Institutions, policies, and arguments: context and strategy in EU policy framing

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Series Details Vol.22, No.4, April 2015, p516-533
Publication Date April 2015
ISSN 1350-1763
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Studies of framing in the EU political system are still a rarity and they suffer from a lack of systematic empirical analysis. Addressing this gap, we ask if institutional and policy contexts intertwined with the strategic side of framing can explain the number and types of frames employed by different stakeholders. We use a computer-assisted manual content analysis and develop a fourfold typology of frames to study the frames that were prevalent in the debates on four EU policy proposals within financial market regulation and environmental policy at the EU level and in Germany, Sweden, the Netherlands and the United Kingdom. The main empirical finding is that both contexts and strategies exert a significant impact on the number and types of frames in EU policy debates. In conceptual terms, the article contributes to developing more fine-grained tools for studying frames and their underlying dimensions.

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