We need to go deeper: measuring electoral violence using convolutional neural networks and social media

Muchlinski, D., Yang, X., Birch, S., Macdonald, C. and Ounis, I. (2021) We need to go deeper: measuring electoral violence using convolutional neural networks and social media. Political Science Research and Methods, 9(1), pp. 122-139. (doi: 10.1017/psrm.2020.32)

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Electoral violence is conceived of as violence that occurs contemporaneously with elections, and as violence that would not have occurred in the absence of an election. While measuring the temporal aspect of this phenomenon is straightforward, measuring whether occurrences of violence are truly related to elections is more difficult. Using machine learning, we measure electoral violence across three elections using disaggregated reporting in social media. We demonstrate that our methodology is more than 30 percent more accurate in measuring electoral violence than previously utilized models. Additionally, we show that our measures of electoral violence conform to theoretical expectations of this conflict more so than those that exist in event datasets commonly utilized to measure electoral violence including ACLED, ICEWS, and SCAD. Finally, we demonstrate the validity of our data by developing a qualitative coding ontology.

Item Type:Articles
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Birch, Professor Sarah and Macdonald, Professor Craig and Yang, Dr Xiao and Ounis, Professor Iadh
Authors: Muchlinski, D., Yang, X., Birch, S., Macdonald, C., and Ounis, I.
College/School:College of Science and Engineering > School of Computing Science
College of Social Sciences > School of Social and Political Sciences > Politics
Journal Name:Political Science Research and Methods
Publisher:Cambridge University Press
ISSN (Online):2049-8489
Published Online:26 August 2020
Copyright Holders:Copyright © 2020 The European Political Science Association
First Published:First published in Political Science Research and Methods 9(1): 122-139
Publisher Policy:Reproduced under a Creative Commons License

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Project CodeAward NoProject NamePrincipal InvestigatorFunder's NameFunder RefLead Dept
190830Explaining and Mitigating Electoral ViolenceSarah BirchEconomic and Social Research Council (ESRC)ES/L016435/1S&PS - Politics