From Text to Political Positions

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This chapter explores how three methods of political text analysis can complement each other to differentiate parties in detail. A word-frequency method and corpus linguistic techniques are joined by critical discourse analysis in an attempt to assess the ideological relation between election manifestos and a coalition agreement. How does this agreement relate to the policy positions presented in individual election manifestos and whose issues appear on the governmental agenda? The chapter discusses the design of three levels of text analysis applying text-as-data analysis; words-as-meaningful-data involving lexical-semantic analysis of subjectivity applying Wordscores; and words-in-context analysis for variation in constructions of worldviews. A comparison of the results reveals (im-)possibilities of combining qualitative with quantitative methods. We found that better results can be achieved for party positioning in combinations of qualitative and quantitative approaches.


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