UCL Uncovering Politics

Analysing Politicians’ Words

Episode Summary

This week we are looking at what politicians say. How can we analyse it? And what do we learn as a result?

Episode Notes

Today our focus is on what politicians say – and on processes for analysing what politicians say. Politicians’ speech is, of course, a fundamental part of politics. We can think of it as a product of – and therefore a window into – deeper political forces. And in itself it also helps to constitute the political realm and how we think of all the parts of that realm. 

Analysis of what politicians say – and, indeed, of what others say, but we’re focusing today on politicians – is a tool that many political scientists use to explore a whole range of different aspects of politics. Many approaches are used in doing so. And these include increasingly sophisticated techniques for analysing vast bodies of speech systematically. 

We’re showcasing the work of some of our PhD students here on the podcast at the moment and this week our host Professor Alan Renwick welcomes Lotte Hargrave, who is looking at whether female and male MPs speak differently from each other and and Markus Kollberg, who is examining how parliamentarians use populist rhetoric.