Debating Evil: Using Word Embeddings to Analyze Parliamentary Debates on War Criminals in The Netherlands

Published in Contributions to Contemporary History. Vol. 59, no. 1 (2019), 2019

In this paper a method is evaluated to investigate changes in historical discourse by using large bodies of text and word embedding models. As a case study, discussions in Dutch Parliament about the punishment of war criminals in the period 1945-1975 are investigated. We will demonstrate how word embedding models, trained with Google’s Word2Vec algorithm, can be used to trace historical developments in parliamentary vocabulary through time.

Download paper here