Path: ICPP1980 -> How to use this book, p. ix
Kenneth Janda
Political Parties: A Cross-National Survey
New York: The Free Press, 1980
return to page vi

REPORTING THE WORK of the International Comparative Political Parties project, this book describes and analyzes 158 political parties operating in 53 countries around the world during 1950-1962 and also traces their histories through 1978. Because the book combines description with analysis, its structure is somewhat complex and readers may require guidance in using it. One should begin by reading the preface [p. xi], which sets forth the purpose of the study and discusses the book's division into two parts. Part One explains the method for scoring party characteristics and summarizes the scores across all parties; Part Two reports data on individual parties in each country.

Reading Chapters 1, 2, and 14 in Part One provides the best overview of the study. Chapter 1 discuses the study's coverage and focus. Chapter 2 describes the methodology for collecting data, and controls for data quality. Chapter 14 evaluates the success in coding the original parties on the 111 variables underlying the main concepts in the conceptual framework. The intervening chapters, 3 through 13, can be consulted selectively to learn how given party characteristics are conceptualized and measured and how parties are distributed across the coding categories. Chapter 15 offers a historical perspective by accounting for the fate of the original 158 parties and assessing the status of 50 additional parties that were included when the time frame was extended through 1978.

Readers interested mainly in data on specific countries should consult the introduction to Part Two, beginning on page 175, before studying the country material in the following sections. Because these data consist largely of judgments of party scores on variables in the study's conceptual framework, the serious user should also consult the explanations of the variables in Part One, Chapters 3 through 13.

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