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Siddiki Article on Machine Coding of Policy Texts with the Institutional Grammar Published in PA

May 31, 2021

Machine Coding with the Institutional Grammar

Saba Siddiki, Douglas Rice, Seth Frey, Jay H. Kwon, Adam Sawyer

Public Administration, May 2021

Saba Siddiki

Saba Siddiki

The Institutional Grammar (IG) is used to analyse the syntactic structure of statements constituting institutions (e.g., policies, regulations, and norms) that indicate behavioural constraints and parameterize features of institutionally governed domains. Policy and administration scholars have made considerable progress in methodologically developing the IG, offering increasingly clear guidelines for IG-based coding, identifying unique considerations for applying the IG to different types of institutions, and expanding its syntactic scope. However, while validated as a robust institutional analysis approach, the resource and time commitment associated with its application has precipitated concerns over whether the IG might ever enjoy widespread use. Needed now in the methodological development of the IG are reliable and accessible (i.e., open source) approaches that reduce the costs associated with its application.

The authors propose an automated approach leveraging computational text analysis and natural language processing. They then present results from an evaluation in the context of food system regulations.