Finding Compromise: The Antecedents of Debate Quality in the German Mediation Committee

19.02.2018 - 12:00 to 13:30
Location : 
A 5,6 Raum A 231
Type of Event : 
AB B-Kolloquium
Dr. Valentin Gold
Lecturer affiliation: 
Universität Göttingen

In this talk, I analyze the debate quality in the German Mediation Committee, an intermediary legislative body reconciling conflicts between the two parliamentary chambers. Recent developments in the field of computational text analysis allow for a comprehensive analysis of all committee meetings between 1995 and 2005. Based on the verbatim transcripts, various proxies for debate quality are extracted by means of computational methods, e.g. type and scope of explicit argumentation and topical reciprocity. The subsequent statistical analysis determines the effects for both the institutional and individual contextual factors of the mediation committee. While institutional context refers to political indicators that might influence the debate quality, e.g. majority constellation and legal status of the proposed bill, individual context describes, for instance, age and gender composition of the committee meetings. I conclude that both types of contextual factors - the institutional and individual antecedents - have decisive impact on the quality of the debates.