When one head of a state meets another, this event is often front page news in both countries, because such visits may accompany the signing of important trade or defense agreements, or indicate general support of each other. However, we know relatively little about factors correlating or even causing such meetings: what are the wider social rules that determine who visits whom? And what are the consequences of such visits for the visiting and the visited country, or for the two heads of state involved in them? In order to answer these questions, we compile a dataset of such visits, using a variety of sources: lists of visits found on the web sites of foreign departments or the head of states office, lists collected by third parties on platforms such as Wikipedia, or by searching newspaper archives for relevant terms.
Students signing up for this project will compile a list of the visits and meetings conducted by the head of state of several countries over at least a decade that is as complete as possible. For each country in question, they will have to search if such a list has already been complied by the relevant authorities, other researchers or crowdsourcing platforms, and double-check those lists for completeness. If no such list is available, they may have to send e-mails to foreign departments, or search for such visits in newspaper archives or search engines.
They may also be asked to verify lists of visits compiled through automated methods.
Participating students will become familiar with basic theories of international relations, and learn more about the foreign policies of the countries that they are investigating. They will also learn how to use HKUSTs librarys resources.