Party strategy

My initial research interest concerned the policies parties offer. Are these policies in line with public preferences and when do political parties change the policies they offer? In particular, I analyzed party organizations as an important factor in determining how parties respond to public opinion. In addition, to general policy changes, I looked in particular at welfare state policies. This is the research I did during my dissertation and during my postdoc, supported by a Sapere Aude Young Elite Researchers Grant.

Core findings

1. How parties are organized determines to what constituencies they respond (Schumacher, de Vries & Vis 2013, Schumacher 2015) and whether they stick to policies they support ideologically or policies that bring vote or office benefits (Schumacher 2012Marx and Schumacher 2013).

2.Government parties change their program more than opposition parties (Schumacher et al. 2015, Schumacher & Elmelund-Praestekaer 2017). If they govern Social Democrats and Christian Democrats are punished for welfare state retrenchment. Right-wing parties are not punished (Schumacher, Vis and van Kersbergen 2013).

3.Party organization affects leader tenure (Ennser-Jedenastik & Schumacher 2015) & whether leader changes will be beneficial (Pedersen & Schumacher 2015).

4.Parties have become more leader-dominated; and this means they change their program more (Schumacher & Giger 2017a, 2017b).



1.A dataset of more than 18,000 speeches by EU elites, such as prime ministers, EU commissioners, ECB officials and European Parliament leaders (Schumacher et al. 2016).

2.A dataset of combining several data sources that contain party organization data (Giger and Schumacher 2015).

3.An article that shows that translating political text with Google Translate works in terms of finding the same topics (de Vries, Schoonvelde, Schumacher 2018). 


PDF  Pdf version    Appendix  Appendix    Blog  Blog    Replication Materials  Replication Materials
Christian Pipal, Bert N. Bakker, Gijs Schumacher & Mariken A. C. G. van der Velden (2024). Tone in politics is not systematically related to macro trends, ideology, or experience. Scientific Reports , 14.
Marc van de Wardt, Jean-Benoit Pilet, Gijs Schumacher & Arjen van Witteloostuijn. Contagion From Abroad. How Party Entry in Western Europe is Influenced by Party Family Members Abroad, 1961–2016 (2023). Comparative Political Studies, OnlineFirst
Gijs Schumacher & Patrik Ohberg (2020). How do politicians respond to opinion polls? An experiment with Swedish politicians. Research and Politics.
Laurenz Ennser-Jedenastik & Gijs Schumacher (2020). What parties want from their leaders: How office achievement trumps electoral performance as a driver of party leader survival. European Journal of Political Research
Denise Traber, Martijn Schoonvelde & Gijs Schumacher (2020). Errors have been made, others will be blamed. Issue engagement and blame shifting in Prime Minister speeches during the economic crisis in
Europe. European Journal of Political Research
Nathalie Giger & Gijs Schumacher (2019). Bringing party organization back in: a comparative analysis of party representation in Europe. Political Science Research and Methods.
Gijs Schumacher, Daniel Hansen, Mariken van der Velden & Sander Kunst (2019). A new dataset of Dutch and Danish party congress speeches. Research and Politics , 6, 2.
Martijn Schoonvelde, Gijs Schumacher and Bert Bakker (2019). Friends With Text as Data Benefits: Assessing and Extending the Use of Automated Text Analysis in Political Science and Political Psychology. Journal for Social and Political Psychology . Replication
Martijn Schoonvelde, Anna Brosius, Gijs Schumacher & Bert Bakker (2019). Liberals Lecture, Conservatives Communicate: analyzing complexity and ideology in 381,475 speeches. PLoS One , 14, 2, e0208450Replication
Paul Marx & Gijs Schumacher (2018). Do poor citizens vote for redistribution, against immigration, or against the establishment? A conjoint experiment in Denmark. Scandinavian Political Studies , 41, 3, 263-282.
Erik De Vries, Schoonvelde, M., & Schumacher, G. (2018). No Longer Lost in Translation: Evidence that Google Translate Works for Comparative Bag-of-Words Text Applications. Political Analysis, 26(4), 417-430. Replication
Gijs Schumacher & Christian Elmelund-Præstekær (2018). Party performance explains disagreement between politicians and their parties. West European Politics, 41, 2. PDF Appendix
Roni Lehrer & Gijs Schumacher (2018). Governator vs. Hunter and Aggregator: A Simulation of Party Competition with Vote-Seeking and Office-Seeking Rules. PLOS ONE, 13(2): e0191649.
PDF Replication Materials
Gijs Schumacher & Nathalie Giger (2017). Do leadership-dominated parties change more? Journal of Elections, Public Opinion and Parties. PDF Replication Materials
Mariken van der Velden, Gijs Schumacher & Barbara Vis (2017). Living in the Past or Living in the Future? Analyzing Parties’ Platform Change In Between Elections, The Netherlands 1997–2014. Political Communication. PDF
Jonathan Polk, Jan Rovny, Ryan Bakker, Erica Edwards, Liesbet Hooghe, Seth Jolly, Jelle Koedam, Filip Kostelka, Gary Marks, Gijs Schumacher, Marco Steenbergen, Milada Vachudova, Marko Zilovic (2017). Explaining the Salience of Anti-Elitism and Reducing Political Corruption for Political Parties in Europe with the 2014 Chapel Hill Expert Survey Data. Research & Politics 4, 1. PDF Blog
Gijs Schumacher & Nathalie Giger (2017). Who Leads the Party? On Membership Size, Selectorates and Party Oligarchy. Political Studies, 65:(1_suppl). PDF Replication Materials
Paul Marx & Gijs Schumacher (2016). The effect of economic change and elite framing on support for welfare state retrenchment: a survey experiment. Journal of European Social Policy 26, 1. PDF Replication Materials Blog
Gijs Schumacher & Kees van Kersbergen (2016). Do mainstream parties adapt to the welfare chauvinism of populist parties? Party Politics, 22, 3. PDF
Gijs Schumacher, Marc van de Wardt, Barbara Vis & Michael Baggesen Klitgaard (2015). How Aspiration to Office Conditions the Impact of Government Participation on Party Platform Change. American Journal of Political Science, 59, 4. PDF  Appendix Replication Materials Blog
Michael Baggesen Klitgaard, Gijs Schumacher & Menno Soentken (2015). The Partisan Politics of Institutional Welfare State Reforms. Journal of European Public Policy, 22, 7. PDF  Appendix Replication Materials Blog
Christian Elmelund-Præstekær, Michael Baggesen Klitgaard & Gijs Schumacher (2015). What Wins Public Support? Communicating or Obfuscating Welfare State Retrenchment. European Political Science Review, 7, 3. PDF  Appendix
Gijs Schumacher (2015). When does the Left do the Right thing? A study of party position change on welfare policies. Party Politics, 21, 1. PDF Replication Materials
Christian Elmelund-Præstekær & Gijs Schumacher (2014). Én for alle og alle for én? Mønstre i og effekter af partiintern uenighed blandt folketingskandidaterne ved 2011-valget. Politica, 46, 3.
PDF Replication Materials
Gijs Schumacher, Catherine de Vries & Barbara Vis (2013). Why do Parties change Position? Party organization and environmental incentives. Journal of Politics, 75, 2. PDF  Appendix Replication Materials Blog
Gijs Schumacher, Barbara Vis & Kees van Kersbergen (2013). Political Parties’ Welfare Image, Electoral Punishment, and Welfare State Retrenchment. Comparative European Politics, 11, 1. PDF Replication Materials
Paul Marx & Gijs Schumacher (2013). Will to Power? Intra-Party Conflict in Social Democratic Parties and the Choice for Neoliberal Policies in Germany, the Netherlands and Spain, European Political Science Review, 5, 1 PDF
Gijs Schumacher (2012). ‘Marx’ or the Market? Intra-party power and Social Democratic Welfare State Retrenchment, West European Politics, 35, 5. PDF  Appendix
Gijs Schumacher & Barbara Vis (2012). Why Do Social Democrats Retrench the Welfare State? A Simulation. Journal of Artificial Societies and Social Simulation, 15, 3. PDF Replication Materials
Gijs Schumacher (2011). Signaling a Change of Heart. How Parties Short-Term Ideological Shifts Explain Welfare State Reform. Acta Politica, 46, 4. PDF Replication Materials

Chapters / Data / Other

PDF  Pdf version    Appendix  Appendix    Blog  Blog    Replication Materials  Replication Materials
Gijs Schumacher, Martijn Schoonvelde, Denise Traber, Tanushree Dahiya, and Erik de Vries (2016). EUSpeech: A New Dataset of EU Elite Speeches. In Proceedings of the International Conference on the Advances in Computational Analysis of Political Text (PolText 2016), Dubrovnik, 75–80. PDF
Gijs Schumacher, Martijn Schoonvelde, Tanushree Dahiya, and Erik de Vries. (2016). EUSpeech. A Dataset of EU Elite Speeches 2007-2015. Version 2.0. Replication Materials
Greene, Zac, Andrea Ceron, Gijs Schumacher, and Zoltan Fazekas (2016). The Nuts and Bolts of Automated Text Analysis. Comparing Different Document Pre-Processing Techniques in Four Countries. Open Science Framework. PDF
Laurenz Ennser-Jedenastik, & Gijs Schumacher (2015). Why Some Leaders Die Hard (and Others Don’t): Party Goals, Party Institutions, and How They Interact. In W. Cross & J. B. Pilet (Eds.), The Politics of Party Leadership: A Cross-National Perspective. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
PDF Blog
Helene Helboe Pedersen, & Schumacher, G. (2015). Do Leadership Changes Improve Electoral Performance? In W. Cross & J. B. Pilet (Eds.), The Politics of Party Leadership: A Cross-National Perspective. Oxford: Oxford University Press. PDF Blog
Ryan Bakker, Erica Edwards, Liesbet Hooghe, Seth Jolly, Jelle Koedam, Filip Kostelka, Gary Marks, Jonathan Polk, Jan Rovny, Gijs Schumacher, Marco Steenbergen, Milada Vachudova, and Marko Zilovic. 2015. 1999-2014 Chapel Hill Expert Survey Trend File. Version 1.1. Chapel Hill, NC: University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill. Replication Materials
Nathalie Giger & Gijs Schumacher (2015). Integrated Party Organization Dataset (IPOD). Harvard Dataverse, 10.7910/DVN/PE8TWP. Replication Materials
Gijs Schumacher (2011). “Modernize or Die”? Social Democrats, Welfare State Retrenchment and the Choice between Office and Policy. VU University Amsterdam Dissertation. PDF