How to create semi-circle parliament graphs with the ggparliament package in R

Packages we will need:


Check out part 1 of this blog where you can follow along how to scrape the data that we will use in this blog. It will create a dataset of the current MPs in the Irish Dail.

In this blog, we will use the ggparliament package, created by Zoe Meers.

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With this dataset of the 33rd Dail, we will reduce it down to get the number of seats that each party holds.

If we don’t want to graph every party, we can lump most of the smaller parties into an “other” category. We can do this with the fct_lump_n() function from the forcats package. I want the top five biggest parties only in the graph. The rest will be colored as “Other”.

Click here to read more about the forcats pacakge and dealing with factors in R.

dail_33 %>% 
  mutate(party_groups  = fct_lump_n(party, n = 5,
         other_level = "Other"))-> dail_lump_count

Next we want to count the number of members per party.

dail_lump_count %>% 
  group_by(party_groups) %>% 
  count() %>%  
  arrange(desc(n)) -> dail_count
  <fct>        <int>
1 Fianna Fail     38
2 Sinn Fein       37
3 Fine Gael       35
4 Independent     19
5 Other           19
6 Green Party     12

Before we graph, I found the hex colors that represent each of the biggest Irish political party. We can create a new party color variables with the case_when() function and add each color.

dail_count %<>% 
  mutate(party_color = case_when(party_groups == "Fianna Fail" ~ "#66bb66",
                                 party_groups == "Fine Gael" ~ "#6699ff",
                                 party_groups == "Green Party" ~ "#44532a",
                                 party_groups == "Independent" ~ "#8e2420",
                                 party_groups == "Sinn Fein" ~ "#326760",
                                 party_groups == "Other" ~ "#ee9f27"))

Now we can dive into the ggparliament package.

We use the parliamenet_data() function to create coordinates for our graph: these are the x and y variables we will plot out.

We feed in the data.frame of all the seat counts into the election_data argument.

We specifiy the type as “semi-circle“. Other options are “horseshoe” and “opposing_benches“.

We can change how many circles we want stacked on top of each other.

I tried it with three and it looked quite strange. So play around with this parl_rows argument to see what suits your data best

And last we feed in the number of seats that each party has with the n we summarised above.

dail_33_coord <- parliament_data(election_data = dail_count,
                                 type = "semicircle", 
                                 parl_rows = 6,  
                                 party_seats = dail_count$n) 

If we view the dail_33_coord data.frame we can see that the parliament_data() function calculated new x and y coordinate variables for the semi-circle graph.

I don’t know what the theta variables is for… But there it is also … maybe to make circular shapes?

We feed the x and y coordinates into the ggplot() function and then add the geom_parliament_seat() layer to produce our graph!

Click here to check out the PDF for the ggparliament package

dail_33_coord %>% 
  ggplot(aes(x = x,
             y = y,
             colour = party_groups)) +
  geom_parliament_seats(size = 20) -> dail_33_plot

And we can make it look more pretty with bbc_style() plot and colors.

Click here to read more about the BBC style graphs.

dail_33_plot +  bbplot::bbc_style() + 
  ggtitle("33rd Irish Parliament") +
  theme(text = element_text(size = 50),
                      legend.title = element_blank(),
                      axis.text.x = element_blank(),
                      axis.text.y = element_blank()) +  
  scale_colour_manual(values = dail_33_coord$party_color,
                    limits = dail_33_coord$party_groups)
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Create a dataset of Irish parliament members


This blogpost will walk through how to scrape and clean up data for all the members of parliament in Ireland.

Or we call them in Irish, TDs (or Teachtaí Dála) of the Dáil.

We will start by scraping the Wikipedia pages with all the tables. These tables have information about the name, party and constituency of each TD.

On Wikipedia, these datasets are on different webpages.

This is a pain.

However, we can get around this by creating a list of strings for each number in ordinal form – from1st to 33rd. (because there have been 33 Dáil sessions as of January 2023)

We don’t need to write them all out manually: “1st”, “2nd”, “3rd” … etc.

Instead, we can do this with the toOrdinal() function from the package of the same name.

dail_sessions <- sapply(1:33,toOrdinal)

Next we can feed this vector of strings with the beginning of the HTML web address for Wikipedia as a string.

We paste the HTML string and the ordinal number strings together with the stri_paste() function from the stringi package.

This iterates over the length of the dail_sessions vector (in this case a length of 33) and creates a vector of each Wikipedia page URL.

dail_wikipages <- stri_paste("",
           dail_sessions, "_D%C3%A1il")

Now, we can take the most recent Dáil session Wikipedia page and take the fifth table on the webpage using `[[`(5)

We rename the column names with select().

And the last two mutate() lines reomve the footnote numbers in ( ) [ ] brackets from the party and name variables.

dail_wikipages[33] %>%  
  read_html() %>%
  html_table(header = TRUE, fill = TRUE) %>% 
  `[[`(5) %>% 
  rename("ble" = 1, "party" = 2, "name" = 3, "constituency" = 4) %>% 
  select(-ble) %>% 
  mutate(party = gsub(r"{\s*\([^\)]+\)}","",as.character(party))) %>% 
  mutate(name = sub("\\[.*", "", name)) -> dail_33

Last we delete the first row. That just contais a duplicate of the variable names.

dail_33 <- dail_33[-1,]

We want to delete the fadas (long accents on Irish words). We can do this across all the character variables with the across() function.

The stri_trans_general() converts all strings to LATIN ASCII, which turns string to contain only the letters in the English language alphabet.

dail_33 %<>% 
  mutate(across(where(is.character), ~ stri_trans_general(., id = "Latin-ASCII"))) 

We can also separate the first name from the second names of all the TDs and create two variables with mutate() and separate()

dail_33 %<>% 
  mutate(name = str_replace(name, "\\s", "|")) %>% 
  separate(name, into = c("first_name", "last_name"), sep = "\\|") 

With the first_name variable, we can use the new pacakge by Kalimu. This guesses the gender of the name. Later, we can track the number of women have been voted into the Dail over the years.

Of course, this will not be CLOSE to 100% correct … so later we will have to check each person manually and make sure they are accurate.


gender = findGivenNames(dail_33$name, progress = TRUE)

gender %>% 
  select(probability, gender)  -> gen_variable

gen_variable %<>% 
  select(name, gender) %>% 
  mutate(name = str_to_sentence(name))

dail_33 %<>% 
  left_join(gen_variable, by = "name") 

Create date variables and decade variables that we can play around with.

dail_df$date_2 <- as.Date(dail_df$date, "%Y-%m-%d")

dail_df$year <- format(dail_df$date_2, "%Y")

dail_df$month <- format(dail_df$date_2, "%b")

dail_df %>% 
  mutate(decade = substr(year, 1, 3)) %>% 
  mutate(decade = paste0(decade, "0s"))

In the next blog, we will graph out the various images to explore these data in more depth. For example, we can make a circle plot with the composition of the current Dail with the ggparliament package.

We can go into more depth with it in the next blog… Stay tuned.

Cleaning up messy World Bank data

Packages we will need:


When you come across data from the World Bank, often it is messy.

So this blog will go through how to make it more tidy and more manageable in R

For this blog, we will look at World Bank data on financial aid. Specifically, we will be using values for net ODA received as percentage of each country’s GNI. These figures come from the Development Assistance Committee of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (DAC OECD).

If we look at the World Bank data downloaded from the website, we have a column for each year and the names are quite messy.

This data is wide form.


So we will change the data from wide to long data.

Instead of a column for each year, we will have a row for each country-year.

Before doing that, we can clean up the variable names with the janitor package function: clean_names().

sdg %<>% 

ALSO, before we pivot the dataset to longer format, we choose the variables we want to keep (i.e. only country, year and ODA value)

sdg %<>% 
  select(country_name, x1990_yr1990:x2015_yr2015) 

Now we are ready to turn the data from wide to long.

We can use the pivot_longer() function from the tidyr package.

Instead of 286 rows and 27 columns, we will ultimately end up with 6968 rows and only 3 columns.

Source: Garrick Aden-Buie’s (@grrrckTidy Animated Verbs

Thank you to Mr. Aden-Buie for your page visualising all the different ways to transform datasets with dplyr. Click the link to check out more.

Back to the pivoting, we want to create a row for each year, 1990, 1991, 1992 …. up to 2015

And we will have a separate cell for each value of the ODA variable for each country-year value.

In the pivot_longer() function we exclude the country names,

We want a new row for each year, so we make a “year” variable with the names_to() argument.

And we create a separate value for each ODA as a percentage of GNI with the values_to() argument.

sdg %>% 
  pivot_longer(!country_name, names_to = "year", 
               values_to = "oda_gni") -> oda

The year values are character strings, not numbers. So we will convert with parse_number(). This parses the first number it finds, dropping any non-numeric characters before the first number and all characters after the first number.

oda %>% 
     mutate(year = parse_number(year)) -> oda 

Next we will move from the year variable to ODA variable. There are many ODA values that are empty. We can see that there are 145 instances of empty character strings.

oda %>% 
  count(oda_gni) %>% 

So we can replace the empty character strings with NA values using the na_if() function. Then we can use the parse_number() function to turn the character into a string.

oda %>%
  mutate(oda_gni = na_if(oda_gni, "")) %>% 
  mutate(oda_gni = parse_number(oda_gni)) -> oda

Now we need to delete the year variables that have no values.

oda %<>% 

Also we need to delete non-countries.

The dataset has lots of values for regions that are not actual countries. If you only want to look at politically sovereign countries, we can filter out countries that do not have a Correlates of War value.

oda %<>%
  mutate(cow = countrycode(oda$country_name, "", 'cown')) %>% 

We can also make a variable for each decade (1990s, 2000s etc).

oda %>% 
  mutate(decade = substr(year, 1, 3)) %>% 
  mutate(decade = paste0(decade, "0s"))

And download data for countries’ region, continent and govenment regime. To do this we use the democracyData package and download the PACL dataset.

Click here to read more about this package.

pacl <- democracyData::redownload_pacl()

pacl %>% 
  select(cow = pacl_cowcode,
         region = un_region_name,
         continent = un_continent_name,
         demo_dummy = democracy,
         regime = regime
         ) -> pacl_subset

We use the left_join() function to join both datasets together with Correlates of War code and year variables.

oda %>% 
  left_join(pacl_subset, by = c("cow", "year")) -> oda_pacl

Now if we look at the dataset, we can see that it is much tidier and we can start analysing.

Below we can create a bar chart of the top ten countries that received the most aid as a percentage of their economic income (gross national income)

First we need to get the average oda per country with the group_by() and summarise() functions

oda_pacl %>%
  mutate(oda_gni = ifelse(, 0, oda_gni)) %>%  
  group_by(country_name,region, continent) %>% 
  summarise(avg_oda = mean(oda_gni, na.rm = TRUE)) -> oda_mean

We use the slice() function to only have the top ten countries

oda_mean %>% 
  arrange(desc(avg_oda)) %>%
  ungroup() %>% 
  slice(1:10) -> oda_slice

We add an ISO code for each country for the flags

Click here to read more about the ggimage package

oda_slice %<>% 
  mutate(iso2 = countrycode(country_name, "", "iso2c"))

And some nice hex colours

my_palette <- c( "#44bec7", "#ffc300", "#fa3c4c")

And finally, plot it out with ggplot()

oda_slice %>%
  ggplot(aes(x = reorder(country_name, avg_oda),
             y = avg_oda, fill = continent)) + 
  geom_bar(stat = "identity") + 
  ggimage::geom_flag(aes(image = iso2), size = 0.1)  +
  coord_flip() +
  scale_fill_manual(values = my_palette) + 
  labs(title = "ODA aid as % GNI ",
       subtitle = "Source: OECD DAC via World Bank",
       x = "Donor Country",
       y = "ODA per capita") + bbplot::bbc_style()

How to interpret linear models with the broom package in R

Packages you will need:

library(magrittr)     # for pipes

library(broom)        # add model variables
library(easystats)    # diagnostic graphs

library(WDI)           # World Bank data
library(democracyData) # Freedom House data

library(countrycode)   # add ISO codes
library(bbplot)        # pretty themes
library(ggthemes)      # pretty colours
library(knitr)         # pretty tables
library(kableExtra)    # make pretty tables prettier

This blog will look at the augment() function from the broom package.

After we run a liner model, the augment() function gives us more information about how well our model can accurately preduct the model’s dependent variable.

It also gives us lots of information about how does each observation impact the model. With the augment() function, we can easily find observations with high leverage on the model and outlier observations.

For our model, we are going to use the “women in business and law” index as the dependent variable.

According to the World Bank, this index measures how laws and regulations affect women’s economic opportunity.

Overall scores are calculated by taking the average score of each index (Mobility, Workplace, Pay, Marriage, Parenthood, Entrepreneurship, Assets and Pension), with 100 representing the highest possible score.

Into the right-hand side of the model, our independent variables will be child mortality, military spending by the government as a percentage of GDP and Freedom House (democracy) Scores.

First we download the World Bank data and summarise the variables across the years.

Click here to read more about the WDI package and downloading variables from the World Bank website.

women_business = WDI(indicator = "SG.LAW.INDX")
mortality = WDI(indicator = "SP.DYN.IMRT.IN")
military_spend_gdp <- WDI(indicator = "MS.MIL.XPND.ZS")

We get the average across 60 ish years for three variables. I don’t want to run panel data regression, so I get a single score for each country. In total, there are 160 countries that have all observations. I use the countrycode() function to add Correlates of War codes. This helps us to filter out non-countries and regions that the World Bank provides. And later, we will use COW codes to merge the Freedom House scores.

women_business %>%
  filter(year > 1999) %>% 
  inner_join(mortality) %>% 
  inner_join(military_spend_gdp) %>% 
  select(country, year, iso2c, 
         fem_bus = SG.LAW.INDX, 
         mortality = SP.DYN.IMRT.IN,
         mil_gdp = MS.MIL.XPND.ZS)  %>% 
  mutate_all(~ifelse(is.nan(.), NA, .)) %>% 
  select(-year) %>% 
  group_by(country, iso2c) %>% 
  summarize(across(where(is.numeric), mean,  
   na.rm = TRUE, .names = "mean_{col}")) %>% 
  ungroup() %>% 
  mutate(cown = countrycode::countrycode(iso2c, "iso2c", "cown")) %>% 
  filter(! -> wdi_summary

Next we download the Freedom House data with the democracyData package.

Click here to read more about this package.

fh <- download_fh()

fh %>% 
  group_by(fh_country) %>% 
  filter(year > 1999) %>% 
  summarise(mean_fh = mean(fh_total, na.rm = TRUE)) %>% 
  mutate(cown = countrycode::countrycode(fh_country, "", "cown")) %>% 
  mutate_all(~ifelse(is.nan(.), NA, .)) %>% 
  filter(!  -> fh_summary

We join both the datasets together with the inner_join() functions:

fh_summary %>%
  inner_join(wdi_summary, by = "cown") %>% 
  select (-c(cown, iso2c, fh_country)) -> wdi_fh

Before we model the data, we can look at the correlation matrix with the corrplot package:

wdi_fh %>% 
  drop_na() %>% 
  select(-country)  %>% 
  select(`Females in business` = mean_fem_bus,
        `Mortality rate` = mean_mortality,
        `Freedom House` = mean_fh,
        `Military spending GDP` = mean_mil_gdp)  %>% 
  cor() %>% 
  corrplot(method = 'number',
           type = 'lower',
           number.cex = 2, 
           tl.col = 'black',
  = 30,
           diag = FALSE)

Next, we run a simple OLS linear regression. We don’t want the country variables so omit it from the list of independent variables.

fem_bus_lm <- lm(mean_fem_bus ~ . - country, data = wdi_fh)
Dependent variable:
Adjusted R20.549
Residual Std. Error11.964 (df = 156)
F Statistic65.408*** (df = 3; 156)
Note:*p<0.1; **p<0.05; ***p<0.01

We can look at some preliminary diagnostic plots.

Click here to read more about the easystat package. I found it a bit tricky to download the first time.


The line is not flat at the beginning so that is not ideal..

We will look more into this later with the variables we create with augment() a bit further down this blog post.

None of our variables have a VIF score above 5, so that is always nice to see!

From the broom package, we can use the augment() function to create a whole heap of new columns about the variables in the model.

fem_bus_pred <- broom::augment(fem_bus_lm)

  • .fitted = this is the model prediction value for each country’s dependent variable score. Ideally we want them to be as close to the actual scores as possible. If they are totally different, this means that our independent variables do not do a good job explaining the variance in our “women in business” index.

  • .resid = this is actual dependent variable value minus the .fitted value.

We can look at the fitted values that the model uses to predict the dependent variable – level of women in business – and compare them to the actual values.

The third column in the table is the difference between the predicted and actual values.

fem_bus_pred %>% 
  mutate(across(where(is.numeric), ~round(., 2))) %>%
  arrange(mean_fem_bus) %>% 
  select(Country = country,
    `Fem in bus (Actual)` = mean_fem_bus,
    `Fem in bus (Predicted)` = .fitted,
    `Fem in bus (Difference)` = .resid,
                  `Mortality rate` = mean_mortality,
                  `Freedom House` = mean_fh,
                  `Military spending GDP` = mean_mil_gdp)  %>% 
  kbl(full_width = F) 
Country Leverage of country Fem in bus (Actual) Fem in bus (Predicted)
Austria 0.02 88.92 88.13
Belgium 0.02 92.13 87.65
Costa Rica 0.02 79.80 87.84
Denmark 0.02 96.36 87.74
Finland 0.02 94.23 87.74
Iceland 0.02 96.36 88.90
Ireland 0.02 95.80 88.18
Luxembourg 0.02 94.32 88.33
Sweden 0.02 96.45 87.81
Switzerland 0.02 83.81 87.78

And we can graph them out:

fem_bus_pred %>%
  mutate(fh_category = cut(mean_fh, breaks =  5,
  labels = c("full demo ", "high", "middle", "low", "no demo"))) %>%         ggplot(aes(x = .fitted, y = mean_fem_bus)) + 
  geom_point(aes(color = fh_category), size = 4, alpha = 0.6) + 
  geom_smooth(method = "loess", alpha = 0.2, color = "#20948b") + 
  bbplot::bbc_style() + 
  labs(x = '', y = '', title = "Fitted values versus actual values")

In addition to the predicted values generated by the model, other new columns that the augment function adds include:

  • .hat = this is a measure of the leverage of each variable.

  • .cooksd = this is the Cook’s Distance. It shows how much actual influence the observation had on the model. Combines information from .residual and .hat.

  • .sigma = this is the estimate of residual standard deviation if that observation is dropped from model

  • .std.resid = standardised residuals

If we look at the .hat observations, we can examine the amount of leverage that each country has on the model.

fem_bus_pred %>% 
  mutate(dplyr::across(where(is.numeric), ~round(., 2))) %>%
  arrange(desc(.hat)) %>% 
  select(Country = country,
         `Leverage of country` = .hat,
         `Fem in bus (Actual)` = mean_fem_bus,
         `Fem in bus (Predicted)` = .fitted)  %>% 
  kbl(full_width = F) %>%

Next, we can look at Cook’s Distance. This is an estimate of the influence of a data point.  According to statisticshowto website, Cook’s D is a combination of each observation’s leverage and residual values; the higher the leverage and residuals, the higher the Cook’s distance.

  1. If a data point has a Cook’s distance of more than three times the mean, it is a possible outlier
  2. Any point over 4/n, where n is the number of observations, should be examined
  3. To find the potential outlier’s percentile value using the F-distribution. A percentile of over 50 indicates a highly influential point
fem_bus_pred %>% 
  mutate(fh_category = cut(mean_fh, 
breaks =  5,
  labels = c("full demo ", "high", "middle", "low", "no demo"))) %>%  
  mutate(outlier = ifelse(.cooksd > 4/length(fem_bus_pred), 1, 0)) %>% 
  ggplot(aes(x = .fitted, y = .resid)) +
  geom_point(aes(color = fh_category), size = 4, alpha = 0.6) + 
  ggrepel::geom_text_repel(aes(label = ifelse(outlier == 1, country, NA))) + 
  labs(x ='', y = '', title = 'Influential Outliers') + 

We can decrease from 4 to 0.5 to look at more outliers that are not as influential.

Also we can add a horizontal line at zero to see how the spread is.

fem_bus_pred %>% 
  mutate(fh_category = cut(mean_fh, breaks =  5,
labels = c("full demo ", "high", "middle", "low", "no demo"))) %>%  
  mutate(outlier = ifelse(.cooksd > 0.5/length(fem_bus_pred), 1, 0)) %>% 
  ggplot(aes(x = .fitted, y = .resid)) +
  geom_point(aes(color = fh_category), size = 4, alpha = 0.6) + 
  geom_hline(yintercept = 0, color = "#20948b", size = 2, alpha = 0.5) + 
  ggrepel::geom_text_repel(aes(label = ifelse(outlier == 1, country, NA)), size = 6) + 
  labs(x ='', y = '', title = 'Influential Outliers') + 

To look at the model-level data, we can use the tidy()function

fem_bus_tidy <- broom::tidy(fem_bus_lm)

And glance() to examine things such as the R-Squared value, the overall resudial standard deviation of the model (sigma) and the AIC scores.


An R squared of 0.55 is not that hot ~ so this model needs a fair bit more work.

We can also use the broom packge to graph out the assumptions of the linear model. First, we can check that the residuals are normally distributed!

fem_bus_pred %>% 
  ggplot(aes(x = .resid)) + 
  geom_histogram(bins = 15, fill = "#20948b") + 
  labs(x = '', y = '', title = 'Distribution of Residuals') +

Next we can plot the predicted versus actual values from the model with and without the outliers.

First, all countries, like we did above:

fem_bus_pred %>%
  mutate(fh_category = cut(mean_fh, breaks =  5,
  labels = c("full demo ", "high", "middle", "low", "no demo"))) %>%         ggplot(aes(x = .fitted, y = mean_fem_bus)) + 
  geom_point(aes(color = fh_category), size = 4, alpha = 0.6) + 
  geom_smooth(method = "loess", alpha = 0.2, color = "#20948b") + 
  bbplot::bbc_style() + 
  labs(x = '', y = '', title = "Fitted values versus actual values")

And how to plot looks like if we drop the outliers that we spotted earlier,

fem_bus_pred %>%
  filter(country != "Eritrea") %>% 
   filter(country != "Belarus") %>% 
  mutate(fh_category = cut(mean_fh, breaks =  5,
                           labels = c("full demo ", "high", "middle", "low", "no demo"))) %>%         ggplot(aes(x = .fitted, y = mean_fem_bus)) + 
  geom_point(aes(color = fh_category), size = 4, alpha = 0.6) + 
  geom_smooth(method = "loess", alpha = 0.2, color = "#20948b") + 
  bbplot::bbc_style() + 
  labs(x = '', y = '', title = "Fitted values versus actual values")

How to recreate Pew opinion graphs with ggplot2 in R

Packages we will need


In this blog post, we are going to recreate Pew Opinion poll graphs.

This is the plot we will try to recreate on gun control opinions of Americans:

To do this, we will download the data from the Pew website by following the link below:

atp <- read.csv(file.choose())

We then select the variables related to gun control opinions

atp %>% 
  select(GUNPRIORITY1_b_W87:GUNPRIORITY2_j_W87) -> gun_df

I want to rename the variables so I don’t forget what they are.

Then, we convert them all to factor variables because haven labelled class variables are sometimes difficult to wrangle…

gun_df %<>%
  select(mental_ill = GUNPRIORITY1_b_W87,
         assault_rifle = GUNPRIORITY1_c_W87, 
         gun_database = GUNPRIORITY1_d_W87,
         high_cap_mag = GUNPRIORITY1_e_W87,
         gunshow_bkgd_check = GUNPRIORITY1_f_W87,
         conceal_gun =GUNPRIORITY2_g_W87,
         conceal_gun_no_permit = GUNPRIORITY2_h_W87,
         teacher_gun = GUNPRIORITY2_i_W87,
         shorter_waiting = GUNPRIORITY2_j_W87) %>% 
  mutate(across(everything()), haven::as_factor(.))

Also we can convert the “Refused” to answer variables to NA if we want, so it’s easier to filter out.

gun_df %<>% 
  mutate(across(where(is.factor), ~na_if(., "Refused")))

Next we will pivot the variables to long format. The new names variable will be survey_question and the responses (Strongly agree, Somewhat agree etc) will go to the new response variable!

gun_df %>% 
  pivot_longer(everything(), names_to = "survey_question", values_to = "response") -> gun_long

And next we calculate counts and frequencies for each variable

gun_long %<>% 
  group_by(survey_question, response) %>% 
  summarise(n = n()) %>%
  mutate(freq = n / sum(n)) %>% 

Then we want to reorder the levels of the factors so that they are in the same order as the original Pew graph.

gun_long %>% 
  mutate(survey_question = as.factor(survey_question))   %>% 
   mutate(survey_question_reorder = factor(survey_question, 
          levels =  c( 
           ))) -> gun_reordered

And we use the hex colours from the original graph … very brown… I used this hex color picker website to find the right hex numbers:

brown_palette <- c("Strongly oppose" = "#8c834b",
                   "Somewhat oppose" = "#beb88f",
                   "Somewhat favor" = "#dfc86c",
                   "Strongly favor" = "#caa31e")

And last, we use the geom_bar() – with position = "stack" and stat = "identity" arguments – to create the bar chart.

To add the numbers, write geom_text() function with label = frequency within aes() and then position = position_stack() with hjust and vjust to make sure you’re happy with where the numbers are

gun_reordered %>% 
  filter(! %>% 
  mutate(frequency = round(freq * 100), 0) %>% 
  ggplot(aes(x = survey_question_reorder, 
             y = frequency, fill = response)) +
  geom_bar(position = "stack",
           stat = "identity") + 
  coord_flip() + 
  scale_fill_manual(values = brown_palette) +
  geom_text(aes(label = frequency), size = 10, 
            color = "black", 
            position = position_stack(vjust = 0.5)) +
  bbplot::bbc_style() + 
  labs(title = "Broad support for barring people with mental illnesses 
       \n from obtaining guns, expanded background checks",
       subtitle = "% who", 
       caption = "Note: No answer resposes not shown.\n Source: Survey of U.S. adults conducted April 5-11 2021.") + 
  scale_x_discrete(labels = c(
    "Allowing people to carry conealed \n guns without a person",
    "Shortening waiting periods for people \n who want to buy guns leagally",
    "Allowing reachers and school officials \n to carry guns in K-12 school",
    "Allowing people to carry \n concealed guns in more places",
    "Banning assault-style weapons",
    "Banning high capacity ammunition \n magazines that hold more than 10 rounds",
    "Creating a federal government \n database to track all gun sales",
    "Making private gun sales \n subject to background check",
    "Preventing people with mental \n illnesses from purchasing guns"
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Unfortunately this does not have diverving stacks from the middle of the graph

We can make a diverging stacked bar chart using function likert() from the HH package.

For this we want to turn the dataset back to wider with a column for each of the responses (strongly agree, somewhat agree etc) and find the frequency of each response for each of the questions on different gun control measures.

Then with the likert() function, we take the survey question variable and with the ~tilda~ make it the product of each response. Because they are the every other variable in the dataset we can use the shorthand of the period / fullstop.

We use positive.order = TRUE because we want them in a nice descending order to response, not in alphabetical order or something like that

gun_reordered %<>%
    filter(! %>%  
  select(survey_question, response, freq) %>%  
  pivot_wider(names_from = response, values_from = freq ) %>%
  ungroup() %>% 
  HH::likert(survey_question ~., positive.order = TRUE,
            main =  "Broad support for barring people with mental illnesses
            \n from obtaining guns, expanded background checks")

With this function, it is difficult to customise … but it is very quick to make a diverging stacked bar chart.

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If we return to ggplot2, which is more easy to customise … I found a solution on Stack Overflow! Thanks to this answer! The solution is to put two categories on one side of the centre point and two categories on the other!

gun_reordered %>% 
filter(! %>% 
  mutate(frequency = round(freq * 100), 0) -> gun_final

And graph out

ggplot(data = gun_final, aes(x = survey_question_reorder, 
            fill = response)) +
  geom_bar(data = subset(gun_final, response %in% c("Strongly favor",
           "Somewhat favor")),
           aes(y = -frequency), position="stack", stat="identity") +
  geom_bar(data = subset(gun_final, !response %in% c("Strongly favor",
            "Somewhat favor")), 
           aes(y = frequency), position="stack", stat="identity") +
  coord_flip() + 
  scale_fill_manual(values = brown_palette) +
  geom_text(data = gun_final, aes(y = frequency, label = frequency), size = 10, color = "black", position = position_stack(vjust = 0.5)) +
  bbplot::bbc_style() + 
  labs(title = "Broad support for barring people with mental illnesses 
       \n from obtaining guns, expanded background checks",
       subtitle = "% who", 
       caption = "Note: No answer resposes not shown.\n Source: Survey of U.S. adults conducted April 5-11 2021.") + 
  scale_x_discrete(labels = c(
    "Allowing people to carry conealed \n guns without a person",
    "Shortening waiting periods for people \n who want to buy guns leagally",
    "Allowing reachers and school officials \n to carry guns in K-12 school",
    "Allowing people to carry \n concealed guns in more places",
    "Banning assault-style weapons",
    "Banning high capacity ammunition \n magazines that hold more than 10 rounds",
    "Creating a federal government \n database to track all gun sales",
    "Making private gun sales \n subject to background check",
    "Preventing people with mental \n illnesses from purchasing guns"
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Next to complete in PART 2 of this graph, I need to figure out how to add lines to graphs and add the frequency in the correct place

Examining Ireland’s foreign policy in pictures with R

Packages we will need:


In January 2015, the Irish government published a review of Ireland’s foreign policy. The document, The Global Island: Ireland’s Foreign Policy for a Changing World offers a perspective on Ireland’s place in the world.

In this blog, we will graph out some of the key features of Ireland’ foreign policy and so we can have a quick overview of the key relationships and trends.

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First, we will look at the aid that Ireland gives to foreign countries. This read.csv(file.choose()) will open up the file window and you can navigate to the file and data that you can download from DAC OECD website:

dac <- read.csv(file.choose())

We will filter only Ireland and clean the names with the clean_names() function from the janitor package:

dac %<>% 
  filter(Donor == "Ireland") %>% 

And change the variables, adding the Correlates of War codes and cleaning up some of the countries’ names.

dac %<>% 
  mutate(cown = countrycode(recipient_2, "", "cown"),
         aid_amount = value*1000000) %>%  
  select(country = recipient_2, cown,
         year, time, aid_type, value, aid_amount) %>%
  mutate(cown = ifelse(country == "West Bank and Gaza Strip", 6666,
         ifelse(country == "Serbia", 345, 
         ifelse(country == "Micronesia", 987,cown))))%>%

Next we can convert dataframe to wider format so we have a value column for each aid type

dac %>% 
  distinct(country, cown, year, time, aid_type, value, .keep_all = TRUE)  %>%  
  pivot_wider(names_from = "aid_type", values_from = "aid_amount") %>% 
  mutate(across(where(is.numeric), ~ replace_na(., 0))) %>% 
  clean_names() -> dac_wider

And we graph out the three main types of aid:

dac_wider %>%
  group_by(year) %>% 
  summarise(total_humanitarian = sum(humanitarian_aid, na.rm = TRUE),
  total_technical = sum(technical_cooperation, na.rm = TRUE),
  total_development_food_aid = sum(development_food_aid)) %>% 
  ungroup() %>% 
  pivot_longer(!year, names_to = "aid_type", values_to = "aid_value") %>% 
  ggplot(aes(x = year, y = aid_value, groups = aid_type)) + 
  geom_line(aes(color = aid_type), size = 2, show_guide  = FALSE) +
  geom_point(aes(color = aid_type), fill = "white", shape = 21, size = 3, stroke = 2) +
  bbplot::bbc_style()  +
  scale_y_continuous(labels = scales::comma) + 
  scale_x_discrete(limits = c(2010:2018)) +
  labs(title = "Irish foreign aid by aid type (2010 - 2018)",
       subtitle = ("Source: OECD DAC")) +
  scale_color_discrete(name = "Aid type", 
        labels = c("Development and Food", "Humanitarian", "Technical"))

We will look at total ODA aid:

dac %>% 
  count(aid_type) %>% 
  arrange(desc(n)) %>% 
  knitr::kable(format = "html")
aid_type n
Imputed Multilateral ODA 2298
Memo: ODA Total, excl. Debt 1292
Memo: ODA Total, Gross disbursements 1254
ODA: Total Net 1249
Grants, Total 1203
Technical Cooperation 541
ODA per Capita 532
Humanitarian Aid 518
ODA as % GNI (Recipient) 504
Development Food Aid 9

And get some pretty hex colours:

pal_10 <- c("#001219","#005f73","#0a9396","#94d2bd","#e9d8a6","#ee9b00","#ca6702","#bb3e03","#ae2012","#9b2226")

And download some regime, democracy, region and continent data from the PACL datase with the democracyData() package

pacl <- redownload_pacl() 

pacl %<>% 
  mutate(regime_name = ifelse(regime == 0, "Parliamentary democracies",
         ifelse(regime == 1, "Mixed democracies",
         ifelse(regime == 2, "Presidential democracies",
         ifelse(regime == 3, "Civilian autocracies",
         ifelse(regime == 4, "Military dictatorships",
         ifelse(regime ==  5,"Royal dictatorships", regime))))))) %>%
  mutate(regime = as.factor(regime)) 

pacl %<>% 
  select(year, country = pacl_country, 
         democracy, regime_name,
         region_name = un_region_name, 
         continent_name = un_continent_name)

pacl %<>% 
  mutate(cown = countrycode(country, "", "cown")) %>% 

Summarise the total aid for each country across the years and choose the top 20 countries

dac %>% 
  filter(aid_type == "Memo: ODA Total, Gross disbursements") %>% 
  group_by(country) %>% 
  summarise(total_country_aid = sum(aid_amount, na.rm = TRUE)) %>% 
  ungroup() %>% 
  top_n(n = 20) %>% 
  mutate(cown = countrycode::countrycode(country, "", "cown")) %>% 
  inner_join(pacl, by = "cown") %>%  
  mutate(region_name = ifelse(country == "West Bank and Gaza Strip", "Western Asia", region_name)) %>% 
  mutate(region_name = ifelse(region_name == "Western Asia", "Middle East", region_name)) %>% 
  mutate(country = ifelse(country == "West Bank and Gaza Strip", "Palestine",
  ifelse(country == "Democratic Republic of the Congo", "DR Congo",
  ifelse(country == "Syrian Arab Republic", "Syria", country)))) %>% 
  mutate(iso2 = tolower(countrycode::countrycode(country, "", "iso2c"))) %>% 
  ggplot(aes(x = forcats::fct_reorder(country, total_country_aid), y = total_country_aid)) + 
  geom_bar(aes(fill = region_name), stat = "identity", width = 0.7) + 
  coord_flip() + bbplot::bbc_style() + 
  geom_flag(aes(x = country, y = -100, country = iso2), size = 12) +
  scale_fill_manual(values = pal_10) +
  labs(title = "Ireland's largest ODA foreign aid recipients, 2010 - 2018",
       subtitle = ("Source: OECD DAC")) + 
  xlab("") + ylab("") + 
  scale_x_continuous(labels = scales::comma)

We can make a waffle plot to look at the different types of regimes to which the Irish government gave aid over the decades

 dac %>% 
  mutate(decade = substr(year, 1, 3)) %>% 
  mutate(decade = paste0(decade, "0s")) %>% 
  group_by(decade) %>% 
  count(regime_name) %>% 
  ggplot(aes(fill = regime_name, values = n)) +
  geom_waffle(color = "white", size = 0.3, n_rows = 10, flip = TRUE) +
  facet_wrap(~decade, nrow = 1, strip.position = "bottom") + 
  bbplot::bbc_style()  +
  scale_fill_manual(values = pal_10) +
   scale_x_discrete(breaks = round(seq(0, 1, by = 0.2),3)) +
  labs(title = "Ireland's ODA foreign aid recipient regime types since 1945",
       subtitle = ("Source: OECD DAC"))  

Next, we will download dyadic foreign policy similarity measures from peacesciencer.

Peacesciencer package has tools and data sets for the study of quantitative peace science. 

Click here to read more about the peacesciencer package by Steven Miller

fp_similar_df <- peacesciencer::create_dyadyears() %>% 
  add_gwcode_to_cow() %>% 

I am only looking at dyadic foreign policy similarity with Ireland, so filter by Ireland’s Correlates of War code, 205.

Click here to find out all countries’ COW code

fp_similar_df %<>% 
  filter(ccode1 == 205)

Data on alliance portfolios comes from the Correlates of War and is used to calculate similarity of foreign policy positions (see Altfeld & Mesquita, 1979).

The assumption is that similar alliance portfolios are the result of similar foreign policy positions.

With increasing in level of commitment, the strength of alliance commitments can be:

  1. no commitment
  2. entente
  3. neutrality or nonaggression pact
  4. defense pact

We will map out alliance similarity. This will use the measurement calculated with Cohen’s Kappa. Check out Hage’s (2011) article to read more about the different ways to measure alliance similarity.

Next we can look at UN similarity.

The UN voting variable calculates three values:

1 = Yes

2 = Abstain

3 = No

Based on these data, if two countries in a similar way on the same UN resolutions, this is a measure of the degree to which dyad members’ foreign policy positions are similar.

fp_similarity_df %>% 
  mutate(country = countrycode::countrycode(ccode2, "cown", "")) %>% 
  select(country, ccode2, year,
         un_similar = kappavv) %>% 
  filter(year > 1989) %>% 
  filter(! %>%
  mutate(iso2 = tolower(countrycode::countrycode(country, "", "iso2c"))) %>% 
  group_by(country) %>% 
  mutate(avg_un = mean(un_similar, na.rm = TRUE)) %>%
  distinct(country, avg_un, iso2, .keep_all = FALSE) %>% 
  ungroup() %>% 
  top_n(n = 10)  -> top_un_similar

And graph out the top ten

  top_un_similar %>%
  ggplot(aes(x = forcats::fct_reorder(country, avg_un), 
             y = avg_un)) + 
  geom_bar(stat = "identity",
           width = 0.7, 
           color = "#0a85e5", 
           fill = "#0a85e5") +
  ggflags::geom_flag(aes(x = country, y = 0, country = iso2), size = 15) +
  coord_flip() + bbplot::bbc_style()  +
  ggtitle("UN voting similarity with Ireland since 1990")

If we change the top_n() to negative, we can get the bottom 10

top_n(n = -10)

We can quickly scrape data about the EU countries with the rvest package

eu_members_html <- read_html("")
eu_members_tables <- eu_members_html %>% html_table(header = TRUE, fill = TRUE)

eu_member <- eu_members_tables[[6]]

eu_member %<>% 

eu_member %>% distinct(state) %>%  pull(state) -> eu_state

Last we are going to look at globalization scores. The data comes from the the KOF Globalisation Index. This measures the economic, social and political dimensions of globalisation. Globalisation in the economic, social and political fields has been on the rise since the 1970s, receiving a particular boost after the end of the Cold War.

Click here for data that you can download comes from the KOF website

kof %>%
  filter(country %in% eu_state) -> kof_eu

And compare Ireland to other EU countries on financial KOF index scores. We will put Ireland in green and the rest of the countries as grey to make it pop.

Ireland appears to follow the general EU trends and is not an outlier for financial globalisation scores.

kof_eu %>% 
  ggplot(aes(x = year,  y = finance, groups = country)) + 
  geom_line(color = ifelse(kof_eu$country == "Ireland",     "#2a9d8f", "#8d99ae"),
  size = ifelse(kof_eu$country == "Ireland", 3, 2), 
  alpha = ifelse(kof_eu$country == "Ireland", 0.9, 0.3)) +
  bbplot::bbc_style() + 
  ggtitle("Financial Globalization in Ireland, 1970 to 2020", 
          subtitle = "Source: KOF")


Häge, F. M. (2011). Choice or circumstance? Adjusting measures of foreign policy similarity for chance agreement. Political Analysis19(3), 287-305.

Dreher, Axel (2006): Does Globalization Affect Growth? Evidence from a new Index of Globalizationcall_made, Applied Economics 38, 10: 1091-​1110.

How to tidy up messy Wikipedia data with dplyr in R

Packages we will need:


To see another blog post that focuses on cleaning messy strings and dates, click here to read

We are going to look at Irish embassies and missions around the world. Where are the embassies, and which country has the most missions (including embassies, consulates and representational offices)?

Let’s first scrape the embassy data from the Wikipedia page. Here is how it looks on the webpage.

It is a bit confusing because Ireland does not have a mission in every country. Argentina, for example, is the embassy for Bolivia, Paraguay and Uruguay.

Also, there are some consulates-general and other mission types.

Some countries have more than one mission, such as UK, Canada, US etc. So we are going to try and clean up this data.

Click here to read more about scraping data with the rvest package

embassies_html <- read_html("")

embassies_tables <- embassies_html %>% html_table(header = TRUE, fill = TRUE)

We will extract the data from the different continent tables and then bind them all together at the end.

africa_emb <- embassies_tables[[1]]

africa_emb %<>% 
  mutate(continent = "Africa")

americas_emb <- embassies_tables[[2]]

americas_emb %<>% 
  mutate(continent = "Americas")

asia_emb <- embassies_tables[[3]]

asia_emb %<>% 
  mutate(continent = "Asia")

europe_emb <- embassies_tables[[4]]

europe_emb %<>% 
  mutate(continent = "Europe")

oceania_emb <- embassies_tables[[5]]

oceania_emb %<>% 
  mutate(continent = "Oceania")

Last, we bind all the tables together by rows, with rbind()

ire_emb <- rbind(africa_emb, 

And clean up the names with the janitor package

ire_emb %<>% 

There is a small typo with a hypen and so there are separate Consulate General and Consulate-General… so we will clean that up to make one single factor level.

ire_emb %<>% 
  mutate(mission = ifelse(mission == "Consulate General", "Consulate-General", mission))

We can count out how many of each type of mission there are

ire_emb %>% 
  group_by(mission) %>% 
  count() %>% 
  arrange(desc(n)) %>% 
  knitr::kable(format = "html")
mission n
Embassy 69
Consulate-General 17
Liaison office 1
Representative office 1

A quick waffle plot

ire_emb %>% 
  group_by(mission) %>%
  count() %>% 
  arrange(desc(n)) %>% 
  ungroup() %>% 
  ggplot(aes(fill = mission, values = n)) +
  geom_waffle(color = "white", size = 1.5, 
              n_rows = 20, flip = TRUE) + 
  bbplot::bbc_style() +
  scale_fill_manual(values= wes_palette("Darjeeling1", n = 4))

We can remove the notes in brackets with the sub() function.

Square brackets equire a regex code \\[.*

ire_emb %<>% 
  select(!ref) %>%
  mutate(host_country = sub("\\[.*", "", host_country))

We delete the subheadings from the concurrent_accreditation column with the str_remove() function from the stringr package

ire_emb %<>%
  mutate(concurrent_accreditation = stringr::str_remove(concurrent_accreditation, "International Organizations:\n")) %>% 
  mutate(concurrent_accreditation = stringr::str_remove(concurrent_accreditation, "Countries:\n"))

After that, we will tackle the columns with many countries. The many variables in one cell violates the principles of tidy data.

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For example, we saw above that Argentina is the embassy for three other countries.

We will use the separate() function from the tidyr package to make a column for each country that shares an embassy with the host country.

This separate() function has six arguments:

First we indicate the column with will separate out with the col argument

Next with into, we write the new names of the columns we will create. Nigeria has the most countries for which it is accredited to be the designated embassy with nine. So I create nine accredited countries columns to accommodate this max number.

The point I want to cut up the original column is at the \n which is regex for a large space

I don’t want to remove the original column so I set remove to FALSE

ire_emb %<>%
    col = "concurrent_accreditation",
    into = c("acc_1", "acc_2", "acc_3", "acc_4", "acc_5", "acc_6", "acc_7", "acc_8", "acc_9"),
    sep = "\n",
    remove = FALSE,
    extra = "warn",
    fill = "warn") %>% 
  mutate(across(where(is.character), str_trim)) 

Some countries have more than one type of mission, so I want to count each type of mission for each country and create a new variable with the distinct() and pivot_wider() functions

Click here to read more about turning long to wide format data

With the across() function we can replace all numeric variables with NA to zeros

Click here to read more about the across() function

ire_emb %>% 
  group_by(host_country, mission) %>% 
  mutate(number_missions = n())  %>% 
  distinct(host_country, mission, .keep_all = TRUE) %>% 
  ungroup() %>% 
  pivot_wider(!c(host_city, concurrent_accreditation:count_accreditation), 
              names_from = mission, 
              values_from = number_missions) %>% 
  janitor::clean_names() %>% 
  mutate(across(where(is.numeric), ~ replace_na(., 0))) %>% 
  select(!host_country) -> ire_wide

Before we bind the two datasets together, we need to only have one row for each country.

ire_emb %>% 
  distinct(host_country, .keep_all = TRUE) -> ire_dist

And bind them together:

ire_full <- cbind(ire_dist, ire_wide) 
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We can graph out where the embassies are with the geom_polygon() in ggplot

First we download the map data from dplyr and add correlates of war codes so we can easily join the datasets together with right_join()

First, we add correlates of war codes

Click here to read more about the countrycode package

ire_full %<>%
    mutate(cown = countrycode(host_country, "", "cown")) 
world_map <- map_data("world")

world_map %<>% 
  mutate(cown = countrycode::countrycode(region, "", "cown"))

I reorder the variables with the fct_relevel() function from the forcats package. This is just so they can better match the color palette from wesanderson package. Green means embassy, red for no mission and orange for representative office.

ire_full %>%
  right_join(world_map, by = "cown") %>% 
  filter(region != "Antarctica") %>% 
  mutate(mission = ifelse(, replace_na("No Mission"), mission)) %>% 
  mutate(mission = forcats::fct_relevel(mission,c("No Mission", "Embassy","Representative office"))) %>%
  ggplot(aes(x = long, y = lat, group = group)) + 
  geom_polygon(aes(fill = mission), color = "white", size = 0.5)  -> ire_map

And we can change how the map looks with the ggthemes package and colors from wesanderson package

  ire_map + ggthemes::theme_map() +
  theme(legend.key.size = unit(3, "cm"),
        text = element_text(size = 30),
        legend.title = element_blank()) + 
  scale_fill_manual(values = wes_palette("Darjeeling1", n = 4))

And we can count how many missions there are in each country

US has the hightest number with 8 offices, followed by UK with 4 and China with 3

ire_full %>%
  right_join(world_map, by = "cown") %>% 
  filter(region != "Antarctica") %>% 
  mutate(sum_missions = rowSums(across(embassy:representative_office))) %>% 
  mutate(sum_missions = replace_na(sum_missions, 0)) %>%  
  ggplot(aes(x = long, y = lat, group = group)) + 
  geom_polygon(aes(fill = as.factor(sum_missions)), color = "white", size = 0.5)  +
  ggthemes::theme_map() +
  theme(legend.key.size = unit(3, "cm"),
        text = element_text(size = 30),
        legend.title = element_blank()) + 
scale_fill_brewer(palette = "RdBu") + 
  ggtitle("Number of Irish missions in each country",
          subtitle = "Source: Wikipedia")

Last we can count the number of accredited countries that each embassy has. Nigeria has the most, in charge of 10 other countries across northern and central Africa.

ire_full %>% 
  right_join(world_map, by = "cown") %>% 
  filter(region != "Antarctica") %>%
  mutate(count_accreditation = str_count(concurrent_accreditation, pattern = "\n")) %>% 
  mutate(count_accreditation = replace_na(count_accreditation, -1)) %>%  
  ggplot(aes(x = long, y = lat, group = group)) + 
  geom_polygon(aes(fill = as.factor(count_accreditation)), color = "white", size = 0.5)  +
  ggthemes::theme_fivethirtyeight() +
  theme(legend.key.size = unit(1, "cm"),
        text = element_text(size = 30),
        legend.title = element_blank()) + 
  ggtitle("Number of Irish missions in extra accreditations",
          subtitle = "Source: Wikipedia")
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Running tidy t-tests with the infer package in R

Packages we will need:


For this t-test, we will compare US millenials and non-millenials and their views of the UK’s influence in the world.

The data will come from Chicago Council Survey of American Public Opinion on U.S. Foreign Policy

Click here to download 2017 policy survey data

The survey investigates American public opinion on foreign policy. It focuses on respondents’ opinions of the United States’ leadership role in the world and the challenges the country faces domestically and internationally.

The question on the UK’s influence asks how much influence you think the UK has in the world. Please answer on a 0 to 10 scale; with 0 meaning they are not at all influential and 10 meaning they are extremely influential.

First we select and recreate the variables

fp %>%
    uk_influence = Q50_10) %>%
    col = milennial,
    into = c("milennial_num", "milennial_char"),
    sep = '[)]',
    remove = TRUE) %>% 
     uk_influence = as.character(uk_influence),
     uk_influence = parse_number(uk_influence)) %>% 
  filter(uk_influence != -1) %>% 
  tidyr::drop_na(milennial_char) -> mil_fp

With the infer package, we can run a t-test:

mil_fp %>% 
  t_test(formula = uk_influence ~ milennial_char,
         alternative = "less")%>% 
  kable(format = "html")
statistic t_df p_value alternative estimate lower_ci upper_ci
-3.048249 1329.469 0.0011736 less -0.3274509 -Inf -0.1506332

There is a statistically significant difference between milennials and non-milennials.

We can graph a box plot.

mil_fp %>% 
  ggplot(mapping = aes(x = milennial_char,
                       y = uk_influence,
                       fill = milennial_char)) +
  geom_jitter(aes(color = milennial_char),
              size = 2, alpha = 0.5, width = 0.3) +
  geom_boxplot(alpha = 0.4) +
  coord_flip() + bbplot::bbc_style() +
  scale_fill_manual(values = my_palette) + 
  scale_color_manual(values = my_palette)

And a quick graph to compare UK with other countries: Germany and South Korea

mil_fp %>% 
  select(milennial_char, uk_influence, sk_influence, ger_influence) %>% 
  pivot_longer(!milennial_char, names_to = "survey_question", values_to = "response")  %>% 
  group_by(survey_question, response) %>% 
  summarise(n = n()) %>%
  mutate(freq = n / sum(n)) %>% 
  ungroup() %>% 
  filter(! %>% 
  mutate(survey_question = case_when(survey_question == "uk_influence" ~ "UK",
survey_question == "ger_influence" ~ "Germany",
survey_question == "sk_influence" ~ "South Korea",
TRUE ~ as.character(survey_question))) %>% 
  ggplot() +
  geom_bar(aes(x = forcats::fct_reorder(survey_question, freq), 
               y = freq, fill = as.factor(response)), 
           color = "#e5e5e5", 
           size = 2, 
           position = "stack",
           stat = "identity") + 
  coord_flip() + 
  scale_fill_brewer(palette = "RdBu") + 
  ggthemes::theme_fivethirtyeight() + 
  ggtitle("View of Influence in the world?") +
  theme(legend.title = element_blank(),
        legend.position = "top",
        legend.key.size = unit(0.78, "cm"),
        text = element_text(size = 25),
        legend.text = element_text(size = 20))

Comparing North and South Korean UN votes at the General Assembly with unvotes package

Packages we will use


Last September 17th 2021 marked the 30th anniversary of the entry of North Korea and South Korea into full membership in the United Nations. Prior to this, they were only afforded observer status.

The Two Koreas Mark 30 Years of UN Membership: The Road to Membership

Let’s look at the types of voting that both countries have done in the General Assembly since 1991.

First we can download the different types of UN votes from the unvotes package

un_votes <- unvotes::un_roll_calls

un_votes_issues <- unvotes::un_roll_call_issues

unvotes::un_votes -> country_votes 

Join them all together and filter out any country that does not have the word “Korea” in its name.

un_votes %>% 
  inner_join(un_votes_issues, by = "rcid") %>% 
  inner_join(country_votes, by = "rcid") %>% 
  mutate(year = format(date, format = "%Y")) %>%
  filter(grepl("Korea", country)) -> korea_un

First we can make a wordcloud of all the different votes for which they voted YES. Is there a discernable difference in the types of votes that each country supported?

First, download the stop words that we can remove (such as the, and, if)


Then I will make a North Korean dataframe of all the votes for which this country voted YES. I remove some of the messy formatting with the gsub argument and count the occurence of each word. I get rid of a few of the procedural words that are more related to the technical wording of the resolutions, rather than related to the tpoic of the vote.

nk_yes_votes <- korea_un %>% 
  filter(country == "North Korea") %>% 
  filter(vote == "yes") %>%  
  select(descr, year) %>% 
  mutate(decade = substr(year, 1, 3)) %>% 
  mutate(decade = paste0(decade, "0s")) %>% 
  # group_by(decade) %>% 
  unnest_tokens(word, descr) %>% 
  mutate(word = gsub(" ", "", word)) %>% 
  mutate(word = gsub('_', '', word)) %>% 
  count(word, sort = TRUE) %>% 
  ungroup() %>% 
  anti_join(stop_words)  %>% 
  mutate(word = case_when(grepl("palestin", word) ~ "Palestine", 
                          grepl("nucl", word) ~ "nuclear",
                          TRUE ~ as.character(word)))  %>%
  filter(word != "resolution") %>% 
  filter(word != "assembly") %>% 
  filter(word != "draft") %>% 
  filter(word != "committee") %>% 
  filter(word != "requested") %>% 
  filter(word != "report") %>% 
  filter(word != "practices") %>% 
  filter(word != "affecting") %>% 
  filter(word != "follow") %>% 
  filter(word != "acting") %>% 
  filter(word != "adopted") 

Next, we count the number of each word

nk_yes_votes %<>% 
  count(word) %>% 

We want to also remove the numbers

nums <- nk_yes_votes %>% filter(str_detect(word, "^[0-9]")) %>% select(word) %>% unique()

And remove the stop words

nk_yes_votes %<>%
  anti_join(nums, by = "word")

Choose some nice colours

my_colors <- c("#0450b4", "#046dc8", "#1184a7","#15a2a2", "#6fb1a0", 
               "#b4418e", "#d94a8c", "#ea515f", "#fe7434", "#fea802")

And lastly, plot the wordcloud with the top 50 words

   random.order = FALSE, 
   max.words = 50, 
   colors = my_colors)

If we repeat the above code with South Korea:

There doesn’t seem to be a huge difference. But this is not a very scientfic approach; I just like the look of them!

Next we will compare the two countries how many votes they voted yes, no or abstained from…

korea_un %>% 
  group_by(country, vote) %>% 
  count() %>% 
  mutate(count_ten = n /25) %>% 
  ungroup() %>% 
  ggplot(aes(fill = vote, values = count_ten)) +
  geom_waffle(color = "white",
              size = 2.5,
              n_rows = 10,
              flip = TRUE) +
  facet_wrap(~country) + bbplot::bbc_style() +
  scale_fill_manual(values = wesanderson::wes_palette("Darjeeling1"))

Next we can look more in detail at the votes that they countries abstained from voting in.

We can use the tidytext function that reorders the geom_bar in each country. You can read the blog of Julie Silge to learn more about the functions, it is a bit tricky but it fixes the problem of randomly ordered bars across facets.

korea_un %>%
  filter(vote == "abstain") %>% 
  mutate(issue = case_when(issue == "Nuclear weapons and nuclear material" ~ "Nukes",
issue == "Arms control and disarmament" ~ "Arms",
issue == "Palestinian conflict" ~ "Palestine",
TRUE ~ as.character(issue))) %>% 
  select(country, issue, year) %>% 
  group_by(issue, country) %>% 
  count() %>% 
  ungroup() %>% 
  group_by(country) %>% 
  mutate(country = as.factor(country),
         issue = reorder_within(issue, n, country)) %>%
  ggplot(aes(x = reorder(issue, n), y = n)) + 
  geom_bar(stat = "identity", width = 0.7, aes(fill = country)) + 
  labs(title = "Abstaining UN General Assembly Votes by issues",
       subtitle = ("Since 1950s"),
       caption = "         Source: unvotes ") +
  xlab("") + 
  ylab("") +
  facet_wrap(~country, scales = "free_y") +
  scale_x_reordered() +
  coord_flip() + 
  expand_limits(y = 65) + 
  ggthemes::theme_pander() + 
  scale_fill_manual(values = sample(my_colors)) + 
 theme(plot.background = element_rect(color = "#f5f9fc"),
        panel.grid = element_line(colour = "#f5f9fc"),
        # axis.title.x = element_blank(),
        # axis.text.x = element_blank(),
        axis.text.y = element_text(color = "#000500", size = 16),
       legend.position = "none",
        # axis.title.y = element_blank(),
        axis.ticks.x = element_blank(),
        text = element_text(family = "Gadugi"),
        plot.title = element_text(size = 28, color = "#000500"),
        plot.subtitle = element_text(size = 20, color = "#484e4c"),
        plot.caption = element_text(size = 20, color = "#484e4c"))

South Korea was far more likely to abstain from votes that North Korea on all issues

Next we can simply plot out the Human Rights votes that each country voted to support. Even though South Korea has far higher human rights scores, North Korea votes in support of more votes on this topic.

korea_un %>% 
  filter(year < 2019) %>% 
  filter(issue == "Human rights") %>% 
  filter(vote == "yes") %>% 
  group_by(country, year) %>% 
  count() %>% 
  ggplot(aes(x = year, y = n, group = country, color = country)) + 
  geom_line(size = 2) + 
  geom_point(aes(color = country), fill = "white", shape = 21, size = 3, stroke = 2.5) +
  scale_x_discrete(breaks = round(seq(min(korea_un$year), max(korea_un$year), by = 10),1)) +
  scale_y_continuous(expand = c(0, 0), limits = c(0, 22)) + 
  bbplot::bbc_style() + facet_wrap(~country) + 
  theme(legend.position = "none") + 
  scale_color_manual(values = sample(my_colors)) + 
  labs(title = "Human Rights UN General Assembly Yes Votes ",
       subtitle = ("Since 1990s"),
       caption = "         Source: unvotes ")

All together:

Download and graph UN votes data with the unvotes package in R

Packages we will need:


How to download UN votes to R.

This package was created by David Robinson. Click here to read the CRAN PDF.

Pop Tv Congrats GIF by Schitt's Creek - Find & Share on GIPHY

We will download both the votes roll calls and the issues. Then we can use the inner_join() variable to add them together by the ID.

un_votes <- unvotes::un_roll_calls

un_votes_issues <- unvotes::un_roll_call_issues

un_votes %<>% 
  inner_join(un_votes_issues, by = "rcid")

We can create a year variable with the format() function and extract the year with “%Y”

un_votes %<>% 
  mutate(year = format(date, format = "%Y")) 

And graph out the count of each type of UN vote issue

un_votes %>% 
  group_by(year) %>% 
  count(issue) %>% 
  ggplot(aes(x = year, y = n, group = issue, color = issue)) + 
  geom_line(size = 2) + 
  geom_point(aes(color = issue), fill = "white", 
             shape = 21, size = 2, stroke = 1) +
  scale_x_discrete(breaks = round(seq(min(un_votes$year), max(un_votes$year), by = 10),1)) +
  bbplot::bbc_style() + facet_wrap(~issue)

Next we can look at which decade had the most votes across the issues with the waffle package

Click here to read more about the waffle package

un_votes %>% 
  mutate(decade = substr(year, 1, 3)) %>% 
  mutate(decade = paste0(decade, "0s")) %>% 
  group_by(decade) %>% 
  count(issue) %>% 
  ggplot(aes(fill = issue, values = n)) +
  geom_waffle(color = "white",
              size = 0.3,
              n_rows = 10, 
              flip = TRUE) +
  facet_wrap(~decade, nrow = 1, strip.position = "bottom") + 
  bbplot::bbc_style()  +
  scale_x_discrete(breaks = round(seq(0, 1, by = 0.2),3)) 

The 1980s were a prolific time for the UNGA with voting, with arms control being the largest share of votes. And it has stablised in the decades since.

Well Done Applause GIF by CBC - Find & Share on GIPHY

Next we can look at votes in total

un_votes %>% 
  mutate(issue = case_when(issue == "Nuclear weapons and nuclear material" ~ "Nukes",
                           issue == "Arms control and disarmament" ~ "Arms",
                           issue == "Palestinian conflict" ~ "Palestine",
                           TRUE ~ as.character(issue))) %>% 
  count(issue) %>%  
  ggplot(aes(x = reorder(issue, n), y = n, fill = as.factor(issue))) + 
  geom_bar(stat = "identity") + 
  coord_polar("x", start = 0, direction = -1)  + 
  ggthemes::theme_pander()  +
  bbplot::bbc_style() + 
    theme(axis.text = element_blank(),
          axis.title.x = element_blank(),
          axis.title.y = element_blank(),
          axis.ticks = element_blank(),
          text = element_text(size = 25),
          panel.grid = element_blank()) + 
    ggtitle(label = "UN Votes by issue ", 
            subtitle = "Source: unvotes package")