Quantifying Political Interactions.

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This article introduces a new approach to measure cooperation and conflict in public communication among politicians, non-partisan political actors, and societal actors. I use an extensive trove of machine coded news reports and employ latent factor network models to create a spatial representation of public elite interactions, which is used to compute scores that quantify cooperation for any pair of actors. This approach has a number of advantages over existing techniques: It captures public interactions in a multitude of venues on a continuous basis, locates partisan and non-partisan actors in a common space, reflects that cooperation is not unidirectional but rather a back and forth, and can be applied to a large number of countries over time. To demonstrate the value of the proposed method, I apply it to 13 Western European countries from 2001 to 2014 and show the influence of coalition status and policy positions on party cooperation.

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