Europe in the shadow of financial crisis: Policy Making via Stance Classification

Spiliotopoulou, Lefkothea
Damopoulos, Dimitrios
Charalabidis, Yannis
Maragoudakis, Manolis
Gritzalis, Stefanos
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Since 2009, the European Union (EU) is phasing a multi–year financial crisis affecting the stability of its involved countries. Our goal is to gain useful insights on the societal impact of such a strong political issue through the exploitation of topic modeling and stance classification techniques. \ \ To perform this, we unravel public’s stance towards this event and empower citizens’ participation in the decision making process, taking policy’s life cycle as a baseline. The paper introduces and evaluates a bilingual stance classification architecture, enabling a deeper understanding of how citizens’ sentiment polarity changes based on the critical political decisions taken among European countries. \ \ Through three novel empirical studies, we aim to explore and answer whether stance classification can be used to: i) determine citizens’ sentiment polarity for a series of political events by observing the diversity of opinion among European citizens, ii) predict political decisions outcome made by citizens such as a referendum call, ii) examine whether citizens’ sentiments agree with governmental decisions during each stage of a policy life cycle. \
Europe Crisis, Policy Making, Social Media, Stance Classification, Topic Modeling
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