Project Project
-A +A

Anti-war demonstrators survey

2003 - 2006

The core of the research is a survey of participants in mass demonstrations on February 15, 2003 against the war in Iraq. This standardized survey covers demonstrators in seven European countries and in the USA. The survey is the first cross-national survey of its kind and scope. Professor Stefaan Walgrave (Belgium) initiated the survey.

Research Questions
The survey’s main foci are:
a) demographic and social characteristics of the demonstrators
b) political attitudes in general and regarding the war in Iraq in particular
c) Activities/membership in social and political groups as well as participation in previous demonstrations

The cross-national comparison focuses on factors that explain the similarities and differences of the characteristics of the protesters.

Research Methods
Standardized survey of demonstrators based on a questionnaire that has been distributed during the demonstration according to a random sample, completed by the respondent afterwards (usually at home) and sent by in a pre-stamped envelope. The return rate varies across the countries. In Germany, it was 54.4 percent.

First Results
Preliminary results of the German study have been published in various daily newspapers and journals. The common perception of the demonstrators as a fairly representative sample of the overall population proves to be wrong. The demonstrations are predominantly left-wing, highly educated and also actively involved in other political matters.
Thus far, two meetings of all country teams took place in spring and fall of 2004 to analyze the data. The findings will be published in a collective volume in English, edited by Walgrave and Rucht.