Political Depolarization in Germany

Simon Munzerta and Paul Bauer have a new paper:

Public opinion polarization has decreased over the last three decades in Germany. In particular, highly educated and more politically interested people have become less polarized over time. However, polarization seems to have increased in attitudes regarding gender issues. These findings provide interesting contrasts to existing research on the American public.

Here’s what they do:

Public opinion polarization is conceptualized and measured as alignment of attitudes. Data from the German General Social Survey (1980 to 2010) comprise attitudes towards manifold issues, which are classified into several dimensions. This study estimates multilevel models that reveal general and issue- as well as dimension-specific levels and trends in attitude alignment for both the whole German population and sub-groups.

Their method follows what Delia and I did using the NES to study the well-known phenomenon of increasing political polarization in the U.S.

I don’t know much about polarization in different countries; the topic seems very much worth studying.

One Response to Political Depolarization in Germany

  1. Fr. August 29, 2013 at 11:08 am #

    Your AJS article is an interesting read, and I’ve seen the footnote on lmer. Still, wouldn’t it be useful to release the code somewhere, following your excellent policy on papers? That’d be useful for replication and, as nicely illustrated by the other cited paper, generalization purposes.

    I’m asking because the coding for many parts of the analysis are obvious, e.g. arm::corrplot, but other bits like the model specification is less obvious to readers like me, who are interested in the topic but not well-versed enough to easily rebuild the spec from scratch. For that reason, it’d be a real plus to have the code at hand.