Recent Research Interests

Rational Choice/Area Studies/Elite Driven Democratization (Click)

Measures of Ideology and Democratic Performance

(For Actual Data, Click on "Datasets and Solition Concepts I Created" on the Lefthand-side Panel)

Over the years Richard Fording of the University of Alabama and I have developed various measures of ideology based on Comparative Manifestos Data Set (Kim and Fording 1998, 2001, 2002, 2003). They include:

The Kim-Fording Measure of Party Ideology
The Kim-Fording Measure of Voter Ideology
The Kim-Fording Measure of Parliament Ideology I (A Weighted-Mean Version)
The Kim-Fording Measure of Parliament Ideology II (A Median Version).
The Kim-Fording Measure of Government Ideology
The Kim-Fording Measure of Democratic Performance

All of these measures are available for 25 Western Democracies, 1945-2002. They are available on this site for public consumption. The Kim-Fording Measures of Parliament Ideology, Government Ideology, and Democratic Performance are based upon work supported by the National Science Foundation under Grant No. SES-0237820.

Our measures of voter and government ideology were included in a book published by the original creators of the CMP data. Mapping Policy Preferences: Estimates for Parties, Electors, and Governments, 1945-1998, London: Oxford University Press (2001) came with a CD containing the original party manifestos data and our two measures. Our work on various measures and some early studies of democratic performance based on these measures was translated and published in Korea in 2007. An Accurate Understanding and a Proper Use of Manifestos: Analyses of Party Manifestos in 25 Western Democracies, Seoul: ORUEM Publishing House (Translated by Jinman Cho and Hong-Cheol Kim).

As the CMP data are constantly updated, some scholars correct for the non-random error in the CMP data, still others advocate the use of survey data instead, and question the operationalization of the concept of democratic performance, our measures need to be updated, and new measures need to be built, some of which use survey data such as Eurobarometer, World Values Survey, and CSES. Also alternative concepts of democratic performance need to be explored. As Richard Fording and I will be occupied with other projects each of us have been involved, we will leave these tasks to others for the foreseeable future. We expect to return to this project in a few years.


Political Institutions and Democratic Performance

HeeMin Kim, G. Bingham Powell Jr., and Richard C. Fording. 2010. "Electoral Systems, Party Systems, and Ideological Representation: An Analysis of Distortion in Western Democracies." Comparative Politics 42: 167-185 (

"Do Voter Preferences Matter between Elections?: Democratic Performance in Western Democracies." (with Richard C. Fording), Under Review; Pre-printed as Korea University Working Paper #19 (Seoul, Korea)

“Government Congruence Controversy: Two Remaining Issues.” (with Marius Radean), Under Review.


Causes of Voting Behavior/Voter Ideological Shift

HeeMin Kim, Jun Y. Choi, and Jinman Cho. 2008. “Is Regional Cleavage Disappearing?: An Empirical Analysis of Changing Cleavage Structure in Korea.” Electoral Studies 27: 136-150 (On-line version available at

“Candidate Quality and Negative Voting in New Democracies: A Test Based on a Korean Presidential Election.” (with Jun Y. Choi), Under Review.

“You Say Potato…: A Re-examination of the Effects of the Economy, Government Spending, and Incumbent
Ideology on National Policy Mood.” (with Jackie Demeritt and Glynn Ellis), Being Revised for Journal


Empirical Tests of Theoretical Models

HeeMin Kim and Tatiana Kostadinova. 2011. “Does Tactical Voting Matter?: The Political Impact of Tactical Voting in Canadian Elections.” International Area Studies Review 14: 49-71 (

“Why Does Median Voter Theorem Not Work in the Real World?” Data collection and preliminary analysis in progress.


“A New Approach to the Territorial Dispute Involving a Former Colonizer-Colony Pair: The Case of the Dokdo-Takeshima Dispute between Japan and Korea.” (with Jinman Cho), Under Review.

Comparative East Asian Politics: Politics of China, Japan, Korea, and Taiwan (A Textbook Manuscript in Preparation).  About two years from completion.