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Type: Journal article
Title: How to frame a bank bailout: Lessons from Ireland during the Global Financial Crisis
Author: McDonagh, N.
Citation: Przestrzeń Społeczna, 2016; 12(2):84-112
Publisher: Institute of Sociology, Rzeszów University
Issue Date: 2016
ISSN: 2084-7696
Statement of
Naoise McDonagh
Abstract: This paper presents an analysis of framing strategy deployed in public discourse across two leading daily mass news media in the neoliberal economy of Ireland, during the Global Financial Crisis. Framing is a technique for shaping perceptions of an event by discursively constructing it in a particular way so as to highlight some elements but not others. During Ireland's crisis, as elsewhere, financial institutions were framed as 'too big to fail' as a way to present a political choice as an unavoidable necessity, making opposition to the policy appear irrational. However, a successful framing strategy is one which is most applicable to the local conditions to which it refers, in this case Ireland's political economy. This study finds that Irish Government actors strategically favoured a second frame of financial institutions as being of 'systemic importance'. This frame implies the same policy outcome as 'too big to fail' but without referring to the specific criteria of size. It is found that this strategy is driven by local political economic considerations, namely that many politically-connected financial institutions that received bailouts were small. Framing such institutions as 'too big to fail' would have foregrounded this fact, making opposition more likely. Thus, this study highlights that successful framing strategies must adapt to local socio-spatial conditions of applicability.
Keywords: framing; Ireland; critical discourse analysis; global financial crisis; too big to fail; bailout
Rights: © Copyright on any article is retained by the author(s). The article and any associated published material are distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Licence.
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