Framing the Global Economic Downturn

Framing the Global Economic Downturn

Crisis rhetoric and the politics of recessions

Edited by: Paul `t Hart, Karen Tindall

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The global economic downturn that followed the collapse of major US financial institutions is no doubt the most significant crisis of our times. Its effects on corporate and governmental balance sheets have been devastating, as have been its impacts on the employment and well being of tens of millions of citizens. It continues to pose major challenges to national policymakers and institutions around the world.

Managing public uncertainty and anxiety is vital in coping with financial crises. This requires not just prompt action but, most of all, persuasive communication by government leaders. At the same time, the very occurrence of such crises raises acute questions about the effectiveness and robustness of current government policies and institutions. With the stakes being so high, defining and interpreting what is going on, how and why it happened, and what ought to be done now become key questions in the political and policy struggles that crises invariably unleash.

In this volume, we study how heads of government, finance ministers and national bank governors in eight countries as well as the EU engage in such ‘framing contests’, and how their attempts to interpret the cascading events of the economic downturn were publicly received. Using systematic content analysis of speeches and media coverage, this volume offers a unique comparative assessment of public leadership in times of crisis.

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Part I. Setting the stage

  1. From ‘market correction’ to ‘global catastrophe’: framing the economic downturn (PDF, 166KB)Paul ’t Hart and Karen Tindall doi
  2. Understanding crisis exploitation: leadership, rhetoric and framing contests in response to the economic meltdown (PDF, 362KB)Paul ’t Hart and Karen Tindall doi

Part II. One crisis, different worlds: the United States and Canada

  1. The United States: crisis leadership in times of transition (PDF, 190KB)Isaac Ijjo Donato doi
  2. Canada: the politics of optimism (PDF, 190KB)Anastasia Glushko doi

Part III. Dark clouds and turbulence in Europe

  1. United Kingdom: the politics of government survival (PDF, 189KB)Justin Pritchard doi
  2. Republic of Ireland: from Celtic tiger to recession victim (PDF, 199KB)Adam Masters doi
  3. France: dominant leadership (PDF, 189KB)Natalie Windle doi
  4. The European Union: from impotence to opportunity? (PDF, 170KB)Tully Fletcher doi

Part IV. No hiding place: the meltdown and the Asia-Pacific Region

  1. Australia: ‘the lucky country’ on a knife edge (PDF, 213KB)Matthew Laing and Karen Tindall doi
  2. New Zealand: electoral politics in times of crisis (PDF, 183KB)Michael Jones doi
  3. Singapore: staying the course (PDF, 164KB)Faith Benjaathonsirikul doi

Part V. Comparisons and reflections

  1. Contesting the frame: opposition leadership and the global financial crisis (PDF, 153KB)Brendan McCaffrie doi
  2. Crisis leadership in terra incognita: why meaning making is not enough (PDF, 114KB)Arjen Boin doi
  3. Framing dilemmas in the quest for successful crisis management (PDF, 116KB)Allan McConnell doi
  4. Managing trans-boundary crises: leadership challenges for the EU Presidency (PDF, 90KB)Bengt Sundelius doi
  5. Public leadership and the social construction of economic catastrophe (PDF, 156KB)Paul ’t Hart and Karen Tindall doi

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