Who is too big to fail? Exploring discourses of crisis management

Panel organisert von Amelie Kutter auf der 6. Interpretive Policy Analysis conference, Universität Cardiff, 23.-25. Juni 2011.

Abstract: The current financial and economic crisis is a moment of severe disorientation in policy-making, calling both for ad hoc political action and longer-term reorientation. Yet, the government interventions, which were undertaken to stabilise the financial market and to adjust public spending, seem to perpetuate established policy-solutions and to sharpen the tendencies of a finance-dominated economy. How does interpretative policy analysis help us to understand that development? The panel seeks to shed light on the discursive moments of the current financial and economic crisis, including how discourses prepared the ground for its emergence, the role that they have played in interpreting the crisis and guiding crisis-management choices, and what lessons have been drawn during the crisis and, where appropriate, in hindsight. The objective of the panel is to open the space and take some steps towards a cultural political economy of crisis management.

The panel encourages proposals for papers that

  • explore empirically how the crisis was constructed in public, political, expert, or institutional discourse when causes, implications, and problem-solutions were pondered;
  • focus e.g. on discourses normalising the crisis and rendering it manageable, on the historical parallels employed, or recurrent strands of justification and scapegoating;
  • apply a consistent and innovative discourse-analytical and interpretative-hermeneutic methodology which helps to map or explain policy-relevant patterns in discourses of crisis management;
  • clarify how the current crisis and related policy-making can be explored and understood from a critical interpretative research tradition.