Feriesagen: En analyse af Lene Espersens personsag

Kasper Myrsø

Student thesis: Master thesis

Abstract

This master thesis is inspired by the rising amount of political scandals in Danish politics the last couple of years, all of which focuses on the personal and private lives of the Danish politicians. More precisely, the master thesis focuses on the political scandal of Lene Espersen in connection to her family vacation in Mallorca in 2010. A scandal which had major implications and consequences for the public opinion of Lene Espersen, her political party and the struggle for government power at that time. As both leader of the Conservative Party and newly appointed Minister of Foreign Affairs, Lene Espersen assumed a central position in the Danish government in 2010. A position which was compromised by the effects of her vacation scandal. Through a social constructivist approach, this master thesis examines, how Lene Espersens family vacation in Mallorca could cause such major consequences, and furthermore the effects of Lene Espersens communication during the scandal. Taking its point of departure in the media coverage of the political scandal, this master thesis seeks its answers by reconstructing the course of the scandal from the 29th of Marts, 2010 to the 9th of August same year. By combining the discourse theory of Ernesto Laclau and Chantal Mouffe, with the theory of Image Restoration Strategies by William L. Benoit, this master thesis is able to explain, how the vacation scandal of Lene Espersen represents more than just libel and slander. By focusing on how the scandal is constructed, and how Lene Espersen communicates, it is shown how the perception of Lene Espersen as Denmarks Foreign Minister changes, with her prioritizing the family vacation in Mallorca. By doing so, Lene Espersen doesn't get to participate in a meeting in Canada with other ministers of foreign affairs, and as a consequence the political scandal of Lene Espersen takes hold. A scandal which adresses her priority, and causes distrust of her ability to manage the position as Denmarks Minister of Foreign Affairs. A distrust, which only gets worse as the scandal progresses, and which in large part is due to Lene Espersens communication during the scandal. As a result, this master thesis concludes that the political scandal of Lene Espersen, in connection to her family vacation, adresses the fundamental issue of trust between politicians and the voters. An issue which is very closely linked to the actions and communication of the politician, especially when their private lives interfere with their political jobs.

EducationsMSocSc in Political Communication and Managment, (Graduate Programme) Final Thesis
LanguageDanish
Publication date2012
Number of pages83