Anna Sophie Elektra Zech
GEM-DIAMOND doctoral fellow
ESR 2 – The capitalism-democracy nexus and struggles over European governance
Fascinated by the political economy of monetary policy, I am curious to research the ECB's engagement with public discourse across Eurozone member states. #textasdata
Watching the Watchers
On the Mediation of European Central Bank Communication with Member State Publics
- Antoine Vauchez
- Amandine Crespy
Among the ECB’s several publics (EU institutions, governments, financial markets), its interaction with the ‘general’ public across member states remains poorly understood in spite of significant dissensus. Extant political science research has largely focused on analysing ECB-owned communications output, neglecting that most learn about the ECB via intermediaries, notably expert opinions in the press. It remains unclear how these mediators engage with the ECB’s discourse, and vice versa, in light of diverse national veto points. Researching these actors can thus facilitate an improved understanding of the ECB’s interaction with its publics, moving beyond a top-down approach that is focused on ECB output, and elucidate how the need for a unified monetary policy discourse on the one and diverse national audiences, on the other hand, is negotiated in practice.
Empirically, the project proposes to study the so-called ECB Watchers and their annual conference at the IMFS specifically as one of the mediators of this discourse. Discourse has long played a fundamental role in monetary policy, notably in the case of the ECB given its vague mandate, and is a reliable data source as “talk is not cheap”. To reflect the dynamic interaction of public narratives and institutional evolution, the methodological framework of discursive institutionalism is adopted (Schmidt, 2008). Following an initial bio/prosopographic survey of its participants for characterisation purposes, the project will thus, in a second step, employ quantitative text analysis of media coverage that stakeholders are involved in, ECB communication in the form of press releases etc. and interviews with watchers as well as ECB personnel. In an effort to operationalise public responses to ECB communication and its mediation, additional data sources such as public and media enquiries received by the ECB are being explored.
The findings of this project can shed new light on the state of eurozone governance and contribute to a broader literature on “emergency politics” that often feature prominent intervention by technocratic and/or executive actors (White, 2015).
Personal Research Bibliography (So Far)
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Braun, B., Gabor, D. & Hübner, M. (2018) Governing through financial markets: Towards a critical political economy of Capital Markets Union. Competition & Change, 22 (2), 101-116.
Braun, B. (2020) Central Banking and the Infrastructural Power of Finance: The Case of ECB Support for Repo and Securitization Markets, Socio-Economic Review, 18, 395–418.
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Schmidt, V. A. (2008) Discursive Institutionalism: The Explanatory Power of Ideas and Discourse, Annual Review of Political Science, 11, 303-26.
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Schmidt, V. A. (2016) Reinterpreting the rules ‘by stealth’ in times of crisis: A discursive institutionalist analysis of the European Central Bank and the European Commission, West European Politics, 39 (5), 1032-1052.
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van ’t Klooster, J. (2020) ‘The Ethics of Delegating Monetary Policy’, The Journal of Politics, 82, 587–599.
van ’t Klooster, J. (2021) Technocratic Keynesianism: A Paradigm Shift without Legislative Change, New Political Economy, 27 (5), 771-787.
van ’t Klooster, J. (2022) The politics of the ECB’s market-based approach to government debt. Socio-Economic Review, https://doi.org/10.1093/ser/mwac014.
White, J. (2015) Emergency Europe, Political Studies, 63 (2), 300-318.
Yiangou, J. O’keeffe, M. & Glöckler, G. (2013) ‘Tough Love’: How the ECB’s Monetary Financing Prohibition Pushes Deeper Euro Area Integration, Journal of European Integration, 35 (3), 223-237.
Anna holds an MA (Hons) in Business/Management and Italian from the University of Glasgow, a Graduate Diploma in International Relations from the University of London, an MA in European Affairs with a specialisation in Economics and Public Policy from Sciences Po Paris and an MSc in Political Economy of Europe from the London School of Economics and Political Science.
From Student to Teacher
30 July 2023
Becoming a scholar is just as much about producing research as it is about sharing it, not least with students.
The GEM-DIAMOND’s First Policy AGORA Forum and Citizen Innovation Lab
21 February 2023
A Primer on Policy Work, Local Activism and the Role of Academia in Engaging Dissensus
Birth of the GEM-DIAMOND Fellowship of the Ph.D.
1 October 2022
16 MSCA Fellows successfully selected following a gruelling selection process.