Institutionaalisten faktojen tuotanto talouspuheessa
Avainsanat:asiantuntijuus, institutionaalinen muutos, institutionaaliset faktat, taloudellistaminen, talouspolitiikka
The production of institutional facts in economic discourse
Economic discourses are dominated by stylized and other facts concerning the institutional economic order, but there is still very little knowledge on how facts are formed in economic discourse, how they serve as a means for rendering issues ‘economic’, and how they legitimize, renew and change institutions. The article introduces a theoretical model for studying the relationships between the presentation of institutional facts, institutional change and processes of economization. The model is based on John R. Searle’s theory of speech acts, on the so-called discursive institutionalism in political science and the study of institutional entrepreneurship as a political activity. The model is then applied in a limited scope to study the construction of institutional facts concerning public sector economies in three Finnish government and consultant reports. The key empirical findings are that the most common institutional facts are produced either by generalizing individual facts to various institutionalized activities or by combining one fact to various meanings. The facts are used to legitimize various policies including the cuts in public spending, strengthening of the power of experts, increasing budgetary stability, lengthening of working careers and the increase in public sector productivity.