The Advent of Survey Experiments in Politics and International Relations

Kathrin Thomas* (Corresponding Author)

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Intended to combine the best of two worlds – the ability to estimate causal effects and to generalize to a wider population – survey experiments are increasingly used as a method of data collection in politics and international relations. This article examines their popularity over the past decades in social science research, discusses the core logic of survey experiments, and reviews the method against the principles of the total survey error paradigm.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)297-320
Number of pages24
JournalGovernment and Opposition
Early online date13 Sept 2022
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2024

Bibliographical note

The author would like to thank the editors for the invitation to contribute this article and their fruitful editorial comments that helped shaped this review. Special thanks to Adrian Millican and Theofanis Exadaktylos for their feedback on previous drafts.


  • survey experiment
  • controlled environment
  • total survey error
  • population samples
  • effectiveness


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