Alex Herzog
Alexander Herzog, Ph.D.
Professor of Practice
School of Computing
Clemson University

Email: aherzog-at-clemson.edu
CV | Google Scholar profile

I am a Professor of Practice (non-tenure-track faculty) in the School of Computing at Clemson University, where I teach a course in Data Science and lead the school's Senior Design/Capstone course in which upper division computer science students work on software development projects with real-world sponsoring clients.

My research is in computational social science, with a focus on developing scalable solutions to process and extract knowledge from large volumes of unstructured data, such as speeches, documents, social media, and newspaper articles. I use insights created from these data to study social and behavioral problems in the areas of comparative politics, legislative behavior, and public policy-making.

Before joining the School of Computing, I received my Ph.D. in Political Science from the Department of Politics at New York University, taught at the London School of Economics, and worked as a postdoctoral researcher in Clemson's Data Intensive Computing Ecosystems (DICE) Lab and the Social Analytics Institute.

Research

Current projects

streaming data Dynamic query construction for high-volume, high-velocity streaming data, with Linh Ngo, Ilya Safro, and Jason Thatcher.

Research and practice use datasets aggregated from social media platforms and other information feeds to detect, craft responses to, and study emergent events. The primary goal of this research is to enable computer and behavioral science research by developing algorithms, a supporting infrastructure, and open-source tools for conducting real-time dynamic searches, curating, and monitoring data drawn from multiple online data streams.

senate positions Measuring political positions from legislative speech, with Benjamin E. Lauderdale.

Existing approaches to measuring political disagreement from text data perform poorly except when applied to narrowly selected texts discussing the same issues and written in the same style. We demonstrate the first viable approach for estimating legislator-specific scores from the entire speech corpus of a legislature, while also producing extensive information about the evolution of speech polarization and politically loaded language.

speeches network Policy topics and their networks: NLP and network analysis of UK House of Commons debates, with Stefano Gurciullo, Peter John, and Slava Mikhaylov.

This project uses natural language processing and complex network analysis on a novel dataset containing UK House of Commons debates ranging from 1936 to 2014 (4.5 million speeches) to capture topic dynamics and diffusion of policy ideas over time.

intra-cabinet positions Intra-cabinet politics and fiscal governance in times of austerity, with Slava Mikhaylov.

With the onset of the current economic and financial crisis in Europe, questions about the power of core executive to control fiscal outcomes are more important than ever. Using individual cabinet member's contributions to budget debates in Ireland, we estimate their positions on a latent dimension that represents their relative levels of support or opposition to the cabinet leadership. We find that ministers who are close to the finance minister receive a larger budget share, but under worsening macro-economic conditions closeness to the prime minister is a better predictor for budget allocations.

country positions Signals to their parliament: governments' strategic use of votes and policy statements in the EU Council, with Sara Hagemann and Stefanie Bailer.

We introduce an original data set that consists of government policy statements and vote records from the EU Council. Using quantitative text analysis, we show that governments make strategic use of formal statements to justify their policy positions, and that governments with strong parliamentary oversight are more likely to oppose votes and issue a statement than those with less oversight.

Publications

Peer-Reviewed Journal Articles

Benjamin E. Lauderdale and Alexander Herzog. Measuring political positions from legislative speech. Political Analysis, 24(3):374--394, 2016. [ bib | pdf | online appendix | replication files ]

Alexander Herzog and Kenneth Benoit. The most unkindest cuts: Speaker selection and expressed government dissent during economic crisis. Journal of Politics, 77(4):1157--1175, 2015. [ bib | pdf | online appendix | replication files ]

Alexander Herzog and Joshua A. Tucker. The dynamics of support: The winners-losers gap in attitudes towards EU membership in post-communist countries. European Political Science Review, 2(2):235--267, 2010. [ bib | pdf | replication files ]

Franz Urban Pappi, Alexander Herzog, and Ralf Schmitt. Koalitionssignale und die Kombination von Erst- und Zweitstimme bei den Bundestagswahlen 1953 bis 2005 [Coalition signals and the combination of first and second vote in Bundestag elections 1953 to 2005]. Zeitschrift für Parlamentsfragen, 37(3):493--513, 2006. [ bib | pdf ]

Franz Urban Pappi, Axel Becker, and Alexander Herzog. Regierungsbildung in Mehrebenensystemen: zur Erklärung der Koalitionsbildung in den deutschen Bundesländern [Government formation in multilevel systems: Explaining coalition building in the German Länder]. Politische Vierteljahresschrift, 46(3):432--458, 2005. [ bib | pdf ]

Book Chapters

Kenneth Benoit and Alexander Herzog. Text analysis: Estimating policy preferences from written and spoken words. In Jennifer Bachner, Kathryn Wagner Hill, and Benjamin Ginsberg, editors, Analytics, Policy and Governance. Yale University Press, 2017. Forthcoming. [ bib ]

Datasets

Alexander Herzog and Slava Mikhaylov. A new database of parliamentary debates in Ireland, 1922--2008. Trinity College Dublin, IIIS Discussion Paper No. 338, 2010. [ bib | .pdf ]

Teaching

Clemson University

London School of Economics

New York University

Data

DPSI: Database of Parliamentary Speeches in Ireland

(with Slava Mikhaylov)

DPEG: Database of Elections, Parties and Governments

(with Ken Benoit and Darren Caulfield)

Contact

Mailing address:
School of Computing
McAdams Hall
Clemson University
Clemson, SC 29634-0901

Office: 222A McAdams Hall
Email: aherzog-at-clemson.edu
Web: www.alexherzog.net