Elite Network Shifts

This project uses cutting edge computational techniques to automatically extract and visualise Indonesian political elite networks from over a million digitised newspaper articles. Initially conceived to trace patterns of elite networks over periods of regime transition in Indonesia, it asks: How sociologically meaningful are these computational networks and how do they compare to traditional analyses of regime change? What other interesting sociological questions are amenable to the same set of techniques?

The data in this project is made up of: 500,000 articles in English and Indonesian collected by news services from 1990 – 2012; a complete run of around 500,000 articles from 25 regional and 25 national Indonesian language newspapers from 2011-2013; and several hundred thousand articles in Dutch and Malay for the period 1930-1950. In the first phase of the project, the networks were based on a simple co-occurrence of elites within one sentence of a newspaper article. The second phase is currently adding more sophistication to this crude technique by interrogating the linguistic contexts surrounding the co-occurrence.

This is an experimental project with open aims to match the data available and the promise and limitations of the computational techniques with interesting sociological questions about Indonesian politics, broadly conceived. We have so far developed a technique to identify populations of political elites, and plan to also focus on uncovering media bias in addition to the main question of regime transition. The project began in September 2012 and will run until 2016.


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Related Reseachers

Gerry van Klinken (project coordinator)
Fridus Steijlen (project supervisor)
Peter Keppy (project supervisor)
Maarten de Rijke (project supervisor)
Ridho Reinanda (researcher)
Vincent Traag (researcher)
Jacqueline Hicks (researcher)
Wolfgang Kaltenbrunner (researcher)
Franciska de Jong (advisor)
Andrea Scharnhorst (advisor)
Ayu Purwarianti (advisor)

Conference May 2016