The Negative Campaigning Comparative Expert Survey (NEGex) is the first and largest comparative dataset on the use of negative campaigning in elections worldwide based on expert judgments. The dataset contains information about the campaign tone of competing parties and candidates in national elections worldwide. Since 2016, in the aftermath of each national election a sample of domestic and international experts are contacted and asked to rate the content of the campaign, the personality traits of selected candidates, and the media culture and electoral environment.
Data gathering is currently under way. As of February 2020, data for 139 national elections has been collected, based on judgments provided by more than 1,700 experts. The map below illustrates the countries covered so far (click to magnify).
The project is hosted at the Amsterdam School of Communication Research (ASCoR), University of Amsterdam and the pilot phase was financed by a generous research grant from the Swiss National Science Foundation. I am also very grateful for the support provided by the Electoral Integrity Project at the University of Sydney.
Why a global dataset on negative campaigning?
Negative appeals make up a substantial part of US electoral campaigns, and their use has been shown to be an increasing phenomenon. However, evidence about the use of negative appeals in electoral campaigns beyond the US case is fragmentary at best. Is negative campaigning primarily an American phenomenon, endemic to the US culture of conflictive politics? Or is it a more universal phenomenon? Scattered evidence exists for a increasing list of countries and electoral contests, but comparative data across a wide range of countries are virtually nonexistent.
Even more importantly, a global view on the causes and consequences of negative campaigning beyond the US case is still missing. Why do political actors decide to 'go negative' on their opponents? What are the effects of negativity in political messages?
Download the release 1.0 of the dataset (including codebook and questionnaire), access the peer-reviewed articles already published with the data, and learn more about the advisory board supporting the research.