As European and regional elections are coming closer, they (finally) reach broad media attention and public discussion. Our team “Methods of Empirical Political Research” accompanies these events from a scientific perspective: Which effects do TV debates have? What does the decreasing voter turnout imply? What can be done against this development? Thorsten Faas reported the results of his research in several media appearances in the last couple of days. Amongst them was an SWR-Forum contribution (SWR2, 13.5.) named “Protest und Plattitüden – Vor welcher Wahl steht Europa?” as well as a TV interview on the program “Zur Sache Rheinland-Pfalz” on the 15th of May (SWR).
Both broadcastings can be found on the relevant websites:
With the help of a live experiment on Thursday, our team has examined perceptions and effects of the TV debate between the top candidates of the European election. 36 students participated and watched the live debate in the University. The project is part of a European comparison – All around Europe, students were watching the debate! While watching, the German participants could assess the performance of Schulz, Juncker, Verhofstadt, Keller, and Tsipras. Results will be published soon!
Political arguments rarely aim at completely convincing the opponent of an opinion. Instead strategies are much more subtle. Specific aspects, facets or dimensions are pushed to the fore while others are paid very little attention to in order to put the object of discussion in a certain light. The same applies to the Opel rescue in 2009. Nevertheless, the question arises of what the conflict was about. Was it about jobs? Was it about the prevention of another failure such as the Holzmann “rescue” several years ago? Was it about the wasting of tax revenues? All these are possible interpretations of the Opel rescue. Framing research suggests that whoever formulates the dominant interpretation will also dominate the general views on the Opel rescue.
Based on an online experiment, Thorsten Faas and Harald Schoen examine this thesis in their new publication:
- Thorsten Faas, Harald Schoen: Staatshilfe für Opel? Eine Analyse von Framing-Effekten auf der Basis eines Online-Experiments, in: Frank Marcinkowski (Hrsg.): Framing als politischer Prozess. Beiträge zum Deutungskampf in der politischen Kommunikation, Baden-Baden: Nomos 2014, S. 179–194.