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date: 16 July 2020

Abstract and Keywords

Political discourse is the verbal interaction among political actors, who make normative claims about policies conditional on each other, rendering discourse a dynamic network phenomenon. The structure and dynamics of policy debates can be analyzed by combining content and dynamic network analysis. After annotating statements of actors in text sources, networks can be created from these structured data, such as congruence or conflict networks at the actor or concept level, affiliation networks of actors and concept stances, and longitudinal versions of these networks. The resulting network data reveal important properties, such as the structure of advocacy coalitions or discourse coalitions; polarization and consensus formation; and underlying endogenous processes like popularity, reciprocity, or social balance. The advantage of discourse network analysis over survey-based policy network research is that policy processes can be analyzed from a longitudinal perspective. Inferential techniques for understanding the micro-level processes governing political discourse are being developed.

Keywords: political discourse, network, policy, debate, mixed-methods approach, coalition, content analysis, relational event model, co-occurrence

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