Computational IR: Tools, Techniques and Methods

Speakers: Akin Unver

Date: 27 June 2017

Time: 11:00 – 13:00

Contact the Events Team to register.


Computational Social Science emerged as a highly technical and popular discipline in the last few years, owing to the substantial advances in communication technology and daily production of vast quantities of personal data.

As per capita data production significantly increased in the last decade, both in terms of its size as well as its granularity, social scientists’ ability to extract meaningful social, political and demographic information from digital data also increased.

This has enormous methodological implications for all disciplines within social sciences; however, a greater and untapped methodological gap exists in ‘computational international relations’. Computational IR refers to the use of one or a combination of tools such as data mining, natural language processing, automated text analysis, web scraping, geospatial analysis and machine learning to provide larger and better-organized data to test more advanced theories of IR. These IR theories range from (and not limited to) deterrence, bandwagoning, balance of power, tit-for-tat behaviour, institution/norm-building and construction of identity/belief systems both online and offline.

This talk is open to all data scientists who are open to exploring some of the potential research topics that can be cultivated with international relations scholars. After providing two case studies that demonstrate the use of computational methods in the study of international relations, this talk will provide a preliminary research agenda on ‘computational IR’ and open the floor to participants’ views on how best to approach these issues through inter-disciplinary, multi-method focus.