Parties, Voters, and National Identity

About the project

The project is focused on the methods through which political parties use themes connected to national identity, which political parties present in their election programs. These themes are divided into 4 main groups:

  • EU - Is the EU perceived as an opportunity or a threat? Are parties supporting transnational integration or a return to a "union of states"?
  • Minorities - Do the parties support inclusive policies toward minorities, do they promote the preservation of minority cultures or request their assimilation or even perceive it as a threat?
  • Culture - Should culture serve as an element in shaping national consciousness? What relationship should the church have with the state?
  • The World - How do political parties understand the external environment? Does it represent to them a space for strengthening their own influence on the state or a threat to their existence?

These categories are filled with a total of 50 codes on the basis of which electoral programs are analyzed. The codes were created on the basis of the use of grounded theory as one of the research methods of social science research. This method focuses on contextual analysis of texts and discovery of hidden connections. The codes are therefore adapted to the context of Central Europe.

Election programs are seen as a means for political parties to try attracting voters. Political parties are currently inserting their own ideas about hierarchy of values and priorities in society into their electoral programs, meanwhile taking into account themes that have the greatest chance of attracting potential voters. Currently, the topic of national identity is often being spread out in various locations of electoral programs. The chosen method for investigation is therefore a suitable tool for analyzing the communication of political parties transmitted through an electoral program.

Which indicators do we continue to work with?

Political parties and their electoral programs are not the only data with which we work. Our goal is to show how selected indicators influence election results of political parties, respectively the perception of national identity by the electorate.

Other than perceiving national identity through political parties in their election programs, we also work with the results of parliamentary elections starting from the year 2006. The purpose of using the election results is to attempt to evaluate the possible impact of selected indicators directly at the level of individual communities.

Furthermore, we are working with data that may influence electoral gains of political parties highlighting the theme of national identity, whether positively or negatively. These indicators are, for example, socio-economic data of statistical offices, the volume of subsidies from structural funds, or the level of crime.