Welcome! I’m an Assistant Professor in the Department of Political Science at the University of California, San Diego. My research interests lie in the intersection of political methodology and the politics of information, with a specific focus on methods of automated content analysis and the politics of censorship in China.
I received a PhD from Harvard in Government (2014), MS from Stanford in Statistics (2009) and BA from Stanford in International Relations and Economics (2009). Much of my research uses blogs, online experiments, and large collections of newspaper articles to understand the influence of censorship and propaganda on the spread of information in China.
Currently, I’m working on a variety of additional projects that span censorship, propaganda, topic models, and other methods of text analysis. Some of this work has appeared or is forthcoming in the American Journal of Political Science, American Political Science Review, Science, and Political Analysis.
My current book project: Fear Friction and Flooding: The Surprising Impacts of Incomplete Censorship uses new methods of measuring censorship and propaganda to explore how different mechanisms of censorship influence consumption of information in China. It is forthcoming with Princeton University Press.
William Hobbs and Margaret E. Roberts. 2016. “How Sudden Censorship Can Increase Access to Information”.
Roberts, Margaret E, Brandon M. Stewart and Richard Nielsen. “Matching Methods for High-Dimensional Data with Applications to Text.”
Horowitz M, Stewart B, Tingley D, Bishop M, Resnick L, Roberts M, Chang W, Mellers B, Tetlock P. “What Makes Foreign Policy Teams Tick: Explaining Variation in Group Performance At Geopolitical Forecasting.”
The Structural Topic Model: R package stm for estimating the Structural Topic Model.
The Structural Topic Model Browser: R package stmBrowser for visualizing the Structural Topic Model.