The work presented in this seminar was co-authored with Iain Weaver, Gabriel Katz and Susan Banducci from the Q-Step Centre, University of Exeter, and Felix von Nostitz from ESPOL, Lille. It was funded by an Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) grant ES/N012283/1.
Building upon recent developments in network analysis, the authors propose an alternative method for measuring party cohesion which is based on social media data. Using tweeting and re-tweeting activity, they analyse the social networks formed by UK Members of Parliament and the way these networks change over time.
This study focuses on the key drivers and evolution of party cohesion in the UK over a 40-week period from the 2015 elections to the European Union membership referendum. The method provides enough temporal variation to allow for a detailed examination of the dynamics of intra and inter-party interactions. The authors find that the structure of the communities formed by MPs through their social media interactions provides a fine-grained measure of party cohesion which is more sensitive to political events and shocks than existing measures of party cohesion.
Dr Iulia Cioroianu is a Prize Fellow in the Institute for Policy Research (IPR) at the University of Bath.
She holds a PhD in Political Science from New York University and was an Associate Lecturer and Researcher in the Q-Step Centre for quantitative social sciences at the University of Exeter before joining the IPR.
Iulia is a social data scientist who studies the effects of social media and online information exposure on political competition and polarissation using natural language processing and quantitative text analysis, machine learning and survey experiments.
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