Research Progress Post #6: Quantitative Data Source

Three Part Proposition
I am proposing to research institution reconstruction in post-war Bosnia-Herzegovina because I want to find out the persistence of (or lack thereof) post-war reconciliation narratives in order to help my reader understand what role government institutions play in reconciliation between ethnic groups.

Research Question
What explains the variation in reconciliation narratives in post-war Bosnia-Herzegovina’s cantons?

Provide a brief description along with the full citation for the dataset(s) you are discussing
The article International Studies of Values in Politics by Philip Jacob & Henry Teune conducts a survey in communities across India, the United States, and the former Yugoslavia.

Regarding the former Yugoslavia, the article utilizes community activeness as the dependent variable and independent variables: change in values, which was operationalized as a “commitment to innovation in social policy and action propensity in public life”, economic norms operationalized as a  “commitment to… raising the standard of living and concern for economic equality”, as well as Process Interaction, Identification & Moral Values, which encompass the leader’s concern for truthfulness and honesty, both regarding themselves, and within their nation. [1]

The authors interviewed 1179 people within thirty communities, and specifically.[2] Jacob’s & Teune’s survey focused on the role of social values in relation to the behavior of the local political leader to further emphasize, that social development is in part, the job of a community leader. They hypothesize that the values leaders hold do make a difference and that the more selfless the community leaders are, the more likely their community is to push towards community development and activeness. [3]

Their methodology is a series of survey questions, towards both leaders and some community members, in order to better understand the communities’ baseline for social mobilization – involving both leader and community. However, the authors discovered that the local authorities do not have much power, and thusly, nothing really changes unless the central government changes itself. Most of the support for community action is sought from the “population generally”, while the majority of the responsibility for that action, however, lays in the hands of the “central government”.[4]

This article helps me utilize my dependent variable of reconciliation narratives through its results, as it shows a variance in the support of nationalism, but also in its emphasis on the role of community leaders in influencing their constituents. It helps me prove to my audience that the power of community leaders do indeed impact the power of the community, and thusly, helps me understand perhaps why there may be a variance in action, and thusly narrative,  now, because there is not just one being pushed by the central government, but many, many others.

Full Citation
Jacob, Philip, and Teune, Henry. International Studies of Values in Politics, 1966. Ann Arbor, MI:
Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research., 2006-01-12.


[1] Philip Jacob and Henry Tenue, “International Studies of Values in Politics,” Inter-University Consortium for Political and Social Research 1, no. 7006, ICPSR (1966): 1-4

[2] Ibid 1.

[3] Ibid 4.

[4] Ibid 128.

One thought on “Research Progress Post #6: Quantitative Data Source

  1. Tristen — this data sources is a great find! As you note, it does provide you with good information on your DV and also provides information specific to Yugoslavia (though the data was collected in 1966). Thinking about the questions and themes explored in this dataset can certainly aid you in conceptualizing your variables and in thinking about how your own project would look if you were to pursue a large-n methodology. Here it would be good to note the level of measurement and coverage of key variables so as to better understand how this dataset might fit with your research project.

    As you think about that large-n approach (and the research design sketch), you might well need to shift the focus to cross-national data. I think it is unlikely that you would find the community level data for just the former Yugoslavia that would allow you to address enough cases and the key variables of interest. How might you think about the project as one where you could compare national-level data on values and identities (maybe using polling data from Pew or World Values Survey Data) to better fit the large-n aim of addressing a pattern of variation across a large number of cases. Keep reading and researching, and let me know if you have any questions!

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