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Estimating interest groups' policy positions through content analysis: a discussion of automated and human-coding text analysis techniques applied to studies of EU lobbying

Estimating interest groups' policy positions through content analysis: a discussion of automated and human-coding text analysis techniques applied to studies of EU lobbying
Estimating interest groups' policy positions through content analysis: a discussion of automated and human-coding text analysis techniques applied to studies of EU lobbying
The promises and pitfalls of automated (computer-assisted) and human-coding content analysis techniques applied to political science research have been extensively discussed in the scholarship on party politics and legislative studies. This study presents a similar comparative analysis outlining the pay-offs and trade-offs of these two methods of content analysis applied to research on EU lobbying. The empirical focus is on estimating interest groups’ positions based on their formally submitted policy position documents in the context of EU policymaking. We identify the defining characteristics of these documents and argue that the choice for a method of content analysis should be informed by a concern for addressing the specificities of the research topic covered, of the research question asked and of the data sources employed. We discuss the key analytical assumptions and methodological requirements of automated and human-coding text analysis and the degree to which they match the identified text characteristics. We critically assess the most relevant methodological challenges research designs face when these requirements need to be complied with and how these challenges might affect measurement validity. We also compare the two approaches in terms of their reliability and resource intensity. The article concludes with recommendations and issues for future research.
EU lobbying, policy position estimates, text analysis, automated and human-coding techniques
1680-4333
337–353
Bunea, Adriana
35890bfe-2932-48ee-aef8-4a393a42eed1
Ibenskas, Raimondas
160594d0-2151-4be5-8d77-90418186dbc1
Bunea, Adriana
35890bfe-2932-48ee-aef8-4a393a42eed1
Ibenskas, Raimondas
160594d0-2151-4be5-8d77-90418186dbc1

Bunea, Adriana and Ibenskas, Raimondas (2017) Estimating interest groups' policy positions through content analysis: a discussion of automated and human-coding text analysis techniques applied to studies of EU lobbying. European Political Science, 16 (3), 337–353. (doi:10.1057/eps.2016.15).

Record type: Article

Abstract

The promises and pitfalls of automated (computer-assisted) and human-coding content analysis techniques applied to political science research have been extensively discussed in the scholarship on party politics and legislative studies. This study presents a similar comparative analysis outlining the pay-offs and trade-offs of these two methods of content analysis applied to research on EU lobbying. The empirical focus is on estimating interest groups’ positions based on their formally submitted policy position documents in the context of EU policymaking. We identify the defining characteristics of these documents and argue that the choice for a method of content analysis should be informed by a concern for addressing the specificities of the research topic covered, of the research question asked and of the data sources employed. We discuss the key analytical assumptions and methodological requirements of automated and human-coding text analysis and the degree to which they match the identified text characteristics. We critically assess the most relevant methodological challenges research designs face when these requirements need to be complied with and how these challenges might affect measurement validity. We also compare the two approaches in terms of their reliability and resource intensity. The article concludes with recommendations and issues for future research.

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3. AB.Estimating interest groups policy positions through content analysis_final.docx - Accepted Manuscript
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Accepted/In Press date: 27 May 2016
e-pub ahead of print date: 18 September 2017
Keywords: EU lobbying, policy position estimates, text analysis, automated and human-coding techniques
Organisations: Politics & International Relations

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 397778
URI: https://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/397778
ISSN: 1680-4333
PURE UUID: b5dffe04-2f55-4695-87f5-788ec7a34c3f
ORCID for Raimondas Ibenskas: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0003-4128-9464

Catalogue record

Date deposited: 07 Jul 2016 08:41
Last modified: 06 Jun 2018 12:20

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