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Professors, papers and parliaments: How the media affects politicians’ references to research
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Government.
2015 (English)Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (Two Years)), 20 credits / 30 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

Knowledge matters in politics and a wide range of factors influence politicians’ use of research. One element that has been identified as relevant is the media. However, this has mainly been a theoretical conclusion, in want of empirical underpinning. In this thesis the topic is examined intensively through a quasi-experimental comparison and a mechanism tracing. The cases in focus are the Swedish earned income tax credit and surplus goal, and the concrete hypotheses concern whether the intensity and cohesion of the media coverage of research influence politicians' references to knowledge in debates.

The results of the comparison suggest that there is a correlation between the intensity of the media coverage and the use of references in debates, whereas it is harder to say anything about the cohesion. Furthermore, a series of mechanisms explaining the relationship in detail are proposed. Among these is one indicating that vote maximi-sation encourages alignment of knowledge use with the media coverage, and another illuminating the practice of cherry-picking research results that are mentioned in the press. The conclusions thus not only tell us something about how the media influences knowledge use, but also advance the debate on symbolic knowledge use among politicians.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2015. , 58 p.
Keyword [en]
knowledge use, media, earned income tax credit, surplus goal, Sweden, mechanisms
National Category
Political Science (excluding Public Administration Studies and Globalization Studies)
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-264945OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-264945DiVA: diva2:861980
2015-10-08, Svedeliussalen, Gamla torget 6, Uppsala, 09:15 (English)
Available from: 2015-10-20 Created: 2015-10-19 Last updated: 2015-10-20Bibliographically approved

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