories (e.g. 503, 504, 604 etc.)

  • 706

    Non-economic Demographic Groups

    General favourable mentions of demographically defined special interest groups of all kinds. They may include:
    • Women;
    • University students;
    • Old, young, or middle aged people.
    Might include references to assistance to these groups, but only if these do not fall under other categories (e.g. 503 or 504).

  • 000

    No meaningful category applies

    Statements not covered by other categories; sentences devoid of any meaning.