Political Action: An Eight Nation Study, 1973-1976 (ICPSR 7777)

Published: Apr 5, 2006

Principal Investigator(s):
Samuel H. Barnes, University of Michigan. Center for Political Studies; Max Kaase


Version V1

The wave of unrest of the late 1960s and early 1970s in advanced industrial societies provided the impetus for this cross-national study of conventional and unconventional forms of political participation. This is an integrated dataset of national sample surveys that were conducted via personal interview during 1973-1976 in eight nations: Great Britain, Germany, Netherlands, Austria, United States, Italy, Switzerland, and Finland. Part 1 contains data gathered in a cross-section sample from 12,588 respondents 16 years of age and over. Part 2 contains data gathered from 1,635 parent-child pairs (with the child being 16-20 years of age) who were part of the first sample and who were further interviewed. The surveys focused on various forms and combinations of political activity ranging from voting to protest actions, and on individual propensities to perform these activities. Among the factors explored in the surveys as contributors to those political activities are personal satisfaction and deprivation, interest in politics, perception of over- and underprivileged groups, left-wing/right-wing self-placement, political attitudes and values, materialist/post-materialist standards, voting behavior, conventional political participation, subjective social class, system responsiveness, political efficacy, attitudes toward young people, ideological sophistication, and satisfaction with government's political, social, and economic policies. Demographic data collected from respondents include age, sex, ethnic origin, number of siblings, father's occupation, family's wealth when young, parents' political preference and education, respondent's religious activity, marital status, number of children, educational level, employment status, organizational membership, current occupation, union membership, and personal, family, and desired income.

Barnes, Samuel H., and Kaase, Max. Political Action: An Eight Nation Study, 1973-1976. Ann Arbor, MI: Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research [distributor], 2006-04-05. https://doi.org/10.3886/ICPSR07777.v1

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Economic and Social Research Council (United Kingdom)

Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (Germany)

Tilburg University (Netherlands)

Austrian Science Fund

United States Department of Health and Human Services. National Institutes of Health. National Institute of Mental Health

Consiglio Nazionale delle Ricerche (Italy)

Fonds National Suisse de la Recherche Scientifique (Switzerland)

Academy of Finland. Social Science Research Council

United States Army Research Institute for the Behavioral and Social Sciences

1973 -- 1976

1973 -- 1976

(1) These data were processed by the Zentralarchiv fuer empirische Sozialforschung at the University of Cologne in cooperation with ICPSR on the basis of eight surveys carried out independently. Although a common set of questions had been agreed upon by the principal investigators, the eight questionnaires showed a considerable amount of diversity with respect to sequence of questions and coding. Therefore, prior to any data processing, a "common core" of the eight surveys was defined by including any question asked in at least three of the eight surveys, making an "integrated" dataset. (2) More detailed technical descriptions (than provided by this dataset's codebook) of sampling procedures, interviewer characteristics, and comparisons of the sample estimate with known population characteristics have been deposited with the Zentralarchiv.

National multistage probability samples were used to select a valid cross-section of the population 16 years of age and over in each of the eight countries making up the study's universe. In addition to the cross-section sample, interviews were carried out to provide information on parent-child pairs. In sample households that contained at least one 16- to 20-year-old member, in addition to the respondent selected by the usual household listing selection procedure, a supplementary interview was conducted with the respective other member of the pair.

Persons aged 16 and over in Great Britain, Germany, Netherlands, Austria, United States, Italy, Switzerland, and Finland.

personal interview

survey data



2006-04-05 This study has been updated from OSIRIS and now includes SAS, SPSS, and Stata setup files, a SAS transport (XPORT) file, a SPSS portable file, and a Stata system file for both parts.


  • Data in this collection are available only to users at ICPSR member institutions.

  • The citation of this study may have changed due to the new version control system that has been implemented.
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