If political science is the study of politics and the use of political power as it presents itself on the public scene, "parapolitics" is the study of the use of political power that is not presented on the public scene. The term seems to have been coined by Prof. Peter Dale Scott of the University of California, Berkeley, in the late 1970s. According to Scott, a former Canadian diplomat, poet and author, parapolitics is the study of the "real" use of political power, as opposed to the publicly avowed use of political power.
In this work, the authors analyze world political and parapolitical headlines of 2006. This data set or corpus of texts consists of the "Timeline" section of each issue of the electronic journal, " Intelligence " , published in 2006 by the ADI (Association pour le Droit à l'Information or Association for the Right to Information). This unique data set of world political and parapolitical headlines has been made available free of charge to ail fullypaid Intelligence subscribers.
It can also be made available to other parties interested in further analysis by contacting the ADI. The authors, Karl M. van Meter and Mathilde de Saint Léger, are specialists in computer-assisted analysis of texts, particularly scientific texts. Their research has included the analysis of major sociology conferences in France, Germany and the United States, which provides detailed overviews of these disciplines and a formal means of comparing them one to anther, and over several years.
The present work is based on the first application of this research method in political science and media analysis. The Calliope computer program of text analysis of co-occurrence of key words is applied to approximately 7,000 headlines from 2006, divided into three successive four-month periods. The j analysis of each period results in a "strategic diagram" of the corpus' overall structure and provides a means for further detailed analysis.
By following key words forward and backwards in time through these three periods of 2006, the authors reveal some surprising developments that most political observers failed to see in 2006, and that "heavyweight" key words such as "Bush", "Iraq" and "Iran" tended to "drown out" in more informai analyses by specialists.