OPTED

The EU-funded H2020 project OPTED “Observatory for Political Texts in European Democracies: A European research infrastructure”, is a design study with 17 involved research institutions. The design study lays the foundation for an infrastructure that will serve a major hub for political text analysis in Europe. Among the objectives of the infrastructure are scientific community building, the extension of text analysis tools, and learning materials for social scientists, the broader public and journalists. 

ABOUT

Understanding the challenges to liberal democracy across Europe and supporting its resilience and sustainability, now more than ever requires us to better systematize and to make transparent the activities and behaviours that take place at all stages of the political process. Social scientists are nowadays in a unique position to systematically observe political and societal developments empirically and more closely than ever before if they were to fully exploit the possibilities of the vast amounts of semi-structured textual data and the computational techniques that are available. Political texts produced by the media, individual-, collective and institutional political actors like politicians, political parties, governments, or by citizens and non-governmental organizations, offer a remarkable opportunity to observe and understand social and political processes better than hitherto possible. Obstacles to such exploitation lie in the fragmentation of the research field, the domain, language and context sensitivity of tools, the only evolving standardizations and routines of data sharing and validation, and in unclear legal and ethical frameworks. The new opportunities with regard to text analysis in digitalized democracies can be seized to the full extend by bringing together social scientists that control expertise with regard to the political processes and substantive issues An institutionalization of the field of political text analysis by means of a common European infrastructure will yield more impactful, sustainable, resource saving, innovative, democratic, non-discriminatory and substantially meaningful research landscape. The OPTED infrastructure, for which this project lays the foundation in terms of conceptual design work, pushes the boundaries of political text analysis by addressing both the development and the application of tools and techniques, the standardization of measurement quality and legal and ethical Frameworks.

 

CONSORTIUM

Participant No.

Participant organisation name

 

Country

 

1 (Coordinator)

University of Vienna (UNIVIE)

 

AT

 

2

Wissenschaftszentrum Berlin für Sozialforschung (WZB)

 

DE

 

3

The University of Exeter (UNEXE)

 

UK

 

4

University College Dublin, National University of Ireland, Dublin (NUID UCD)

 

IE

 

5

Centre for Social Sciences, Hungarian Academy of Sciences (CSS)

 

HU

 

6

Stichting VU, Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam (VU)

 

NL

 

7

Universiteit Van Amsterdam (UvA)

 

NL

 

8

University of Strathclyde (STRATH)

 

UK

 

9

The University of Edinburgh (UEDIN)

 

UK

 

10

The Hebrew University of Jerusalem (HUJI)

 

ISR

 

11

Universitaet zu Koeln (UoC)

 

DE

 

12

Audencia Business School (ABS)

 

FR

 

13

Aarhus Universitet (AU)

 

DK

 

14

Humboldt-Universitaet zu Berlin (HU)

 

DE

 

15

Vrije Universiteit Brussel (VUB)

 

BE

 

16

Høyskolen Kristiania (HK)

 

NO

 

17

Universität Bremen (UBremen)

 

DE

 

 

 

WORK PLAN

WP

Title

Lead Participant (No.)

 

WP1

Management, coordination and innovation

 

UNIVIE

 

WP2

Citizen produced political texts

 

ABS

 

 

WP3

Journalistic, mass mediated political texts

 

UNIVIE 

 

 

WP4

Text by political organizations

 

WZB

 

 

WP5

Parliamentary and government/ legal texts

 

CSS + UoC

 

WP6

Multilingual text analysis and validation standards

 

UCD + HUJI

 
 

WP7

Pre-processing, storage and data sharing

 

VU

 

WP8

Data harmonization and linkage

 

UvA

 

WP9

Inventory of tools, training and dissemination

 

UNEXE

 

WP10

Legal and ethical framework

 

VUB