Economic growth as a policy objective remains consensual, but not unchallenged. The enquiry committee set up during the German Bundestag’s 17th electoral period has reproduced some of the arguments against said objective. Via content analysis of 120 official documents from the 18th electoral period, however, we show that this apparent learning process has left no traces at all. Growth discourse is predominantly governmental, weirdly marginal (ornamental) and devoid of argumentative reasoning (dogmatic). These results cannot be sufficiently explained by communicative strategies or positions, instead they point to the effect of a historically consolidated discourse. A resulting question is whether other fundamental, yet not-current political issues might be marginalized within parliament, in a similar manner. Furthermore, the general ratio between means and objectives is of methodological interest for political discourse analysis.
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Rivera, M., & Zucher, F. (2019). Dogma statt Debatte. Wirtschaftswachstum im parlamentarischen Diskurs. Politische Vierteljahresschrift, 60(1), 71-93. doi:10.1007/s11615-018-0107-7.
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- Narratives and Images of Sustainability