Frame Analysis

Problem

Many of the Chinese government's documents and some of Chinese leaders' speechs are easily accessible to researchers. However, due to the vague jargon the Chinese government uses to describe its work, particularly in the realm of foreign policy, one cannot simply read China's offical statements to grasp what it prioritizes and what its intentions are.

My approach

I adapted frame analysis for the study of (China's foreign policy statements. The highly systematic, qualitative technique relies on manual coding supported by software. It occupies a middle ground between text-as-data approaches and interpretive approches. Conceptually, this approach to frame analysis builds on Entman's frame functions.

Applications

This new approach can be used to:

  • trace how China's national interest is expressed in statements about China's foreign policy

  • uncover shifts in the Chinese government's political priorities

  • systematically compare how the national interest is constructed in different states

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