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Datasets

One aim of the SEDEPE network is to provide a fully comparative and constantly updated data set on ministerial careers in a large number of European and non-European democracies. The data set covers a far under-researched field of politial science, not the least because efforts at collecting reliable and fully comparable data have been scarce. Previous attempts at building cross-national datasets, which were limited to a small set of countries mainly in Western Europe, are also now clearly outdated (see the Blondel/Thiébault data set).

Thus, the aims which SEDEPE wants to achieve with this ministerial careers data set are

  • to widen the scope of countries studied, the periods covered up until the most recent government compositions and individual ministers’ movements,
  • to set up clear rules regarding methods and codings in order to form a cross-national dataset geared for fully comparative analyses, and
  • to arrange for new insights into the political sociology of national executives by providing a wide range of variables about each minister’s personal background, his appointment and the cabinet he was working in.

Academics are being invited to collect data on their country according to a specific codebook designed by Hanna Back, Keith Dowding, Patrick Dumont and Luca Verzichelli in consultation with other network members. Individual academics will be responsible for coding the data of their own countries. Coders will make the data they collect available to other coders in the network.  It is to be expected that coders for each country will initially analyze the data for that country and be invited to write up their results for SEDEPE outputs including edited collections and special journal issues. Of course, authors might also write articles for academic journals or other collections, but would be expected to contribute a chapter for relevant SEDEPE books.

The SEDEPE Codebook can be downloaded here.