GLES as DFG-funded election study: 2009 to 2019

The German Longitudinal Election Study (GLES) was initiated by the German Society for Electoral Studies (DGfW) in 2009. The aim of the project was the collection and provision of high-quality data on the occasion of elections. The GLES was funded by the German Research Foundation (DFG) as part of its long-term programme for the social sciences and humanities from 2009 to 2022. In addition to the goal of generating data, efforts have been made to establish an effective infrastructure for national and international comparative election research.

As a German election study, the GLES was carried out in close cooperation between DGfW and GESIS – Leibniz Institute for the Social Sciences from the beginning. The research programme and design of the election study were determined by the principal investigators of the DFG-funded project (who, with the exception of Christof Wolf (GESIS), also formed the Executive Board of the DGfW). GESIS operated in an advisory function. In addition, GESIS was responsible for the preparation, documentation, distribution, and archiving of the data of the German Election Study.

During the DFG-funding phase, six scientists were responsible for the GLES:

Prof. Dr. Hans Rattinger (University of Mannheim) 2009-2014
Prof. Dr. Sigrid Roßteutscher (University of Frankfurt am Main) since 2009
Prof. Dr. Rüdiger Schmitt-Beck (University of Mannheim) since 2009
Prof. Dr. Harald Schoen (University of Mannheim) since 2015
Prof. Dr. Bernhard Weßels (WZB Berlin Social Science Center) since 2009
Prof. Dr. Christof Wolf (GESIS – Leibniz Institute for the Social Sciences) since 2012

The scientific community was continuously involved in the project workflow through the Executive Board and the Executive Committee of the DGfW.

GLES as an institutionalized election study: since 2018

From the beginning, the efforts of the DGfW and GESIS aimed at the permanent institutionalization of a German election study. This goal was achieved in 2017:

Together with other important survey studies in the social sciences, the GLES was institutionalized in the Integrated Survey and Data Infrastructure (IEDI) at GESIS. Since 2018, GESIS has been responsible for the coordination, administration and financing of the GLES and thus offers a reliable and long-term perspective for the implementation of the German election study. The research programme and the design of the GLES are specified by the GLES Coordination Group, which will continue to consist of the DGfW Executive Board.

Since 2018, five survey components have been carried out by GESIS in close cooperation with the DGfW:

GLES Cross-Section
GLES Rolling Cross-Section
GLES Panel
GLES Candidate Study
GLES Tracking