Project

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The mediatization of political decision-making in Switzerland

English title The mediatization of political decision-making in Switzerland
Applicant Sciarini Pascal
Number 127373
Funding scheme ProDoc
Research institution Département de science politique et relations internationales Université de Genève
Institution of higher education University of Geneva - GE
Main discipline Political science
Start/End 01.11.2009 - 30.06.2013
Approved amount 158'586.00
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All Disciplines (2)

Discipline
Political science
Communication sciences

Keywords (5)

mediatization; political decision-making; Switzerland; Europeanization; media logic

Lay Summary (English)

Lead
Lay summary
The purpose of the project is to analyze the mediatization of political decision-making in Switzerland. From a process-oriented perspective, mediatization can be defined as a dynamic con-cept that accounts for the reciprocal interactions and interdependencies between the media and political actors and institutions. More specifically, we can speak of "mediatized politics" when a) media coverage of political decision-making is primarily governed by media logic as opposed to political logic and b) the underlying structures and processes of political decision-making adapt to media logic.
In line with this dynamic, reciprocal perspective, the project divides into two parts. The first part looks at how political decision-making is covered by the media. Its goal is to investigate how media coverage of selected decision-making cases (both in the level and form of coverage) varies depending on the degree and type of conflict, types of actors, institutional phases and the degree of Europeanization of a policy issue; on this basis, we establish to what extent and under which conditions this media coverage is governed by media logic as opposed to po-litical logic. The second part examines how mediatization influences the structures and processes of political decision-making. More specifically, we analyze how mediatization impacts the communication activities of political actors. Changes towards more media-oriented communication activities are in turn expected to affect the configuration of conflict among political actors and their capacity to compromise (structures) as well as the relative importance of different institu-tional phases (processes). On this basis we will be able to assess to which extent actors and institutions of political decision-making adapt to media logic.
Empirically, we focus on four specific decision-making cases that vary with regard to their level of conflict and their degree of Europeanization. In order to study the media coverage of these cases, we rely on a content analysis of two quality papers (NZZ, Le Temps). To analyze whether actors and institutions adapt to media logic we rely on interviews with a selection of representatives of the most important organizations (parties, interest groups and state actors) involved in these four processes.
Direct link to Lay Summary Last update: 21.02.2013

Responsible applicant and co-applicants

Employees

Publications

Publication
Mass media and political decision-making: Analyzing mediatization in Switzerland
Landerer Nino (2015), Mass media and political decision-making: Analyzing mediatization in Switzerland, Nomos, Baden-Baden.
Opposing the government but governing the audience? Exploring the differential mediatization of parliamentary actors in Switzerland
Landerer Nino (2014), Opposing the government but governing the audience? Exploring the differential mediatization of parliamentary actors in Switzerland, in Journalism studies, 15(3), 304-320.
The mediatization of political decision-making processes
Landerer Nino (2014), The mediatization of political decision-making processes, University of Geneva, Department of political science and international relations, PhD thesis, Geneva.
Rethinking the Logics: A Conceptual Framework for the Mediatization of Politics
Landerer Nino (2013), Rethinking the Logics: A Conceptual Framework for the Mediatization of Politics, in Communication Theory, 23(3), 239-258.
The Relationship between Media and Political Agendas: Variations across Decision-Making Phases
Tresch Anke, Sciarini Pascal, Varone Frédéric (2013), The Relationship between Media and Political Agendas: Variations across Decision-Making Phases, in West European Politics, 36(5), 897-918.

Collaboration

Group / person Country
Types of collaboration
IPMZ University of Zurich Switzerland (Europe)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results
- Research Infrastructure

Scientific events

Active participation

Title Type of contribution Title of article or contribution Date Place Persons involved
7th Annual Conference of the Comparative Agenda Project (CAP) Talk given at a conference Who gets into the media, when, and on which issues? 12.06.2014 Konstanz, Germany Sciarini Pascal; Tresch Anke;
6th Annual Conference of the Comparative Agendas Project (CAP) Talk given at a conference Does partisan politics matter? Moderators of the media's agenda-setting power in Switzerland 27.06.2013 Antwerpen, Belgium Sciarini Pascal; Tresch Anke;
Methods Course and Presentation, Mixed Methods Talk given at a conference The mediatization of political decision-making processes 19.04.2013 Lausanne, Switzerland Landerer Nino;
Symposium "Disenchanted Swiss Democracy" Talk given at a conference Consequences of the changed media landscape 23.01.2013 Zurich, Switzerland Landerer Nino;
Thun Conference, NCCR Democracy Talk given at a conference No 06.11.2012 Thun, Switzerland Landerer Nino;
Summer School Political Communication and Electoral Behavior Talk given at a conference No 16.07.2012 Milan, Italy Landerer Nino;
5th Annual Conference of the Comparative Agendas Project (CAP) Talk given at a conference The political agenda-setting power of the media in Switzerland: The international connection 14.06.2012 Reims, France Sciarini Pascal; Tresch Anke;
Methods Course and Presentation, Case Study Research Talk given at a conference The mediatization of political decision-making processes 30.04.2012 Zurich, Switzerland Landerer Nino;
4th Annual Conference of the Comparative Agenda Project (CAP) Talk given at a conference The contingency of media coverage of decision-making processes: Phases, issues and actors 23.06.2011 Catagna, Italy Sciarini Pascal; Tresch Anke;


Abstract

This research module is part of a larger project that will be carried out by the three applicants in the context of the NCCR Democracy. While the other part of our NCCR project addresses the relationships between media agenda and political agenda across countries and time, the pur-pose of this ProDoc research is to analyze the mediatization of political decision-making in Swit-zerland. From a process-oriented perspective, mediatization can be defined as a dynamic con-cept that accounts for the reciprocal interactions and interdependencies between the media and political actors and institutions. More specifically, we can speak of "mediatized politics" when a) media coverage of political decision-making is primarily governed by media logic as opposed to political logic and b) the underlying structures and processes of political decision-making adapt to media logic.In line with this dynamic, reciprocal perspective, the planned project divides into two parts. The first part looks at how political decision-making is covered by the media. Its goal is to inves-tigate how media coverage of selected decision-making processes varies depending on issue characteristics, types of actors, institutional phases and, most importantly, the degree of Eu-ropeanization of a policy issue, and to what extent this media coverage is governed by media logic as opposed to political logic. The second part examines how mediatization influences the structures and processes of political decision-making. More specifically, we analyze how me-diatization impacts the power configuration among political actors, their communication activi-ties, and their capacity to compromise (structures), and the importance, visibility, and open-ness of the institutional phases (processes). On this basis we will be able to assess to which extent actors and institutions of political decision-making adapt to media logic.Empirically, we focus on four specific decision-making processes that vary with regard to their level of conflict and their degree of Europeanization. More specifically, we rely on two cases of domestic policies (presumably the 11th pension reform and the new constitutional article on education) and on two cases of directly Europeanized policies (probably the agreement with the EU on taxations and savings and the first extension of the bilateral agreement on free move-ment of persons with the EU). In order to study the media coverage of these cases, we rely on a content analysis of two quality papers (NZZ, Le Temps). To analyze whether actors and institu-tions adapt to media logic we rely on interviews with a selection of representatives of the most important organizations (parties, interest groups and state actors) involved in these four proc-esses. We will then put these interview data in perspective with data on the characteristics of the four decision making cases that were gathered by an ongoing SNSF research directed by Prof. Pascal Sciarini.Given that the impact of the media on decision-making processes has not been explicitly ad-dressed in the literature, the planned project is of utmost importance for a wide scientific au-dience from both a theoretical and empirical perspective. By advancing our knowledge on the functioning of political decision-making in Switzerland in general and on the influence of the media in particular, it also has practical implications for journalists and policy-makers.
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