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Thesis: Representation and Rhetoric: Political speech in Britain from the Second Reform Act to the First World War
My thesis focuses on the changing nature of the relationship between politicians and voters between 1867 and 1914 using quantitative text analysis and, where possible, careful identification strategies. My first paper shows how enfranchisement caused legislators to focus on the passage of the secret ballot. My second and third papers use a new dataset of campaign manifestos for all candidates in all elections between 1892 and 1910. The second paper scales these manifestos, showing how competition polarized along a single economic left-right dimension. Finally, the third paper uses these manifestos to show the development of retrospective electoral accountability in this period.
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