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Understanding Electoral Violence Through Complex Textual Data: 20 Years of OSCE Monitoring Missions

Europe (Central and Eastern)
Political Parties
Political Violence
Southern Europe
Michal Mochtak
University of Luxembourg
Michal Mochtak
University of Luxembourg

Abstract

The Paper analyses more than 20 years of evidence on electoral violence as reported by OSCE monitoring mission reports. It identifies prevailing trends of electoral violence in Europe, North America, and parts of Asia in order to better understand how the phenomenon is understood and framed by one of the most important international monitoring organizations in the region. The analysis utilizes a unique approach based on automated content analysis employing counting algorithms and latent semantic indexing. The analysis is based on an original corpus consisting of 362 documents and more than 8000 pages of text. The collection of documents scraped from the OSCE official website was manually cleaned and coded and will be freely available to academic community and general public in the near future. The results of the analysis show how the phenomenon of electoral violence has changed in the past 20 years and how the textual data can be used for its better understanding.