Construction and Use of a Relational Database to Analyze the Careers of Professional Politicians in Poland, 1985–2007
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Publisher:The Ohio State University Libraries in partnership with IFiS Publishers
Citation:Ask: Research and Methods. Volume 23, Issue 1 (2014), pp. 115-134
This article describes a unique version of a longitudinal database featuring the Eastern Europe Parliamentarian and Candidate Database (EAST PaC). This version contains contextual and biographical information on career politicians from Poland, 1985-2007. I define career politicians as those who, three times during the period covered in the data, were granted a parliamentary seat in either the upper (Senat) or lower house (Sejm). As part of this project, I reconstructed the political biographies of career politicians. Based on practical experience in using these data, I propose the use of relational databases as a best practices approach to manage data of this type. I describe the need for relational databases in general, and describe in detail how to apply them to longitudinal data consisting of parliamentarians and their contexts.