Monetarism and the Masses:Denmark and Economic Integration in Europe
AbstractThe purpose of the article is to find out more about the informal rules that constrain the protagonists in a public discursive field. What are the rules? Under what conditions do they change? What consequences do they have for the way in which political elites frame their messages? With regard to the first question, we focus on the Danish Economic Monetary Union (EMU) referendum and identify rules at two different levels of analysis: causal ideas at the level of elites and deep-rooted cultural values at the level of the masses. In answering the second question about ideational change, we conclude that elite ideas pertaining to macro-economic policy-making are most likely to change in short periods that are generally perceived to be crisis situations. At the level of the masses, myths about `us' and `them' are more deeply institutionalized and more difficult to change. Finally, concerning the consequences that political elites can draw from the existence of constraining and enabling rules of the game on various levels, we conclude that, when they frame their purposes and visions, elites must take account of all these rules at the same time, even if they seem mutually contradictory. This last message may prove to be useful in the upcoming EMU referenda in Denmark, the United Kingdom and Sweden.