On Words and Discourse: From Quantitative to Qualitative

  • Alice Baillat
  • Fabien Emprin
  • Frédéric Ramel
Part of the The Sciences Po Series in International Relations and Political Economy book series (SPIRP)


This chapter introduces two types of methods of textual analysis by dealing with an empirical case (the state of the union discourses of the Bush Jr. and Obama administrations). The first part demonstrates the interest of using statistical textual analysis to explore voluminous corpus of texts, test assumptions, identify major lexical worlds and increase methodological rigor of textual data analysis. The second set of methods comes from political theory, with a focus on specific textual dimensions: classical or Straussian approach (the exegesis of texts), neo-Marxism (the linguistic structure of hegemony), Cambridge school or Skinnerian perspective (the usage of linguistic conventions in conceptual and historical contexts). By linking these two kinds of methods, the chapter intends to show the advantages of cross-fertilization between quantitative and qualitative tools for understanding political discourses.


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Alice Baillat
    • 1
  • Fabien Emprin
    • 2
  • Frédéric Ramel
    • 3
  1. 1.French Institute for International and Strategic Affairs (IRIS)ParisFrance
  2. 2.University of ReimsReimsFrance
  3. 3.Sciences Po, Center for International Studies (CERI)ParisFrance

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