Back to the basics: Applying multilingual dictionary analysis to the Comparative Manifesto Project corpus | Amsterdam University Press Journals Online
Volume 5, Issue 2
  • E-ISSN: 2665-9085


For researchers interested in political communication and electoral politics, the Comparative Manifesto Project (CMP) is a widely-used database, which contains an extensive repository of annotated electoral manifestos. However, by relying on the fact that country-specific expert coders assign text excerpts to different policy areas, researchers frequently fail to engage with the multilingual nature of the corpus. This article uses a deductively-defined multilingual dictionary analysis to extract information on a set of electorally salient policies in seven European countries. In this application, I not only show that inter-coder reliability tests are encouragingly high and can be conducted relatively rapidly, but I also illustrate that the usage of multilingual policy-specific dictionary analysis is linked with high precision and high recall metrics. This approach can not only be helpful in examining electoral issue salience, but can also help in uncovering the language and the framing that political parties employ when discussing different policies.


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