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Party competition and emotive rhetoric

Kosmidis, Spyros, Hobolt, Sara, Molloy, Andrew and Whitefield, Stephen (2018) Party competition and emotive rhetoric. Comparative Political Studies. ISSN 0010-4140 (In Press)

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When do parties use emotive rhetoric to appeal to voters? In this article, we argue that politicians are more likely to employ positive affect (valence) in their rhetoric to appeal to voters when parties are not ideologically distinct and when there is uncertainty about public preferences. To test these propositions, our paper uses well-established psycholinguistic affect dictionaries to generate scores from three time-series of political text: British party manifestos (1900-2015) and annual party leaders’ speeches (1977-2014) as well as US Presidents’ State of the Union addresses (1880-2016). Our findings corroborate our expectations and have important implications for the study of party competition by illuminating the role of valence in way politicians communicate their policies

Item Type: Article
Official URL:
Additional Information: © 2018 The Authors
Divisions: European Institute
Subjects: J Political Science > JN Political institutions (Europe) > JN101 Great Britain
J Political Science > JN Political institutions (Europe) > JN1187 Scotland
Sets: Departments > European Institute
Departments > Government
Date Deposited: 25 Jan 2018 16:03
Last Modified: 20 Feb 2019 06:41

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