IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Conceptualizing Path Dependence through Discourse Analysis: The Case of Seasonal Farm workers in Germany


  • Hess, Sebastian
  • Kleinschmit, Daniela
  • Theuvsen, Ludwig
  • von Cramon-Taubadel, Stephan
  • Zschache, Ulrike


This article introduces discourse analysis as a theoretical concept and an empirical methodology that may enable the endogenization of path creation and path breaking changes in conventional models of political path dependencies. Economic criteria such as rents created by a policy do not always provide a comprehensive explanation for path dependent political decisions. Discourse theory implies that specific interpretative schemata and narratives, such as story lines in the mass media, heavily influence the political discourse. Discourses themselves exercise a constitutive power that constrains decision-making processes and, thus, influence the ensuing policy creation path. Hence, discourses must be taken into account when political path creation is analysed. In this paper we trace over time individual story lines that represent important elements of the discourse underlying the restriction of seasonal farm workers from central and eastern European countries in Germany. We illustrate how dominant speakers and their story lines have been and currently are interacting to shape this policy.

Suggested Citation

  • Hess, Sebastian & Kleinschmit, Daniela & Theuvsen, Ludwig & von Cramon-Taubadel, Stephan & Zschache, Ulrike, 2008. "Conceptualizing Path Dependence through Discourse Analysis: The Case of Seasonal Farm workers in Germany," 2008 International Congress, August 26-29, 2008, Ghent, Belgium 44133, European Association of Agricultural Economists.
  • Handle: RePEc:ags:eaae08:44133

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: no

    References listed on IDEAS

    1. repec:cup:apsrev:v:94:y:2000:i:02:p:251-267_22 is not listed on IDEAS
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)


    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.

    Cited by:

    1. Zschache, Ulrike & Cramon-Taubadel, Stephan von & Theuvsen, Ludwig, 2009. "Die öffentliche Auseinandersetzung über Bioenergie in den Massenmedien: diskursanalytische Grundlagen und erste Ergebnisse," DARE Discussion Papers 0906, Georg-August University of Göttingen, Department of Agricultural Economics and Rural Development (DARE).

    More about this item


    Agricultural and Food Policy; Labor and Human Capital;

    NEP fields

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:


    Access and download statistics


    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:ags:eaae08:44133. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (AgEcon Search). General contact details of provider: .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.