Conferences and Conference Sessions
In March 18–20, 2019, together with colleagues from University of Michigan, we organize the Comparative Survey Design and Implementation (CSDI) International Workshop (Warsaw, Poland). CSDI enjoys high scientific recognition in the field of comparative survey methodology, as they provide guidelines and best practices for all elements that form the lifecycle of multicultural surveys (ccsg.isr.umich.edu). CSDI annual workshops constitute a forum and platform of collaboration for scholars involved in research relevant for comparative survey methods. The 2019 conference is hosted by IFiS PAN with financial and organizational support from the Polish Academy of Sciences and CSDI.
The most recently completed international conference was Politics and Inequality across Nations and Time: Theoretical and Empirical Approaches (Warsaw, Poland, IFiS PAN, December 12–14, 2018). The conference brought together young and established social scientists from Europe, USA, and Latin America. Presentations were on substantive and methodological issues related to political voice and economic inequality. Speakers included Frederick Solt, University of Iowa, Catherine Bolzendahl, University of California-Irvine, and Katerina Vrablikova, University of Bath, UK, among others.
CONSIRT and the Mershon Center organized the event, Democracy, the State and Protest: International Perspectives on Methods for the Study of Protest, May 11 – 12, 2017, at The Ohio State University. Across the world, mass political protest has shaped the course of modern democracies. Building on decades of theory and methods, this international two-day event examines the past, present, and future of democracy and protest.
Speakers included: Russell Dalton, University of California, Irvine, Jennifer Earl, University of Arizona, Jan van Deth, University of Mannheim, Germany, Hanspeter Kriesi, European University Institute, Italy, Patrick T. Brandt, University of Texas at Dallas, Katerina Vrablikova, Mershon Center OSU, Bert Klandermans, Free University, Amsterdam, Netherlands, Irina Tomescu-Dubrow, Polish Academy of Sciences.
The event began with a conference on May 11. On the second day, we held a roundtable discussion with the conference speakers on the methodology of studying democracy and protest. Both took place at the Mershon Center, 1501 Neil Ave, Columbus, Ohio, in Room 120. The event was organized by by Irina Tomescu-Dubrow (Polish Academy of Sciences), Kazimierz M. Slomczynski (OSU and Polish Academy of Sciences), and J. Craig Jenkins (OSU).
CONSIRT organized the conference and workshop, Longitudinal Survey Research: Methodological Challenges, December 15-18, 2015, at the Institute of Philosophy and Sociology, Polish Academy of Sciences. The conference, “The Present and Future of Longitudinal Cross-sectional and Panel Survey Research” (December 15-16), was the first part of this event. It was followed by the workshop, “Harmonization of Survey and Non-Survey Data” (December 17-18), which discusses possibilities of harmonizing ex-post survey data, also with information from non-survey sources.
The common theme of the Warsaw international event is methodological challenges in cross-sectional time series and panel surveys. These types of data have been crucial to generating key insights into the conditions, causes and consequences of social change. Ironically, the very change that social scientists examine – technological, economic, political and cultural – poses serious threats to traditional survey methods. New communication modes, declining response rates worldwide, the spectacular growth of big data from non-survey sources and their increasing popularity in the social sciences, constitute such threats. Survey administrators are forced to re-think their methods, from how to design surveys, contact respondents, and ask questions to how to analyze, store and distribute the data. Threats, however, are accompanied by opportunities. We plan to discuss how advances in both survey methods and communication/computational technologies, combined with the rise of interdisciplinary collaborative scientific teams and laboratories across the social sciences, can aid social science methodology and provide new substantive insights.
The purpose of the conference was to engage established scholars, young researchers and graduate students from different countries and disciplines, in discussing the present and future of longitudinal surveys. Day One of the conference features two sessions, the first devoted to international cross-sectional surveys, and the other to panel surveys. Key questions for both sessions include:
A. What are the most troublesome methodological challenges that major longitudinal surveys face now, and in the next ten years? How can these challenges be met, and overcome?
B. To improve data quality, should we standardize survey documentation across international survey projects, beginning with guidelines provided by the Data Documentation Initiative (DDI)? If so, how can this be achieved?
C. What are the invited speakers’ visions of the future of survey methodology – from survey design to data access and storage –for the next wave, and for the next ten years?
Christof Wolf, GESIS, Germany, delivered the Plenary Lecture: “Challenges of Survey Research.” Afterwards is Session One, “Longitudinal Cross-sectional Survey Research,” chaired by Irina Tomescu-Dubrow, CONSIRT and IFiS PAN. The discussant for this session was Christian Welzel, Leuphana University of Lueneburg, Germany.
The presenters for Session One were:
Rory Fitzgerald, City University London, UK, “Facing Up to the Challenges and Future of Repeat Cross-sectional, Cross-national Social Surveys. The Synergies for Europe’s Research Infrastructures in the Social Sciences Initiative”
Melanie Revilla, Pompeu Fabra University, Spain, “Quality of Survey Data: How to Estimate It and Why It Matters”
Peter Granda, University of Michigan and ICPSR USA, “Survey Data Documentation: The Disjunction between Description and Assessment”
Mitchell Seligson, LAPOP, Vanderbilt University USA, “The AmericasBarometer by LAPOP: Challenges in Cross-National Longitudinal Surveys”
Session Two, Panel Survey Research, was chaired by Irina Tomescu-Dubrow. The discussant was Dean Lillard, The Ohio State University USA.
The presenters for Session Two, “Panel Survey Research” were:
Elizabeth Cooksey, NLSY, The Ohio State University USA, “Methodological Challenges in the US National Longitudinal Surveys of Youth”
Oliver Lipps, FORS, Switzerland, “Methodological Challenges of Panel Surveys Now and in Ten Years – A Swiss Perspective”
Day Two of the conference was, “POLPAN: Preparing for the First 30 Years,” and it focused on Polish Panel Survey, POLPAN 1988 – 2013. POLPAN is the longest running panel survey, conducted on a national representative sample, in the world. A preparation for the 2018 wave just begins. In Session One, Kazimierz M. Slomczynski and Zbigniew Sawinski, who have led POLPAN over the decades, discussed how POLPAN addresses the difficult questions posed on Day One of the conference. Kazimierz M. Slomczynski will be the main presenter of Session Two, “The Future of POLPAN.” The discussant for Session Two was Elizabeth Cooksey.
Afterward, POLPAN researchers presented substantive analyses using POLPAN data, including the 2013 wave. The chair of this session was Joshua Kjerulf Dubrow, CONSIRT and IFiS PAN.
The presenters of this session were:
Malgorzata Mikucka, University of Louvain, Belgium, “What Affects Subjective Evaluation of Health?”
Zbigniew Karpinski, IFiS PAN, and Kinga Wysienska-Di Carlo, Albert Shanker Institute USA, and IFiS PAN, “Applying Survival Analysis to Understand the Motherhood Penalty in a Dynamic Framework”
Anna Kiersztyn, University of Warsaw, Poland, “Over-education in Poland, 1988-2013: Driving Factors and Consequences for Workers”
Other Conferences Organized by CONSIRT
Interdisciplinary Studies of Political Behavior and the Use of ‘Big Data’, May 6-9, 2014, OSU Main Campus, Columbus OH
The Polish Panel Survey POLPAN 1988-2013: A Cross-National Perspective, March 19, 2014, Warsaw, Poland
Nationalism and Conflict: Interdisciplinary Methodological Approaches, December 10 – 15, 2012, Warsaw, Poland.
Contribution of Area Studies to the Knowledge of Ethnic Tensions: Interdisciplinary Methodological Approaches, December 14 – 16, 2009, Warsaw, Poland
Sociological Surveys of Public Opinion in Central and Eastern Europe: Cross-National Comparative Studies, July 3 – 5, 2008, Warsaw, Poland
Sociological Surveys of Public Opinion in Southeastern Europe: Cross-National Comparative Studies, August 31 – September 2, 2007, Cluj-Napoca, Romania
International Conference Sessions Organized by CONSIRT
Data Quality and Comparability in Survey Data Harmonization, March 26-28, 2018. Comparative Survey Design and Implementation (CSDI) International Workshop, Limerick, Ireland.
The Rich get Richer and the Poor get Poorer: Inequalities through the Life course. July 15-21, 2018. XIX International Sociological Association World Congress of Sociology, Toronto, Canada.
Political Inequality, Economic Inequality, and Social Transformations Since 1989, July 15 – 21, 2018. XIX International Sociological Association World Congress of Sociology, Toronto, Canada.
Inequality, Labor, and Economic Development during Social Transformations, July 15 – 21, 2018. XIX International Sociological Association World Congress of Sociology, Toronto, Canada.
Is Political Inequality Rising, Falling, or Staying the Same? July 10- 14, 2016, International Sociological Association Forum of Sociology, Vienna, Austria.
Psychological Functioning and Social Inequality, July 13-19, 2014, Yokohama, Japan for the World Congress of the ISA, Research Committee (RC) 28 on Social Stratification and Mobility
Democracy and Inequality across the World, July 13-19, 2014, Yokohama, Japan for the World Congress of the ISA, Research Committee (RC) 18 on Political Sociology
Social Change: Inequalities in Political Participation, July 13-19, 2014, Yokohama, Japan for the World Congress of the ISA, Research Committee (RC) 9 on Social Transformations and the Sociology of Development
Political Inequality and Social Change Outside of the West, July 13-19, 2014, Yokohama, Japan for the World Congress of the ISA, Research Committee (RC) 9 on Social Transformations and the Sociology of Development
Political Inequality Outside the West, Part I and Part II, August 1-4, 2012 Buenos Aires, Argentina for the 2nd Forum of the International Sociological Association
Age of Democracy, Age of Inequality, Part I and Part II, August 1-4, 2012 Buenos Aires, Argentina for the 2nd Forum of the International Sociological Association
Trust, Politics and Institutions in Comparative Perspective, May 31-June 2, 2012, Bucharest, Romania for the International Conference of the Romanian Sociological Society
Politics, Institutions and Discrimination across the Post-Communist World: Interdisciplinary Perspectives, July 15-18, 2012 Warsaw, Poland for the Warsaw East European Conference (WEEC) at the University of Warsaw
Assessing the Democratic Divide between Eastern and Western Europe, February 16 – 19, 2011, Sao Paulo, Brazil for the International Political Sci Assoc (IPSA) / European Consortium for Political Research (ECPR)
Post-Soviet or Post-Communist? Dynamic Dimensions of the Democratic Divide, July 15-18, 2011, Warsaw, Poland for the Warsaw East European Conference (WEEC) at the University of Warsaw
The Cost of Radical Social Change: Enduring Inequalities in Central and Eastern Europe April 15 – 17, 2010, Columbus, Ohio, USA for the OSU Center for Slavic and East European Studies Midwest Slavic Conference
Inequalities, Old and New: Romania in Cross-National Perspective, December 2 – 4, 2010, Cluj-Napoca, for the Romanian Sociological Society International Conference
Political Inequality in Cross-National Perspective, Part I and Part II, July 11 – 17, 2010, Gothenburg, Sweden for the World Congress of International Soc Association (ISA)
Comparative Sociology and Area Studies: How Can Sociology Gain From the Inter- disciplinary Knowledge on the World Regions? June 11 – June 14, 2009, Yerevan, Armenia for the World Congress of the International Institute of Sociology (IIS)
Causal Analysis Using Multi-Wave Panel Data: Problems and Solutions, June 29 – July 3, 2009, Warsaw, for the European Survey Research Association (ESRA) conference
Public Opinion Surveys in East Central Europe: Studies in Political Sociology, July 15 – 18, 2008, Warsaw for the Warsaw East European Conference (WEEC) at the University of Warsaw
CONSIRT organizes international workshops that prepare a new generation of specialists in comparative and cross-national research methodologies. These training events are primarily for graduate students and early PhD holders, but some are open to undergraduate students, too.
Ensuring training that is affordable for students is paramount to us. For each event that we organized, CONSIRT secured funding so that students participate free of charge, and have some of their expenses with travel, accommodation and/or meals covered.
Methods for cross-national research are a main focus of CONSIRT’s training activities. Up to now, the SDR Project generated two workshops. The first, held October 5–7, 2017 at OSU, involved the project’s Advisory Board, and select OSU faculty and graduate students. The second workshop, held in January 2018 in Poznan, involved faculty and graduate students from the University of Poznan and GSSR PAN.
The Harmonization Project alone spurred four international workshops. Harmonization of Survey and Non-Survey Data (Warsaw, December 17-18, 2015) dealt with two issues. First, it highlighted various steps of the survey data recycling (SDR) approach via examples of substantive target variables created in the Harmonization Project. Second, the workshop assessed possibilities of harmonizing longitudinal survey data with the East European Parliamentarian and Candidate data (EAST PaC), with a focus on women’s political inequality. Outside speakers included Amy C. Alexander, Quality of Government Institute, Sweden, Tiffany Barnes, University of Kentucky, Catherine Bolzendahl, University of California-Irvine, Peter Granda, University of Michigan and ICPSR, Dean Lillard, OSU, Mitchell Seligson, LAPOP, Vanderbilt University, Markus Quandt and Christof Wolf, both from GESIS, and Christian Welzel, Leuphana University, Germany and the World Values Survey Association.
In the Cross-national Survey Harmonization and Analysis: Weights, Data Quality and Multi-level Modeling (Columbus, OH, May 11-16, 2015) workshop students used a subset of the harmonized database to learn how to employ survey weights, information on the quality of survey data, and multilevel modeling to address methodological and substantive problems in quantitative social science research. In attendance was an interdisciplinary mix of twelve graduate students, including ten from OSU Sociology, Political Science, and Communication, and two from GSSR PAN.
Comparability of Survey Data on Political Behavior: Ex-Post Harmonization of Selected Survey Projects (Columbus, May 8-9, 2014), held at the OSU Department of Sociology, focused on key methodological and statistical issues in comparability of survey data in the context of harmonization.
Survey Data Harmonization (Warsaw, December 18-21, 2013) familiarized participants with the Harmonization Project, especially with regard to its methodological component; (b) presented the international surveys and the different types of variables – social background characteristics, political protest behavior, attitudinal variables, as well as contextual variables – that the project aims to harmonize; and (c) discussed challenges encountered while harmonizing large data sets, and how to solve them.
Collecting and analyzing longitudinal survey data represents, next to methods for cross-national research, a major focus of CONSIRT training. The workshop Panel Design and Analysis featuring the Polish Panel Survey POLPAN 1988 – 2013, provided intensive two-week training on panel survey design and panel data analysis in an innovative structure. First, training involved international experience and the building of professional networks for both OSU and PAN students. To this end, one segment of the workshop (May 6 – 12, 2013) was held in Warsaw, and the other part (May 20 – 26) in Columbus, Ohio. In a “my house, your house” arrangement, select students from OSU joined their PAN colleagues in Warsaw for the first week, and select students from the Polish Academy of Sciences, rejoined their OSU colleagues in Columbus for the second week.
Second, the two-country structure of the POLPAN workshop featured intensive training in both data collection and analysis. In Poland, students learned about the intricacies of designing and collecting longitudinal survey data from experts in methodology who have designed POLPAN and have administered it over the last two decades. During their week at the OSU Department of Sociology, workshop participants used POLPAN to train in quantitative analyses of panel data. In addition, the Columbus workshop devoted a Special Session – open and free of charge to interested faculty and students – to Health and Wellbeing in Dynamic Perspective. Participants discussed substantive and methodological issues that could be addressed with POLPAN.
Two POLPAN workshops (Gdansk, 2016; Warsaw, 2014) familiarized researchers with the structure of the data and provided guidelines on different types of panel analyses that POLPAN is suitable for. The event in Gdansk was for a Polish audience. The Warsaw event included graduate students from OSU, GSSR and other universities in Europe.
Full List of Workshops:
Quality of Survey Data in International Research Projects, January 23, 2018, Poznan, Poland.
Polish Panel Survey POLPAN [in Polish], September 15, 2016, Gdansk, Poland.
Harmonization of Survey and Non-Survey Data, December 17–18, 2015, IFiS PAN Warsaw, Poland.
Cross-national Survey Harmonization and Analysis: Weights, Data Quality and Multi-level Modeling, May 11-14 and May 15-16, 2015, OSU Columbus OH, USA
Health and Well-being in Cross-national Perspective, May 6-7, 2015, OSU Main Campus
Comparability of Survey Data on Political Behavior: Ex-Post Harmonization of Selected Survey Projects, May 8-9, 2014, OSU Columbus OH, USA
Polish Panel Survey 1988-2013, March 20, 2014, Warsaw, Poland
Parliamentarians, Candidates and Elections in Eastern Europe: From Theory to Empirical Research, March 18, 2014, Warsaw, Poland
Survey Data Harmonization in the Social Sciences, December 18 – 21, 2013, at the Institute of Philosophy and Sociology, Polish Academy of Sciences, Warsaw, Poland
Winners and Losers in the Elections of Eastern Europe, October 18-19, 2013 at the Institute of Philosophy and Sociology, Polish Academy of Sciences, Warsaw, Poland.
Workshop on Panel Design and Analysis featuring the Polish Panel Survey POLPAN 1988 – 2013, May 6 – 12, 2013 in Warsaw, Poland and May 20 – 26, 2013 at The Ohio State University in Columbus, Ohio.
Nationalism and Conflict: Interdisciplinary Methodological Approaches, December 10 – 15, 2012, Warsaw, Poland.
Health Issues in Public Opinion Survey Research in Central and Eastern Europe March 31 – April 3, 2011, Columbus, Ohio, USA
Contribution of Area Studies to the Knowledge of Ethnic Tensions: Interdisciplinary Methodological Approaches December 14 – 19, 2009, Warsaw, Poland
In addition to workshops, CONSIRT organizes seminars devoted to data analysis of the Polish Panel Survey POLPAN, 1988-2013. OSU doctoral students and/or PAN doctoral students, as well as alumni of both institutions, participate in all seminars.
Polish Panel Survey (POLPAN): Data Analyses, II: July 15 – 16, 2010, Warsaw, Poland
Polish Panel Survey (POLPAN): Data Analyses, I: July 13, 2009, Warsaw, Poland