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The Good, the Bad, and the Neutral? Discursive Actors Attribution Analysis of the debate about the Eurozone Crisis

Angelos Loukakis, Franziska Scholl, Konstantinos Kanellopoulos

The severe crisis in various Eurozone countries has put the European integration project into question. Europe has divided into fiscally good and bad countries, and neutral Brussels. Opposing positions and intense conflicts are reflected in attributions of responsibility of major actors began when Greece came close to bankruptcy, and bailout mechanisms were formed and enacted to the vulnerable Eurozone economies.Our analysis offers a systematic and comparative account of discursive attributions of responsibility raised by Greek (typical example of fiscally "bad" country), German (typical example of fiscally "good" country), and EU actors (typically "neutral"), from September 2009to September 2013. We also discuss, which differentiations have been made into crisis debate regarding attribution senders and addressees and attribution issues.The analysis of this paper relies on data about attributions of responsibility from 2009 to 2013 from a joint Greek-German research project "The Greeks, the Germans and the Crisis (GGCRISI". The data for this paper has been obtained from newspapers applying Discursive Actor Attribution Analysis (DAAA) in order to code: Who makes whom responsible, and for what (based on which reasons)? This kind of analysis has its roots in content analysis tools from social movement studies, i.e. protest event analysis, frame analysis and political claim analysis, and analysis of responsibility attribution.

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