Institutionalization of political parties
in the parliaments of Central Europe
SOURCE OF FINANCING:
National Science Center, OPUS (2020-2024)
Dr Agnieszka Kwiatkowska (project manager),
How do new political issues become a source of political conflict? How has the understanding of democracy changed over the years? Is it possible to predict which parties will fall quickly and which will become important political actors? The project, led by Dr. Agnieszka Kwiatkowska, aims to analyze the process of institutionalization of political parties in the parliaments of five Central European countries (Poland, the Czech Republic, Lithuania, Slovakia and Hungary) using quantitative methods of analyzing textual data (parliamentary debates) and numerical data (roll-call votes) on an innovative database that will be created in the project.
The aim of the research project is to analyze the process of institutionalization of political parties in the parliaments of five Central European countries (Poland, the Czech Republic, Lithuania, Slovakia and Hungary), as reflected in parliamentary debates and votes. The goal will be achieved through quantitative analysis of textual data (parliamentary debates) and numerical data (roll-call votes) on an innovative database that will be created in the project. The analysis will cover, in particular, the following topics:
- how and which political parties introduced new political issues into Polish political discourse;
- how the content of individual issues, their context and relevance in parliamentary debates have changed;
- what is the relationship between the level of ideological cohesion of parliamentary speeches on key political issues and the ability of a party to influence the behavior of other political parties;
- what is the relationship between party unity in parliamentary debates and votes and intra-party divisions;
The methodological objective of the project is to evaluate the existing methods of determining the ideological positions of individual parliamentarians and parliamentary clubs and - on this basis - to modify and create new techniques for the simultaneous analysis of parliamentary debates and roll-call votes, taking into account the micro level variables (metadata on parliamentarians and debates) and the macro level (concerning the party system). The use of a variety of statistical and machine learning techniques to classify, analyze relationships, and reduce the dimensionality of data will increase the accuracy of analysis and prediction of parliamentary behavior and the activities of parliamentary clubs.
The practical goal - necessary due to the theoretical and methodological goals set in the project - is to create an up-to-date comparative database including:
1) a complete, structured collection of speeches (transcriptions and metadata) in the parliaments of Poland, the Czech Republic, Lithuania, Slovakia and Hungary - about 1 , 5 million individual speeches,
2) complete results of roll-call votes in parliaments - around 1 million individual votes,
3) complete information available on parliamentarians, including sociodemographic data and political careers,
4) information from the ParlGov database, including administrative data, election data, the composition of parliaments and governments, and variables related to the ideological positioning of political parties.
By researching parliamentary debates in five countries, we want to find out what factors determine the survival of a new party or its collapse or a takeover by another party. We will learn how the party's cohesion and identity are expressed in parliamentary statements, as well as what characterizes the process of institutionalization of party systems in Central and Eastern Europe.
- dr Agnieszka Kwiatkowska, project manager