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21. Cross-National Public Opinion Research

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Chapter Summary

This chapter covers the development of cross-national survey research in general, focusing on the evolution of the field of comparative survey research and its major components. It discusses the contemporary situation including conditions in (a) the academic, governmental, and commercial sectors, (b) data resources and archives, (c) international academic, professional, and trade associations, (d) journals, and (e) the development of international standards and guidelines. The chapter explores the methodological challenges of conducting reliable and valid cross-national research, and illustrative findings from cross-national research, and the future prospects for further growth and methodological improvement. Cross-national survey research was stimulated during and immediately after World War II by the Allies who conducted public opinion research and established local organizations in the occupied countries. Globalization has expanded both the necessity for and existence of cross-national, survey research. Academic, professional, and trade associations are another important component of the comparative, survey-research community.

Keywords: academic associations; archives; cross-national survey research; data resources; international standards; professional associations; public opinion



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