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A text-based framework for analyzing international relations

The project "What states are talking about?" develops a text-based framework for analyzing international relations. We apply advanced computerized methods on a large-N textual database of speeches in the United Nations General Assembly as means to assess and measure patterns of international interactions. Our research is supported by funding from the Israel Science Foundation (grant No. 2109/19).


International community | Textual analysis | UN General Assembly

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States are constantly engaged in text and speech.  It is through words that agents define and present themselves, interact with other agents and build up relations. This research develops a framework to study international relations through analyzing how states talk with each other about the world they govern.



The research uses a “text as data” approach to the study of international relations. It applies computerized text-based methods in a systematic scrutiny of the corpus of states’ annual speeches in the General Debate of the United Nations General Assembly (1970-2019)


  • Can data scientists replace IR scholars? The case of the UNGD and the text as data approach.

  • In search of the bellwether: A text as data approach for assessing trend-making in international discourse.

  • Who are We? The dynamic I-We continuum of state identification at the UNGA.

  • Juggling Identities: Identification, Collective Memory and practices of Self-Presentation in the UNGD.

Home: Research
Meet The Team

Mor Mitrani

 Primary Investigator

Mor is a lecturer at the department of political studies in Bar-Ilan University, Israel (Oct. 2017). Her main research interests include understanding what states are talking about. She is theoretically engaged with constructivist IR theory, community theory, phenomenology and international discourse and methodologically applies computerized and automated methods of text and discourse analysis. 

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Tracy Adams

 Post-doc Researcher and Project Manager

Tracy is in charge of the project management including setting research goals and schedules and designing the various research programs conducted within the project, as well as controlling the quality and course of research. 

She completed her PhD in Sociology and Anthropology at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. Her research interests include the intersection of memory, conflict and politics, and how meaning is constructed through interactive processes of negotiation. 


Inbar Noy

      IR Doctoral Researcher

Inbar is a PhD candidate at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. Her dissertation’s main topic is the social construction of peace, and the representation of peace in political discourse and texts. Her research interests also include discourse and textual analysis in International Relations, interstate friendship and international norms.  In this project she uses International Relations and Political Science scholarships to examine their applications in NLP-based research using UNGA speeches. Specifically, she takes part in establishing analytical frameworks by providing methodological and theoretical insights.


Klil Eden

             NLP Analyst

Klil is an undergraduate student in the Department of Linguistics at Bar Ilan University. His independent Honors' research focuses on the intersection of Syntax and Topic Models.

In this project he uses NLP techniques to turn text into structured data. Specifically, he works on corpus design and data-wrangling, and contributes Linguistic considerations


Matan Vetzler

      Associate Researcher


Matan is a M.Sc. Data Science student in Bar Ilan University. He has a B.Sc. in Applied Mathematics and Computer Science from Bar Ilan University. His academic and industrial experience includes researching and developing deep SOTA sequential neural networks. 
In this project, he works on analysis of complex textual pieces to infer various underlying connections and relations using deep and classical methodologies.


Efrat Miller


      Associate Researcher


Efrat is an M.A. student in the department of Information Science at Bar Illan University, with a specialization in Digital Humanities. She has an M.A. in Linguistics from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. Her industry experience includes developing a variety of NLP based applications.

In this project she is researching the implementation of a multi-viewpoint ontology for representing and comparing national narratives as they are reflected in international discourse. 

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Lilia Zaichenko


        Research Assistant

Lilia is an undergraduate student studying Political Science and Middle Eastern Studies in Bar-Ilan University. In this project, she serves as a research assistant. Her work includes collecting sources, defining and coding the project’s data.

Contact us


Mor Mitrani, PhD - PI

The department of Political Studies, Bar-Ilan University

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