MethodsNet + RSS
MethodsNet + RSS

Discourse Network Analysis (RSS1.04) - Confirmed

This one-week summer course will introduce discourse network analysis, a methodology that combines qualitative content analysis with social network analysis to measure policy debates and their development over time.



    The application deadline has passed, applying is no longer possible

    Discourse Network Analysis is a methodological toolbox for measuring and analyzing policy debates and their development over time. The software Discourse Network Analyzer (DNA) allows researchers to manually code actors’ opinions about policies in text data. 

    In a way similar to other qualitative content analysis tools, the user annotates statements of political actors about their preferred or rejected concepts, policy instruments, frames, or beliefs. Useful text sources can be newspaper articles, parliamentary testimony, press agencies, or social media. DNA then allows the researcher to export various kinds of network data based on what the user coded. 

    The network data capture the relationships between political actors based on their congruence or conflict around concepts. As these relationships are aggregated into a network, the user can identify discourse coalitions or advocacy coalitions in these networks, identify brokers, opinion leaders, and central actors and concepts, examine the dimensionality of the discourse, find frames composed of different concepts through co-agreement by multiple actors, track the evolution of the policy debate over time (for example before policy change occurs), apply ideological scaling techniques to measure actors’ ideological ideal points relative to each other, or model the contributions by actors to the debate using statistical techniques. 

    This summer course explores the connections between discourse network analysis and a number of policy process theories. We will cover best practices for coding statements in text data. 

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    (Social) Research Methods courses

    Course list
    Course list

    Overview courses and disciplines

    Course list

    Starting date

    17 June 2024, 9 am
    Educational method
    Main Language
    17 June 2024, 9 am - 21 June 2024, 5 pm
    Philip Leifeld
    Unique code


    Type of education
    Entry requirements
    See the requirements in cost and admission
    Study load (ECTS)
    Radboud Summer School

    Course Programme

    Startdate: 17 June 2024, 9 am - 21 June 2024, 5 pm
    ECTS credits: 2 ECTS. For more information see credits and certificate.

    The course will introduce a variety of statistical and exploratory methods to analyze the resulting network data. In addition to the methodological and theoretical foundations, we will dedicate about half of the time to software implementations, including DNA, R, and visone.

    Total package & social events

    Testimonial | Watch what our participants say about this course!

    Philip Leifeld

    Philip Leifeld

    Philip Leifeld is a professor in the Department of Social Statistics at the University of Manchester (starting in April 2024) and in the Department of Government at the University of Essex (until March 2024). Professor Leifeld's research tries to understand the formation of networks between political actors in the pursuit of policy goals. He develops and implements statistical methods for the analysis of complex networks. Professor Leifeld's work has been published in the American Journal of Political Science and other leading political science journals but also technical outlets such as Physica A: Statistical Mechanics and the Journal of Statistical Software.

    The application deadline has passed, applying is no longer possible



    • Regular: €1049 (application deadline 13th of May) 
    • Student & PhD's: €699 (application deadline 13th of May)

    Includes: your course, short morning and late afternoon courses, coffee and tea during breaks, a warm lunch every day, Official Opening, MethodsNET Café (including some drinks and snacks) Official Closing (with some drinks and snacks) and a 1-year (2024 calendar year) free membership as MethodsNET regular member.  

    Excludes: transport, accommodation, social events and other costs.  

    Discounts and Scholarships


    Level of participant: 

    • Master
    • PhD
    • Postdoc
    • Professional

    Admission requirements:  

    Participants should be interested in thinking about social phenomena and policy making as complex systems. Basic experience with the statistical programming environment R would be a plus, but only a small part of the course will actually use R. If you are willing to listen without using R during these parts, R skills are not strictly required. Participants should ideally bring their own laptops.

    Admission documents: 


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