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Framing Employment Relations in Western Europe


Wüest, Bruno; Fossati, Flavia (2012). Framing Employment Relations in Western Europe. In: Swiss Political Science Association, Luzern, 2 February 2012 - 3 February 2012, 40.

Abstract

During the last decades, frame analysis has become a preferred concept in political communi-cation to understand underlying beliefs and motives in public conflicts. The study of conflicts on labor market reforms even longer is of pivotal concern for several other social science sub-disciplines, e.g., the research on the welfare state or neo-corporatist institutions. However, it is astonishing that there not more attempts to analyze the framing processes driving the poli-tics of employment relations. Starting from the assumptions that the study of framing can re-veal a lot about the dynamics of political struggles on employment relations, this paper ex-plores whether frame patterns follow distinct historic legacies of the single countries, or whether framing is a function of the core beliefs of the relevant actors in the debate on em-ployment relations (public authorities, interest associations, parties and business organiza-tions). The analysis relies on newspaper content analysis data collected from 2004 until 2006 in the U.K., France, Germany, the Netherlands, Switzerland and Austria. A first finding is that the framing of employment relations varies across countries mainly as expected by the com-parative political economy literature. Furthermore, the results show that a simple bifurcation between left and right is not enough to explain framing differences among actors with regard to employment relations, but that the actors additionally have to be discerned between main-stream and challengers.

During the last decades, frame analysis has become a preferred concept in political communi-cation to understand underlying beliefs and motives in public conflicts. The study of conflicts on labor market reforms even longer is of pivotal concern for several other social science sub-disciplines, e.g., the research on the welfare state or neo-corporatist institutions. However, it is astonishing that there not more attempts to analyze the framing processes driving the poli-tics of employment relations. Starting from the assumptions that the study of framing can re-veal a lot about the dynamics of political struggles on employment relations, this paper ex-plores whether frame patterns follow distinct historic legacies of the single countries, or whether framing is a function of the core beliefs of the relevant actors in the debate on em-ployment relations (public authorities, interest associations, parties and business organiza-tions). The analysis relies on newspaper content analysis data collected from 2004 until 2006 in the U.K., France, Germany, the Netherlands, Switzerland and Austria. A first finding is that the framing of employment relations varies across countries mainly as expected by the com-parative political economy literature. Furthermore, the results show that a simple bifurcation between left and right is not enough to explain framing differences among actors with regard to employment relations, but that the actors additionally have to be discerned between main-stream and challengers.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Conference or Workshop Item (Paper), refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:06 Faculty of Arts > Institute of Political Science
Dewey Decimal Classification:320 Political science
Uncontrolled Keywords:Framing, Employment Relations, Labor Market Reforms, Compensation Hypothesis, Content Analysis, Western Europe
Language:English
Event End Date:3 February 2012
Deposited On:05 Oct 2012 07:07
Last Modified:05 Apr 2016 15:58
Permanent URL: http://doi.org/10.5167/uzh-64926

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