Popular tribunes and their agendas: topic modelling Slovak presidents' speeches 1993-2020


Since its birth as an independent republic in 1993, Slovakia has been served by five different presidents. Due to limited competences, the presidents’ have often relied on political speech as their principal tool to influence political developments. However, text as a source of data has been largely neglected in existing scholarship on Central European presidents. In this exploratory study, I classify the content of presidential speeches using a topic model and analyse topical patterns over time and across different presidents. I find that topical variation can provide useful insights into relevant issues such as agenda shifts or intra-executive conflict.

East European Politics