'Culturomics' and International Law Research
EUROPEAN SOCIETY OF INTERNATIONAL LAW 10th Anniversary Conference, Vienna, 4-6 September 2014, Conference Paper No. 3/2014
16 Pages Posted: 13 Dec 2014
Date Written: September 4, 2014
'Culturomics' is the study of culture through the analysis of millions of digitized texts. It has been pioneered in recent years by a team of Harvard researchers working in conjunction with the Google Books project, which has digitized a significant proportion of all the books ever published. A research tool known as the Google Ngram Viewer allows researchers to search the Google Books database for the occurrence of words and phrases over time. This tool can be used to gain fascinating insights into the cultural phenomena that the words and phrases encode, including - this paper suggests - the types of cultural phenomena that international lawyers are interested in. The paper seeks to illustrate the value of culturomics for international law researchers, and to stimulate ideas for future research. It also highlights some of the problems and pitfalls that accompany cultoromic analysis.
Keywords: Culturomics; Google Ngram Viewer; international law research; quantitative research methods.
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