本研究では, 18回(全国調査14回, 自治体調査3回, 国際比較調査1 回)にわたって実施し, 下記の新たな知見を得た。(1) 投票行動研究から民主主義研究への進化 (2) 日米韓における代議制民主主義の分析を通した比較政治学 (3) 日本の地方自治体レベルにおける代議制民主主義の分析 (4) 政治意識の形成と変容の解明 (5) マルチメソッド比較による新しい調査方法の確立 (6) 政治関連データベースの構築。これらを通して, 海外の研究機関から申し入れを受け, 代議制民主主義に関する国際共同研究拠点を構築した。
This research project has already conducted 18 surveys (14 Japanese national surveys, 3 Japanese local surveys, 1 international comparative survey) in 3 years since its start year beyond our first plan of conducting 8 surveys in 5 years. It could cover all the three national elections during the project and collect precious opinion poll data. We have produces the following New Knowledge and Academic Impact in Political Science.
(1) From Voting Behavior Studies to Democracy Studies : Multiple Data Analysis
While previous election studies have treated voting behavior as an explained variable and analyzed voters' opinions only by using opinion poll data, this study widened the focus to the functions of representative democracy combining the survey data with election bulletin data and congressional records data. As a result, we contributed to develop the conventional election studies into a study of representative democracy.
(2) Comparative Politics of Representative Democracy in Japan, the U.S. and South Korea : From External Comparison to Substantive Comparison
The problems on the functions of representative democracy are not peculiar to Japan. Having conducted similar analyses in the U.S. and South Korea, we found that there are similar problems in those countries. Particularly, South Korea showed more differences between election bulletin and congressional behavior than Japan does so. Also, when we compare the results in the three countries, we found that each country has a different characteristic on the functions of representative democracy.
(3) The Analysis of Representative Democracy at Local Government in Japan
Because voters' opinions are shaped not only at national level but also at local level, we expanded our scope of research from national level to local level. Particularly, we analyzed the congruency between congress people's manifestos and approvals toward ordinances in local government which satisfies specific conditions such as whether it implements a manifesto system and publicizes congressional records in preliminary and committees.
(4) Formation and Transformation of Political Attitudes
This project inherits the foundation of 40 years long national and time-series study of voting behavior in Japan, and attempts to clarify the formation and transformation of political attitudes. Through the above analyses, the number of academic presentations, articles, and books on voting behavior in total has gradually increased since 2011 when we first launched the project. Specifically, the number of presentations grew by 383 %, articles by 118%, and whole works (including books) by 218% since 2011.
(5) Establishment of New Research Method by Multimethod Comparison
Specifically, we compared the results of political support and satisfaction and reexamined the differences, if any, by separating each sample by social attributes such as gender, age, and the size of city so that we could find any bias in different survey methods. As a result, we found that, compared to the interview, the mailing has the largest bias in public opinion and social attributes, while the Internet had a smaller bias and only showed a little bit lower political satisfaction. Meanwhile, to examine a bias in "self-selection," we estimated a bias in political consciousness within the segments of several social attributes.
(6) Construction of Database
We installed our data including election bulletin data, congressional records data, and election outcomes data by cities in XML files and created a system in which one can access the data in seven languages (Japanese, English, Chinese, Korean, Russian, Indonesian, and Malay). In doing so, we succeeded in receiving several offers from research institutions abroad and constructing an international network of joint research.