Universiteit Leiden

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Using Speeches to Analyze Politics

  • Gijs Schumacher
Tuesday 15 May 2018
Diplomacy and Global Affairs Research Seminar Series 2018
Turfmarkt 99
2511 DP The Hague


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About the lecture

Many political scientists study political elites. The problem is that these elites are hard to reach – sometimes even dead -  and have incentives to misrepresent their side of the story. Political elites do, however, give lots of speeches. In this talk I will discuss a number of opportunities these speeches give us, as well as address a number of problems associated with analyzing speeches. As opportunities I will present work on topic classification in speeches, linguistic complexity and sentiment detection. As problems I will discuss work on translation of texts, linguistic habits and the role of speech writers. For this I will primarily present data from the EUSpeech project, a dataset I collected of approximately 18,000 speeches of European elites.

About the speaker

Gijs Schumacher is an Assistant Professor of Political Science at the University of Amsterdam. He is interested in political strategy, the link between personality and populism, text analysis and the role of emotions in politics. His work has appeared in journals such as the American Journal of Political Science, Journal of Politics, Political Analysis, PLOS One, European Journal of Political Research, Party Politics, West European Politics, Electoral Studies, Political Psychology and the Journal of European Public Policy. Gijs is also the director of the Hot Politics Lab and a a co-founder and commentator on stukroodvlees.nl, a Dutch political science blog.

About the seminars

Diplomacy and Global Affairs (DGA) Research Seminar Series is a series launched by the Research Group on Diplomacy and Global Affairs at the Institute of Security and Global Affairs. The seminars of internationally acknowledged guest researchers and faculty members deal with current research topics in diplomacy, international relations, global affairs, and political economy broadly conceived and target a broad audience through their interdisciplinary focus.

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