Welcome to ICCP

The Issue Competition Comparative Project is a comparative, international social science research project about party competition.


The theoretical foundation of the ICCP lies in issue yield theory (De Sio and Weber 2014; De Sio 2018). The aim is to analyze party competition through an issue competition perspective, i.e. by conceptualizing political parties and leaders as rational, vote-maximizing political entrepreneurs that strategically exploit available issue opportunities in a context where voters are available across ideological boundaries. This brings a new perspective for reading the recent, disruptive electoral changes that have invested many countries, allowing to understand the success of new parties, as well as providing suggestions about the strategic opportunities available to mainstream parties.


Led by Lorenzo De Sio with Vincenzo Emanuele, Nicola Maggini and Aldo Paparo (and the support of Luca Carrieri, Elisabetta Mannoni and Davide Vittori) within the CISE (Italian Center for Electoral Studies) at LUISS University Rome, the ICCP has so far involved 20 scholars from 13 different European and American universities, along with additional funding and scientific partners.

Data collection

The first ICCP data collection round has covered six West European countries (Netherlands, France, United Kingdom, Germany, Austria, Italy) that held general elections in 2017-18, featuring an innovative empirical strategy. This has exploited new survey measurement tools and strategies for capturing issue opportunities (featuring articulated measurement for more than 20 issues for each country), along with the monitoring and coding of party activity on Twitter during the electoral campaign.

Public outreach

Immediately after data collection in each country, a number of short, pre-electoral analyses aimed at the general public have been published on the CISE website. These have been later collected in a 210-page, freely available e-book featuring scholars from ICCP partner institutions in five different countries.

Upon data release, summary data and reports for each party and country will be also made available through the ICCP website. Click here to subscribe to our mailing list and receive updates about future data and report releases.

Data analysis and scientific publications

The data have then been analyzed in depth by multiple country teams involving top scholars from several countries, resulting in ten scientific articles (currently under peer review) that will be collected in a special issue of West European Politics expected in 2019.

Ongoing and future activity

The project is now actively seeking partners for future data collection efforts covering national elections from 2019 on.


Participating scholars

Sylvia Kritzinger
Patricia Oberluggauer
Carolina Plescia
AUTNES – Universität Wien
Romain LachatCEVIPOF – Sciences Po Paris
Till WeberCity University of New York
Simon Franzmann
Thomas Poguntke
Heinrich-Heine-Universität Düsseldorf
Cristian VaccariLoughborough University
Roberto D’Alimonte
Lorenzo De Sio
Vincenzo Emanuele
Aldo Paparo
LUISS “Guido Carli” Rome
Oliver Heath
Kaat Smets
Royal Holloway University of London
Mark N. FranklinTrinity College Connecticut
Nicola MagginiUniversità di Firenze
Elie MichelUniversität Luzern
Joost van SpanjeUniversiteit van Amsterdam
Mathilde van DitmarsUniversiteit Leiden
Heiko GieblerWZB Berlin Social Science Center

Special funding and scientific partners

Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung Rome Office
GESIS – Leibniz-Institut für Sozialwissenschaften
Hoover Institution at Stanford University

Universität Wien


Data from the ICCP 2017-18 data collection round will be released to the public in 2019, shortly following the publication of the first scientific results from the project. Click here to subscribe to our mailing list and receive updates about future data releases.

Upon data release, summary data and reports for each party and country will be also made available through the ICCP website. These will leverage new, issue-yield based measures developed for the project, allowing:

  • the identification of optimal issue opportunities that were available to each party before the final campaign;
  • whether and to what extent different parties indeed exploited strategically these available issue opportunities in their campaign activity.
High issue yield is identified by a combination of broad goal support at large, combined with almost unanimous support within the party base. The issue yield configuration for the FN allows to understand the room for electoral expansion exploited by this party, combining issue goals that – in 20th century terms – would both belong to classical conservative or progressive orientations.

Preliminary results show that some parties were more strategic than others in these terms; and that such parties were indeed rewarded by better electoral performance. This casts a new light on the 2017-18 wave of elections; not necessarily a success only for “populist” parties, but for all those parties that actively exploited their available issue opportunities. Thus, with clear strategic suggestions even for the future strategies of mainstream parties.