The International Social Survey Program (ISSP) is a standardized survey cooperation project that presently is without parallel within the area of attitude research concerning the scope of social issues covered, the extent of countries involved, and the availability of time-series data. The ISSP started in the early 1980s and involves at present 48 countries distributed on six continents including all large Western OECD countries. The comparative ISSP database is in many ways truly unique:

  1. Data covering a substantial number of attitudinal areas has been collected annually since the start back in 1985
  2. Time series data covering 20-30 years are available for a substantial number of topics
  3. At present, 48 countries are members of the ISSP
  4. For the scientific community, ISSP data is available for free
  5. Each survey has a clear framework of a general character covering different topics which are theoretically grounded

The ISSP was founded with the intention to conduct surveys on topics relevant to social sciences. Implemented and planned ISSP surveys are:

  • The Role of Government: 1985, 1990, 1996, 2006, 2016
  • Social Networks: 1986, 2001, 2017
  • Social Inequality: 1987, 1992, 1999, 2009, 2019
  • Family and Changing Gender Roles: 1988, 1994, 2002, 2012
  • Work Orientations: 1989, 1997, 2005, 2015
  • Religion: 1991, 1998, 2008, 2018
  • Environment: 1993, 2000, 2010
  • National Identity: 1995, 2003, 2013
  • Social Citizenship: 2004, 2014
  • Leisure and Sports: 2007
  • Health: 2011

As shown above, attitudes towards a variety of topics have been surveyed since 1985. Since 1990, replications of specific topic-surveys (i.e., modules) have been performed, which means that comparisons between countries, as well as over time are possible. Some specific data series span over almost thirty years (Role of Government 1985-2016; Social Networks 1986-2017 and Social Inequality 1987-2019). Currently, there are seven time-series data sets where attitude change can be followed over a period of approximately twenty years or more.