Goals of the Observatory
First, to consolidate and extend the long tradition of study of democratic political representation in Portugal and elsewhere, at CIES-Iscte, notably with the various surveys made of the elected representatives (members of parliament and non-elected candidates) and voters included in the research network Comparative Candidate Survey, – during the last two decades – comparing the values, guidelines, and behaviors on both sides, but also the issues of citizen participation in the political processes (individual or collective, this is, individually or through interest groups and/or social movements) and the processes of political representation themselves, assessed through the linkage between the electorate, the elected representatives, and the policy-making process (in the various policy fields).
Second, to regularly gather and disseminate data on social and political movements, and on the state of democracy (representative and direct) and political representation in Portugal, Europe and worldwide.
Third, to hold symposiums and conferences that bring together the different scientific areas from CIES-Iscte’s Group “Politics and Citizenship” (Political Science, Sociology, Social Work, Public Policy) and, desirably, generate collaborative publications.
Fourth, to regularly disseminate data and promote the activities from the Observatory in its various facets, namely through the website and the newsletter.
Fifth, to participate in the construction of a European-level research infrastructure on elections and political representation that will include in a unified and coherent structure studies on candidates (political elites) and on parties (with studies on voters via national electoral studies), MEDem – Monitoring Electoral Democracy (where CIES-Iscte participates together with ICS-UL in the international network under construction).