Library Header Image
LSE Research Online LSE Library Services

Scaling hand-coded political texts to learn more about left-right policy content

Däubler, Thomas and Benoit, Kenneth ORCID: 0000-0002-0797-564X (2022) Scaling hand-coded political texts to learn more about left-right policy content. Party Politics, 28 (5). 834 - 844. ISSN 1354-0688

[img] Text (13540688211026076) - Published Version
Available under License Creative Commons Attribution Non-commercial.

Download (293kB)

Identification Number: 10.1177/13540688211026076


Manual annotation of the policy content of political texts forms the basis for one of the most widely used empirical measures in comparative politics: left-right policy positions. Bridging automated “text as data” approaches and qualitative content analysis, we apply statistical scaling to this data to learn more about the association of specific policy dimensions to the left-right super-dimension, in a way that minimizes ex ante assumptions about the substantive content of left-right policy. We apply a Bayesian negative binomial variant of Slapin and Proksch’s (2008) “wordfish” model to category counts from party manifestos coded by the Manifesto Project, providing a data-driven approach that offers new insights into the policy content of left and right. We demonstrate how this method also works with content not originally designed for measuring positions. In addition, we show how the approach can be extended to measure the policy content of two latent dimensions, with some categories contributing to both.

Item Type: Article
Official URL:
Additional Information: © 2021 The Authors
Divisions: Methodology
Subjects: J Political Science > JC Political theory
Date Deposited: 23 Mar 2022 16:03
Last Modified: 17 May 2024 01:33

Actions (login required)

View Item View Item


Downloads per month over past year

View more statistics