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What Text-As-Data Tells Us about U.S. Foreign Aid

Esol Cho

PhD Candidate in Political Science, Binghamton University

Friday 4/8, 4-5PM in RH312 (Reception at 3:30PM in RH305, Math Lounge)

It is widely believed that ideology affects donors’ foreign aid choices but the way it works has not been explored in depth. In this talk, I show how data science can help us understand the dynamics of foreign aid agendas and debates about them inside the donor country. Using text-as-data methods, I will illustrate the process through which ideology influences foreign aid policy in the United States from the testimonial statements given by domestic interest groups as well as the floor speeches of legislators in Congress between1980 and 2013. Using my work as an example, I will explain how data-inflected approaches can give insights into fundamental questions about politics and policy.