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Political Studies Association of Ireland


Specialist Group in Computational Methods


Dr. Constantine Boussalis, Trinity College Dublin. Email:

Jihed Ncib, University College Dublin. Email:


This PSAI Specialist Group provides a forum for the growing community of scholars interested in big data, text-analysis, and methodology in Ireland and beyond. In recent years, big data and text analysis has seen an explosion in use in political science, as well as the social sciences and humanities more generally. The use of computational methods to study political text cuts across sub-fields in the discipline, and has provided significant new insight into issues as diverse as political party policy positions, the evolution of policy agendas, the rhetorical styles of political elites, and the role of social media in elections. The Specialist Group aims to promote the work of Irish-based scholars in the field and act as a locus through which interdisciplinary connections can develop.


The Specialist Group in Computational Methods holds an annual workshop bringing together Ireland-based and international scholars using such methods in their research. This workshop will provide a forum for networking and the development of collaboration opportunities for those involved. While the majority of participants will work in the field of political science, we will also invite scholars from related fields including computer science, data science, and natural language processing, given the clear relevance of the methodological developments emerging in these fields. The Specialist group will also convene at least one panel at the annual PSAI conference, as well as proposing panels to international conferences such as EPSA, APSA, and ECPR. Such activities should in time lead to collaboration and joint publishing efforts between Specialist Group members.


The Specialist Group in Computational Methods welcomes members from across disciplinary areas and specialist areas. To become a member of the Group you must be a member of the PSAI, which you can join here.

You do not have to belong to an Irish university to be a PSAI member or to join the Group.