Call for Papers: Text as Data

Posted Date: 2023-01-27
Expiry Date: 2023-03-15

Intersections. East European Journal of Society and Politics (IEEJSP) invites original research papers for its thematic issue

Text as data’ – Eastern and Central European political discourses from the perspective of computational social science

Guest Editors: Ildikó Barna (Eötvös Loránd University), Theresa Gessler (European University Viadrina), Renáta Németh (Eötvös Loránd University), Domonkos Sik (Eötvös Loránd University), Hanna Orsolya Vincze (Babes Bolyai University)


Eastern and Central European countries have followed many different paths in the last thirty years since the fall of communism. We find examples of the strengthening of democratic institutions, the dismantling of the public sphere and civil society, right-wing and left-wing populisms, digital transformations, and disruptions brought about by the rise of online platforms. Many attempts have been made to analyse these processes: local and global dynamics of capital and field relations; historical changes in institutions, values and norms; the challenges and ambivalences of European integration and globalization have all offered a theoretical framework to explain the heterogeneity of Eastern and Central European regimes.

Studying public discourses can yield important insights into the various trends in the region. Although political discourses are always embedded in the broader context of local and international structures, institutions, values, and behaviour patterns, they also represent a distinct level of analysis. The different layers of the political public sphere (for example the parliament and political actors’ communication, the media, online forums and social media platforms) are key arenas for the social construction of reality. These discursive levels are crucial for understanding the functioning of democratic and non-democratic electoral regimes; their complex structure and the interactions within hold the potential of explaining political institutions, praxes, and civic culture.

All layers of the political public sphere are producing textual data at vast quantities, and the birth of computational social science opens up new perspectives for their analysis. The aim of this thematic issue is to bring together papers profiting from this new potential. The thematic issue takes a fresh look at the transforming political discourses of Eastern and Central European countries by relying on the tools of large-scale textual data analysis in the broad sense. In terms of data sources we expect analysis of textual data or textual data combined with other data (e.g., image, network structure); in terms of methodology, we expect computational methods (natural language processing, other quantitative text analysis, network analysis etc). Mixed-methods papers are also welcome, as we believe that computational methods complement rather than replace traditional approaches.

Papers may focus, among others, on the following topics:

  • analysis of social media textual data sources in order to
    • identify the political orientations of users,
    • detect communities of users,
    • detect politically polarized topics,
    • detect logics of platformisation structuring political discourses and imaginaries
  • processing transcripts of parliamentary speeches with a view to
    • extract information about the political priorities,
    • detect actor positions,
    • map conflict structures in democratic states,
    • frame the issue of European integration,
  • campaign communication: analysis of candidate/party manifestos,
  • media analysis:
    • identifying news frames within policy issues,
    • quantifying media bias,
  • interactions between the above layers: associations between official politics, media and public opinion, identifying issue networks and network issue agendas
  • diachronic analysis along the above themes,
  • international comparative studies along the above themes.

We invite scholars to submit an abstract of 300–400 words describing the main question(s), argument(s), and finding(s) of the paper, together with the applied methodology (if relevant), and a short bio by 15 March 2023 to Ildikó Barna ( Authors will receive feedback from the editorial team by 15 April. The deadline for submitting final papers is 31 July 2023. The issue is scheduled for publication in Spring 2024.

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 Intersections. East European Journal of Society and Politics (IEEJSP) is a peer-reviewed journal promoting multidisciplinary and comparative thinking on Eastern and Central European societies in a global context. IEEJSP publishes research with international relevance and encourages comparative analysis both within the region and with other parts of the world. Founded by the Centre for Social Sciences of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences in Budapest, IEEJSP provides an international forum for scholars coming from and/or working on the region. The Journal is indexed by Web of Science (ESCI), Scopus, CEEOL, ERIH, Google Scholar, and Index Copernicus. It has been ranked Q3 (for 2021) by ScimagoJR.