Supporting democracies through a political text analysis infrastructure

Liberal democracy is facing many challenges in Europe, making it imperative that we remain informed and dedicated to supporting its resilience and sustainability with well-defined, transparent actions. Today’s social scientists have the instruments to adequately observe and analyse the political and societal developments empirically through the political texts produced by political actors, citizens, media, and NGOs.

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.


Project duration

  • October 2020 - September 2023


Project objectives

  • Inventory of data sources and classification of the research landscape
  • Curated inventory of existing tools and training opportunities
  • Extension and harmonization of tools
  • Standardization and quality control
  • Ethical and legal framework for text analysis
  • Accessible tools for publics, journalists, and policy makers
  • Scientific community building