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Identifying frames: A comparison of research methods

Journal article
Authors Frida Boräng
Rainer Eising
Heike Klüver
Christine Mahoney
Daniel Naurin
Daniel Rasch
Patrycja Rozbicka
Published in Interest Groups and Advocacy
Volume 3
Issue 2
Pages 188-201
ISSN 2047-7414
Publication year 2014
Published at Centre for European Research (CERGU)
Department of Political Science
Pages 188-201
Language en
Keywords European Union; framing; interest groups; interviews; text analysis; Intereuro
Subject categories Political Science


Framing plays an important role in public policy. Interest groups strategically highlight some aspects of a policy proposal while downplaying others in order to steer the policy debate in a favorable direction. Despite the importance of framing, we still know relatively little about the framing strategies of interest groups due to methodological difficulties that have prevented scholars from systematically studying interest group framing across a large number of interest groups and multiple policy debates. This article therefore provides an overview of three novel research methods that allow researchers to systematically measure interest group frames. More specifically, this article introduces a word-based quantitative text analysis technique, a manual, computer-assisted content analysis approach and face-to-face interviews designed to systematically identify interest group frames. The results generated by all three techniques are compared on the basis of a case study of interest group framing in an environmental policy debate in the European Union.

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