Comparing German and British political culture through values : and analysis of the values of health care reform
This research sets out to compare the values in British and German political discourse, especially the discourse of social policy, and to analyse their relationship to political culture through an analysis of the values of health care reform. The work proceeds from the hypothesis that the known differences in political culture between the two countries will be reflected in the values of political discourse, and takes a comparison of two major recent legislative debates on health care reform as a case study. The starting point in the first chapter is a brief comparative survey of the post-war political cultures of the two countries, including a brief account of the historical background to their development and an overview of explanatory theoretical models. From this are developed the expected contrasts in values in accordance with the hypothesis. The second chapter explains the basis for selecting the corpus texts and the contextual information which needs to be recorded to make a comparative analysis, including the context and content of the reform proposals which comprise the case study. It examines any contextual factors which may need to be taken into account in the analysis. The third and fourth chapters explain the analytical method, which is centred on the use of definition-based taxonomies of value items and value appeal methods to identify, on a sen-tence-by-sentence basis, the value items in the corpus texts and the methods used to make appeals to those value items. The third chapter is concerned with the classification and analysis of values, the fourth with the classification and analysis of value appeal methods. The fifth chapter will present and explain the results of the analysis, and the sixth will summarize the conclusions and make suggestions for further research.