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Themes and topics in parliamentary oversight hearings: a new direction in textual data analysis

Sanders, James, Lisi, Giulio and Schonhardt-Bailey, Cheryl (2018) Themes and topics in parliamentary oversight hearings: a new direction in textual data analysis. Statistics, Politics and Policy. ISSN 2194-6299

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Identification Number: 10.1515/spp-2017-0012


This paper contributes to the growing empirical work on deliberation in legislatures by proposing a novel approach to analysing parliamentary hearings using both thematic and topic modelling textual analysis software. We explore variations in deliberative quality across economic policy type (fiscal policy, monetary policy and financial stability) and across parliamentary chambers (Commons and Lords) in UK select committee oversight hearings during the 2010–2015 Parliament. Our overall focus is not only to suggest a multi-method approach to the textual analysis of parliamentary data, but also to explore more substantive aspects of parliamentary oversight, such as: (1) the extent to which oversight varies between unelected and elected policy makers; and (2) whether parliamentarians conduct oversight more forcefully or more along partisan lines when they are challenging fellow politicians as opposed to central bank officials. Our findings suggest consistent differences in deliberative styles between types of hearings (fiscal, monetary, financial stability) and between chambers (Commons, Lords).

Item Type: Article
Official URL:
Additional Information: © 2018 Walter de Gruyter GmbH, Berlin/Boston
Divisions: Government
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HA Statistics
J Political Science > JA Political science (General)
J Political Science > JN Political institutions (Europe) > JN101 Great Britain
Date Deposited: 24 Apr 2018 09:37
Last Modified: 15 May 2024 23:15

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