I am an Assistant Professor of Political Science at the University of Amsterdam. Click here for summaries of my research findings in these three fields:

1) the behavior of political parties,

2) populism and personality and

3) welfare policies.

You can access my papers on the bio + publications page. You’ll find some info on ongoing projects in the posts below.

I am also a co-founder and commentator on stukroodvlees.nl, a Dutch political science blog. You can read my posts on that website.

Call for Papers: Text Analysis Workshop EUENGAGE, 21-22 June 2016

Quantitative text analysis is rapidly gaining in prominence across the social sciences. With the massive availability of data on the web in the form of mass media content, speeches, press releases, websites, social media, etc., scholars in the fields of communication sciences, economics, political science, psychology and economics, increasingly appreciate quantitative text analysis as a method of learning about, among other things, content, topics, and ideology in spoken and written text.

To be at the forefront of these developments, we invite interested scholars to participate in a 2-day conference at which best practices in applied work, new methodologies and findings from text analysis are exchanged and discussed. In particular, we are interested in substantive applications of text analysis within the topics (broadly defined) of public opinion, elite communication or party politics.

The meeting will take place 21-22 June 2016 at the University of Amsterdam, starting 21 June around noon and ending 22 June around the same time. This will leave interested scholars who also plan on attending EPSA enough time to travel to Brussels, which is a comfortable 2-hour train ride from Amsterdam with trains leaving every hour. American scholars attending EPSA might even want to consider flying into Amsterdam’s Schiphol airport, an important hub for transatlantic flights coming into Europe.


  • Establishing a research community around topics of quantitative text analysis with a substantive focus on elite-mass interactions in the European Union;
  • Creating a forum where researchers working on text analysis can get meaningful feedback on their work before they send it out for review;
  • Discussion and exchange of ideas, best practices in applied work, new methodologies and substantive new findings in text analysis;
  • Network opportunities for developing fruitful (multidisciplinary) collaboration in future work.


  • The workshop will have a panel structure. Presentations should have both a substantive (what can we learn from text analysis) and applied focus (how exactly was the analysis conducted). Panels will be assigned two discussants: one whose focus will be more substantive, and one who helps push the paper forward in methodological terms.

Preliminary Topics

This conference is inviting papers on the following topics (although we want to emphasize that list is by no means exhaustive; all interesting proposals applications of text analysis will be considered)

  • Topic modeling;
  • Sentiment analysis;
  • Comparative (multilingual) approaches to text analysis;
  • Descriptive statistics of text. Quantities of Interest;
  • Empirical applications of text analysis in the context of elite-mass interactions;
  • Assumptions of text analysis in empirical work;
  • Visualization of Text;


The workshop will take place in Amsterdam on 22 June 2016. Participation in the workshop is easily combined with attendance of EPSA (23-25 June); Amsterdam is an easy, 2-hour train ride away from Brussels. Conference dinner, lunch and coffee will be provided.

Accommodation and Travel

A selected number of travel grants (max 500EUR) will be available for junior scholars presenting a paper.


1 March Deadline abstracts
1 April Acceptance notifications
21 – 22 June Text Analysis Workshop EUENGAGE



Abstracts (200-word maximum) can be sent to Martijn Schoonvelde (h.j.m.schoonvelde@vu.nl). The deadline for abstracts is 1 March 2016. Acceptance notifications are sent out 1 April 2016.


This conference is organized by Gijs Schumacher, assistant professor in political science at the University of Amsterdam, and Martijn Schoonvelde, postdoctoral researcher in political science at the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam. Both work for EUENGAGE. Questions about the conference can be directed to either Gijs (g.schumacher@uva.nl) or Martijn (h.j.m.schoonvelde@vu.nl)

Party Organization Dataset published

I have just uploaded IPOD: Integrated Party Organization Dataset. This dataset brings together a number of existing datasets, some of which only existed on paper. The data contains expert judgements on several aspects of party organization (Janda, Laver and Hunt, Rohrschneider and Whitefield), raw membership numbers (MAPP project), coding of institutions (e.g. Katz & Mair), and much more. You can find the dataset here.

Collection of party conference speeches

I am collecting conference speeches of Dutch and Danish political parties. At most conferences one or more of the central politicians in the party gives a speech. These speeches contain interesting information about the party’s (new) position and the issues it finds important. Sometimes, the speakers also convey some strategic information (e.g. about who they would like to cooperate with in a coalition, and more often: who not).

Currently about 500 speeches have been collected and are now being transformed into a machine-readable format. The Dutch speeches will become available digitally.

The data collection is part of the Party Congress Research Group – a group of researchers collecting similar data in different countries. Send an email for more info.

Coding of 60+ Dutch election manifestos

In cooperation with the Manifesto Project I am coordinating the coding of some 60 election manifestos of small political parties like the Communist Party Netherlands, Center Democrats, Farmers Party, Pacifist Socialist Party, etc. The Manifesto Project generally codes election manifestos of every party that enters parliament. For the Netherlands this practice only started in 2003, with several smaller parties being left out.

Hopefully, we’ll have coded the data by Spring 2016. This will allow for a much richer description of the development of political parties in the Netherlands and the Dutch party system in general.

Collection of leader speeches project

I am principal investigator of a project that collects and analyzes leader speeches (primarily of EU prime ministers) as part of the EU-ENGAGE project. This is paid for by a Horizon 2020 research grant. We have now collected over 18,000 speeches from leaders of 10 different countries in approximately the period 2007-2015. The goal is to track issue attention and sentiment over time. When do leaders talk more or less about the economy, and how much sentiment is conveyed in these speeches?

In this project I cooperate with Martijn Schoonvelde (postdoc VU), and Tanushree Dahiya & Erik de Vries (student-assistants UvA).

We are preparing a working paper for the MPSA Annual Conference (April 2016).

We are also organizing a workshop (21/22 June in Amsterdam). More information will follow.