International Social Survey Program: Role of Government III, 1996 (ICPSR 34841) RSS

Principal Investigator(s):

Summary:

The International Social Survey Program (ISSP) is an ongoing program of cross-national collaboration. Formed in 1983, the group develops topical modules dealing with important areas of social science as supplements to regular national surveys. This survey is the third in a series exploring the "role of government" topic. The first survey on this topic was conducted in 1985-1986 and the second in 1990. Participating countries in the 1996 survey include Australia, Bulgaria, Canada, Cyprus, the Czech Republic, France, Germany, Great Britain, Hungary, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Japan, Latvia, New Zealand, Norway, the Philippines, Poland, Russia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, and the United States. Citizens' opinions were elicited on the function of their national governments and on what governments should and should not be doing. Respondents were asked whether they approved of economic policies such as wage and price controls, job creation programs, including public work projects, support for ailing private industries, and the forced reduction in the industrial work week, as well as conservative measures, such as reductions in government spending and business regulations. Government spending was another topic, with respondents questioned as to their support for greater spending on the environment, health care, police and law enforcement, education, military and defense, culture and the arts, old age pensions, unemployment benefits, and housing for the poor. A number of questions dealt with respondents' attitudes regarding democracy, political power, and protest. Respondents were asked for their views on the rule of law when it is in conflict with private conscience, various forms of anti-government protest (public meetings, protest marches and demonstrations, nationwide strikes), whether the right to protest should be afforded to those who advocate the overthrow of the government by revolution, and the conflict between security needs and privacy rights. Other questions focused on the role of elections in democracies, including whether voters understand political issues, whether elections force governments to confront pressing political issues, whether certain institutions (unions, government, business and industry) have too much power in affecting election results, whether politicians really try to keep their election promises, whether civil servants can be trusted to work in the public's interest, and whether various industries (power companies, hospitals, banks) are better off being run by the private sector or by the government. Opinions were also elicited as to whether government had a legitimate role in the redistribution of wealth in the country, by tax policy or otherwise. Demographic variables include age, sex, education, marital status, personal and family income, employment status, household size and composition, occupation, religion and church attendance, social class, union membership, political party, voting history, and ethnicity.

Access Notes

Study Description

Scope of Study

Subject Terms:   arts, attitudes, budget cuts, defense spending, education, government, government performance, government spending, gun control, health, law enforcement, national economy, public confidence, public opinion, social protest, taxes, unemployment

Geographic Coverage:   Australia, Bulgaria, Canada, Cyprus, Czech Republic, France, Germany, Global, Great Britain, Hungary, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Japan, Latvia, New Zealand, Norway, Philippines, Poland, Russia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, United States

Time Period:  

  • 1996

Data Collection Notes:

These data are not available from ICPSR. Users should consult the data owners directly for details on obtaining the data and documentation.

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