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Framing corruption: how language affects norms

Crime, Law and Social Change

Published online on



This study deals with the fairly unexplored relationship between political decision-making and political framing. The intention is to figure out if there is a connection between the way political actors frame corruption and their commitment to the legislative fight against corruption in Austria. Thus, two research questions are focused: Are corruption-related framing practices of political actors of the Austrian National Council predominantly structural or personal? Do these framing strategies affect political actor’s willingness to legislatively combat corruption? Therefore the methodological approach is based on a manual dimension-reduced coding process and a further framing analysis of nine years (from 2007 to 2015) of political communication referring to corruption in the Austrian National Council. The framing analysis shows that the perception of corruption as an individual misconduct and a weakness of character of single and collective actors (parties) has significant impacts on anti-corruption policies and leads to an insufficient implementation of anti-corruption measures as well as the obstruction of meaningful policy reforms.