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Towards a Computational Political Theory Syllabus

Working Definition: Computational Political Theory views political speech acts as observed manifestations of unobserved political-ideological latent variables, with the latter representing various “explanans” of interest to political theorists.

Published onMar 31, 2020
Towards a Computational Political Theory Syllabus

Computer Science

“Winning on the Merits” (2017)

Wang, L., Beauchamp, N., Shugars, S., & Qin, K. (2017). Winning on the Merits: The Joint Effects of Content and Style on Debate Outcomes. Transactions of the Association for Computational Linguistics, 5, 219–232.


Inference and Disputed Authorship (1964)

Mosteller, F., & Wallace, D. L. (1964). Inference and Disputed Authorship: The Federalist. Center for the Study of Language and Information.

Digital Humanities

“The Historical Significance of Textual Distances” (2018)

Underwood, T. (2018). The Historical Significance of Textual Distances. In Proceedings of the Second Joint SIGHUM Workshop on Computational Linguistics for Cultural Heritage, Social Sciences, Humanities and Literature (pp. 60–69). Santa Fe, New Mexico: Association for Computational Linguistics. Retriev

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“Divergence and the Complexity of Difference in Text and Culture” (2020)

Chang, Kent K., and Simon DeDeo. 2020. “Divergence and the Complexity of Difference in Text and Culture.” Journal of Cultural Analytics 5 (2).

“Can We Map Culture?” (2021)

Underwood, Ted, and Richard Jean So. 2021. “Can We Map Culture?” Journal of Cultural Analytics 6 (3).

“Mapping the Latent Spaces of Culture” (2021)

Underwood, T. (2021). Mapping the Latent Spaces of Culture. Retrieved from

Distant Reading (2013)

Moretti, F. (2013). Distant Reading. London: Verso.


“Individuals, Institutions, and Innovation in the Debates of the French Revolution” (2018)

Barron, A. T. J., Huang, J., Spang, R. L., & DeDeo, S. (2018). Individuals, institutions, and innovation in the debates of the French Revolution. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 115(18), 4607–4612.


“The Geometry of Culture” (2019)

Kozlowski, A. C., Taddy, M., & Evans, J. A. (2019). The Geometry of Culture: Analyzing the Meanings of Class through Word Embeddings, 84(5), 905–949.

Political Theory

“Mirrors for Princes and Sultans” (2018)

Lisa Blaydes, Justin Grimmer, and Alison McQueen, "Mirrors for Princes and Sultans: Advice on the Art of Governance in the Medieval Christian and Islamic Worlds," The Journal of Politics 80, no. 4 (October 2018): 1150-1167.

“Re-imagining the Cambridge School in the Age of Digital Humanities” (2016)

Jennifer A. London, “Re-imagining the Cambridge School in the Age of Digital Humanities, Annual Review of Political Science (2016), 19:1, 351-373

Early Precursors

Lasswell, H. D., & Leites, N. (1965). Language of Politics: Studies in Quantitative Semantics. Cambridge, MA, USA: MIT Press.

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