‘We were just using different words to mean the same thing’: Exploring the affective norms of political party manifestos
This is a research project that aspires to measure and understand the affective norms of political discourse. We already know that political parties propose policies to persuade the electorate. In fact, all else being equal, the party developing the most persuasive set of policies will win the election. But, we also know that persuasion is not only about numbers, policy proposals and goals. Rhetoric has an affective aspect that is difficult to measure and understand. How do political parties present their policies to make them more appealing and persuasive? And, how can political scientists extract these pieces of information? With respect to the first question, we argue that on top of the programmatic content of political texts, political parties use emotional appeals to convince that their policies are superior. To measure that we examine how affective political rhetoric is through a content analysis of political language.