The Twitter parliamentarian database: Analyzing Twitter politics across 26 countries

  • Livia van Vliet (University of Amsterdam, Netherlands)
  • Petter Tornberg and Justus Uitermark
Live Stream MPI für Mathematik in den Naturwissenschaften Leipzig (Live Stream)


We have built the Twitter Parliamentarian Database (TPD), a multi-source and manually validated database of parliamentarians on Twitter, designed to go beyond the one-off nature of most Twitter-based research. The TPD incorporates data from Twitter’s streaming API, government websites, data from the Manifesto Project Database; the Electoral System Design Database; the ParlGov database; and the Chapel Hill Expert Survey. It includes parliamentarians from all European Free Trade Association countries where over 45% of parliamentarians are on Twitter, as well as a selection of English-speaking countries. By compiling these different data sources it becomes possible to compare different countries, political parties, political party families, and different kinds of democracies. The database can be used in providing data for questions regarding differences between countries in parliamentarian Twitter interactions, difference in political parties use of hashtags, as well as the structure of parliamentarian interactions in transnational debates. Thus far, we have found striking cross-party and cross-national differences in how parliamentarians engage in politics on Twitter. For instance, different countries may create different retweet network structures, which may indicate more cohesion in certain countries over others. Moreover, there is an imbalance in the amount of retweeting between national parliamentarians (NPs) and MEPs, where MEPs retweet their national party members significantly more than other NPs. Overall, the TPD opens up new avenues of research in comparative politics on Twitter that were previously not possible.


26.10.20 28.10.20

Observing debates across media platforms: tools and models - an ODYCCEUS online event

MPI für Mathematik in den Naturwissenschaften Leipzig Live Stream

Antje Vandenberg

Max Planck Institute for Mathematics in the Sciences (Leipzig), Germany Contact via Mail

Eckehard Olbrich

Max Planck Institute for Mathematics in the Sciences (Leipzig), Germany