30 Years of Survey Data in Attitudes Towards the Government: Data Release of the ISSP Module 2016 ‘Role of Government’

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Contributed by Regina Jutz, Evi Scholz and Sandra Ludwig

In September 2018, the ISSP module 2016 ‘Role of Government’ (RoG) was published. Developed in 1985, RoG was the very first module of the newly formed International Social Survey Programme (ISSP). Since then the module was replicated several times: in 1990, 1996, 2006, and lately in 2016. Thus, the ISSP RoG data allows for cross-time analysis covering more than 30 years as well as for cross-national analysis of ISSP member countries from all over the globe. The four founding countries of the ISSP (Australia, Germany, Great Britain, and the United States) offer a continuous time series from 1985 to 2016. By adding Hungary, Israel and Norway there is an impressive time series for seven countries from 1990 to 2016. Data are available for 18 countries to compare 1996, 2006, and 2016 and for 25 countries to compare the last ten years. The recently published 2016 ISSP RoG module contains data from 35 countries, making it one of the most encompassing ISSP modules in terms of member country participation. The 2016 module also includes data from Thailand collected by King Prajadhipok’s Institute in Bangkok, one of the newest ISSP members.

Since 1985, the RoG modules covered various topics such as civil rights, government intervention in the economy, government spending, as well as government responsibilities and performance. Since they follow the ISSP principle of balance between replication and innovation in the questionnaire contents, the modules have always been adapted to new perspectives in research. Thus, RoG 2016 features for the first time repeated questions on corruption and security challenges, which were introduced in 2006 to reflect the changes in the political climate since 9/11. New in the 2016 module are questions on institutional trust in the state and the market as well as questions of national security in contrast to the privacy of citizens.

For the scientific community, the well documented data are free of charge accessible via https://dbk.gesis.org/dbksearch/sdesc2.asp?no=6900&db=E&tab=3.