Cristin-resultat-ID: 1129591
Sist endret: 24. april 2014, 12:14
Resultat
Rapport
2014

It happened here: The role of coordinative and communicative discourses in justifying the Norwegian pension reform

Bidragsytere:
  • Rune Ervik og
  • Tord Skogedal Lindén

Utgiver/serie

Utgiver

Uni Research Rokkan Centre

Om resultatet

Rapport
Publiseringsår: 2014
Antall sider: 46

Beskrivelse Beskrivelse

Tittel

It happened here: The role of coordinative and communicative discourses in justifying the Norwegian pension reform

Sammendrag

Reasoning from the retrenchment literature (e.g. Pierson 2001) Norway should be an unlikely candidate for a major structural pension reform, because of its unique economic situation, with a steadily growing petroleum fund and substantial streams of tax revenues flowing into the public coffers. Within this context politicians should have a hard time convincing the electorate and strong interest groups such as unions of the need to reform. Still it happened here, and reform justifications met with surprisingly little and short lasting opposition. This working paper asks how reform was possible in this context, and argues that two images of justification and presentation in the Norwegian pension reform process partly explain how reform resistance was overcome. We discuss how reform advocates in different phases of the pension reform relied on two contrasting images: the first one applied to create an understanding of the need to reform, a sort of crisis scenario neatly cached in the «shark jaw» image. The shark jaw arises in a graphic illustration when projected future petroleum revenues and pension expenses are displayed simultaneously. The lines for the two indicators go in opposite directions, forming a jaw. The other image consisted in framing the actual reform as an improvement; this is contained in the «elevator» image. This is a policy story of progress, in terms of how the reform lets you enter an elevator that brings you upwards, starkly contrasting and contradicting the substance of retrenchment, in which benefits and replacement levels are reduced. The point of the elevator metaphor is that future pensions will secure a high standard of living even though public pensions (the elevator) do not bring you to the top floor. We argue that the shark jaw summarises and was important in a coordinative discourse at the elite level/directed towards the elite, whereas the elevator metaphor catches the essence of the arguments towards the wider population. The images of the shark jaw and the elevator are used here as pointers and headings for broader policy stories, containing other important elements and indicators as will be revealed. Our paper is informed by the discursive‐institutionalism perspective of Schmidt (2000, 2008, 2011) and her distinction between coordinative and communicative discourses. Empirically, we rely on a comprehensive material including document analysis, parliamentary debates, interviews with key actors in the reform process, media searches and opinion surveys.

Bidragsytere

Rune Ervik

  • Tilknyttet:
    Forfatter
    ved NORCE Samfunn ved NORCE Norwegian Research Centre AS

Tord Skogedal Linden

Bidragsyterens navn vises på dette resultatet som Tord Skogedal Lindén
  • Tilknyttet:
    Forfatter
    ved NORCE Samfunn ved NORCE Norwegian Research Centre AS
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