Measuring national delegate positions at the convention on the future of europe using computerized word scoring

Kenneth Benoit, Michael Laver, Christine Arnold, Paul Pennings, Madeleine O. Hosli

    Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


    The Convention on the Future of Europe that led to the eventual drafting of an EU Constitution involved numerous political actors from many countries. Their negotiations over the constitution generated a huge volume of texts containing substantive information about their preferences for EU institutional and political outcomes. In this paper, we attempt to measure these preferences at the national party level by analysing the Convention texts using the computerized 'word-scoring' method for text analysis (Laver et al., 2003). For each national party whose delegates' texts were recorded at the Convention, we estimate their positions on four political dimensions. We then test the validity of these estimates by comparing them with measures of national party positions on EU policy dimensions obtained through an extensive expert survey undertaken in 27 countries (the EU 25 plus Turkey and Romania). Our results show strong evidence that the word-scoring method is broadly successful in reconstructing the map of national party preferences for and against a more centralized and more powerful Europe as expressed through the Convention texts.

    Original languageEnglish (US)
    Pages (from-to)291-313
    Number of pages23
    JournalEuropean Union Politics
    Issue number3
    StatePublished - Sep 2005


    • Comparative party policy
    • Computerized content analysis
    • EU Constitution
    • European Union
    • Laeken Convention
    • Word scores

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Health(social science)
    • Demography
    • Political Science and International Relations


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