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Previous methods of analyzing the substance of political attention have had to make several restrictive assumptions or been prohibitively costly when applied to large-scale political texts. Here, we describe a topic model for legislative speech, a statistical learning model that uses word choices to infer topical categories covered in a set of speeches and(More)
Entries in the burgeoning ''text-as-data'' movement are often accompanied by lists or visualizations of how word (or other lexical feature) usage differs across some pair or set of documents. These are intended either to establish some target semantic concept (like the content of partisan frames) to estimate word-specific measures that feed forward into(More)
We describe a method for statistical learning from speech documents that we apply to the Congressional Record in order to gain new insight into the dynamics of the political agenda. Prior efforts to evaluate the attention of elected representatives across topic areas have largely been expensive manual coding exercises and are generally circumscribed along(More)
We introduce a technique for identifying the most salient participants in a discussion. Our method, MavenRank is based on lexical cen-trality: a random walk is performed on a graph in which each node is a participant in the discussion and an edge links two participants who use similar rhetoric. As a test, we used MavenRank to identify the most influential(More)
We introduce a technique for analyzing the temporal evolution of the salience of participants in a discussion. Our method can dynamically track how the relative importance of speakers evolve over time using graph based techniques. Speaker salience is computed based on the eigenvector cen-trality in a graph representation of participants in a discussion. Two(More)
In some Latin American nations policy change occurs frequently, while in others it is stable, less prone to shifts with the prevailing political climate or shocks. The conditions under which institutional rules and the powers of key actors influence the capacity for governance vary, and this variation is seldom addressed in the literature. This project(More)
Do public opinion dynamics play an important role in understanding conflict dynamics between democracies and their international rivals? These opinion dynamics and government behavior are interpreted as particular causal links in models of reciprocity, accountability and credibility. Theoretical expectations about the character of these linkages are(More)
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