"Studying the Council from Videos of Public Deliberations: Introducing and Validating the DICEU Approach"
Dr. Christopher Wratil (CCCP)
Monday, 17 July 2017
12:00 - 13:30
The Council of the European Union remains the EU’s most influential legislative body. But research on politics in the Council is starkly restricted by the limited availability of data sources. We introduce and validate a new approach of studying the Council from video footage of public deliberations. Taking debates in the ECOFIN configuration as an example, we estimate governments’ ideal points on economic, financial, and budget affairs from 2010 to 2015 from human coding as well as quantitative text models. We cross-validate the data by demonstrating that governments’ positions in public deliberations converge strongly with expert data and predict governments’ opposition votes to legislative acts. Furthermore, we provide evidence that governments’ non-participation in public deliberations is likely ignorable and missing positions can be imputed with standard multiple imputation or MCMC methods. We conclude that the DICEU approach is a promising novel data source for studying various research questions on Council politics.