Visual Analytics meets Political Science: Visualizing Patterns and Changes in States' Policies toward Religion
|Oliver Sampson||University of Konstanz, Germany|
|Lyubomyr Havrylyuk||University of Konstanz, Germany|
|Richard Traunmüller||University of Bern, Switzerland|
|Enrico Bertini||University of Konstanz, Germany|
Published: October, 2011
This paper shows how visualization has helped a political scientist to make sense of an important topic: states' policies toward religion. Dissatisfied with the current techniques of data analysis in the field he asked for a visual tool that would enable him to directly see and interact with the data and come up with answers for his substantive research problems. We therefore designed a customized visualization tool that enabled the political scientist a) to find patterns in states' regulations and policies toward religion, b) to connect these patterns to religious differences, and c) to study the dynamics of state-church relations over time. Our collaborative enterprise turned out to be a great success which impacted on the political scientist’s work by generating unexpected findings concerning real-world political problems that may well have been missed using more traditional approaches.