Strategic sentiments and emotions in post-Second World War party manifestos in Finland

Juha Koljonen*, Emily Öhman, Pertti Ahonen, Mikko Mattila

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


We contribute to the growing number of studies on emotions and politics by investigating how political parties strategically use sentiments and emotions in party manifestos. We use computational methods in examining changes of sentiments and emotions in Finnish party manifestos from 1945 to 2019. We use sentiment and emotion lexicons first translated from English into Finnish and then modified for the purposes of our study. We analyze how the use of emotions and sentiments differs between government and opposition parties depending on their left/right ideology and the specific type of party manifesto. In addition to traditional sentiment and emotion analysis, we use emotion intensity analysis. Our results indicate that in Finland, government and opposition parties do not differ substantially from each other in their use of emotional language. From a historical perspective, the individual emotions used in party manifestos have persisted, but changes have taken place in the intensity of using emotion words. We also find that in comparison with other parties, populist parties both appeal to different emotions and appeal to the same emotions with different intensities.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1529-1554
Number of pages26
JournalJournal of Computational Social Science
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2022 Nov


  • Emotions
  • Party manifestos
  • Political parties
  • Sentiment analysis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Transportation
  • Artificial Intelligence


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