University of Mannheim

By | on November 3, 2017 | 0 Comment


Dominic Duval
Department of Political Science
Université Laval
Supervised by François Pétry
Grant received in 2014-2015

Can you tell us about your research project?

The ideological positioning of political parties is essential to our understanding of their competitive dynamics. However, the currently favored approaches have two weaknesses: they do not find the periods between elections important and they base themselves almost exclusively on the electoral platforms in order to understand the positioning of the parties. In my research, I explore how the content of electoral platforms compares to non-campaign government communications. Specifically, I consider the ideological positioning of parties through their press releases and parliamentary debates using automated content analysis methods. The goal is twofold: firstly, it will allow us to see if the platforms are appropriate tools to position the government party after an election and, secondly, we obtain chronological data that allow to test many assumptions about party positioning between elections.

Why did you chose to go to Mannheim?

I chose to go to Mannheim in order to collaborate with researchers involved in the Measuring a Common Space and the Dynamics of Reform Positions of the Political Economy of Reforms research group. One of the objectives of this project is the same as that of my research, which is to estimate party ideological positions using automated content analysis.

How did you hear about this opportunity?

Will Lowe, who was in Mannheim at the time, was twice invited by the CSDC the year before my exchange. It is thanks to theses meetings that the opportunity arose.

How did your stay in Mannheim help you move forward in your research?

The expertise of the project members was of great value. Automated content analysis is a relatively young field in political science and the resources available are of varying quality. The chance to receive expert advice definitely accelerated the progress of my research.

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