Systematic Procedures for Operational Code Analysis: Measuring and Modeling Jimmy Carter's Operational Code

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In this article we introduce a new scoring system for doing operational code analysis and test its reliability and validity by measuring and modeling President Jimmy Carter's operational code. Using speeches from the public record we construct indices for the elements of the operational code construct. Based upon the valences and scaled intensities of verbs uttered in the speeches, President Jimmy Carter's views of the political universe and approaches to political action in different issue areas are identified and compared. The results of the analysis provide reasonable support for the face, construct, and content validity of the operational code indices. We find that Carter's view of the political universe and approach to political action were consistent across issue areas during the first three years of his term as president. Following the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan President Carter's support for human rights remained steadfast. Statistically significant shifts occurred in his views of the Soviet Union and others in the political universe and in his approach to political action regarding the conduct of U.S.-Soviet relations and other issues.

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International Studies Quarterly

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