CIVICA Applied Data Science Seminar Series

Session 2 - Spring 2024

Session 2 - Spring 2024 will take place on Wednesday, 4:30 PM CET / 3:30 PM GMT, 21 February 2024, on Zoom Meeting

About The Series

The CIVICA Data Science Seminar series is a unique multi-disciplinary series focused on applications and methodologies of data science for the social, political, and economic world.

Session 2 Details

Foreign entities employing targeted political messaging to influence the politics of another nation is now more straightforward and common than before. Disinformation campaigns do not solely aim to transmit deceitful political information to other countries, but they also aim at changing attitudes regarding scientific findings, governance, and democratic institutions. Powerful non-democratic states have both the means and the incentive to spread such discourse to democratic and undemocratic countries.

The main aim of the talk is to uncover a research agenda emphasizing ways in which foreign-owned media employ illiberal discourse abroad in democratic and undemocratic regimes, as well as its timing relative to the calendar of significant political events in the receiving countries (e.g. Elshehawy et. al 2022). The talk also focuses on providing an overview of how to retrieve and use corpora of over a million news stories of state-sponsored communication, it also provides insights on which tools of Natural Language Processing are helpful for such tasks; mainly in detecting foreign propaganda and its strategic use in affecting the domestic politics of receiving countries.

Seminar Speaker

Ashrakat Elshehawy
Ashrakat Elshehawy

Ashrakat Elshehawy is a postdoctoral fellow at Stanford's King Center on Global Development with a PhD in Politics from the University of Oxford. Her academic journey includes time at Yale and Mannheim, focusing on Advanced Quantitative Methods in Political Science. Her research explores the Political Economy of Development and Foreign Influence on Domestic Political Economy, analyzing the impact of foreign interventions on domestic politics and local governance. In Computational Social Sciences, Elshehawy specializes in Natural Language Processing and Computational Text Analysis, working with various Western and Arabic languages. Her work has appeared or is forthcoming in journals like the Journal of Politics, Perspectives on Politics, and Peace Research.


Miriam Golden, EUI

Welcome Introduction Prof. Miriam Golden, EUI

Setting the scene: Brief intro to the speaker and her talk

Ashrakat Elshehawy

Seminar Session Ashrakat Elshehawy, Stanford's King Center on Global Development

Digital Politics and Foreign Interventions: A Natural Language Processing Approach

Research Discussion. Lead Institution

Q&A / Discussion on the research


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