Volltext: Liechtenstein and the German tax affair:

The increasing importance and meanwhile omnipotence of the international media, the 
emergence of more and more pressing transnational problems that cannot be solved on one's 
own, and the increasing significance of "soft power" as an instrument to achieve foreign 
policy goals are enhancing the importance of public diplomacy. 
At this same time, this also increases the importance of the media communication capacity 
and work of diplomats (see also Chapter 7.3) and interest groups. The information revolution 
at the end of the 20" century makes it possible for anyone to receive information on events in 
other countries just as quickly or even more quickly than Governments. The international 
media are becoming increasingly assertive, and it is therefore not surprising that the 
information available to a huge audience has made public opinion an increasingly important 
factor in international relations. Naturally, diplomats in the past already paid attention to 
normal citizens in their receiving countries and tried to influence their opinion in a positive 
way. But the democratization of access to information has made these "normal citizens" not 
only independent observers, but also active participants in international politics. PD thus has 
another strong form of leverage in the more or less strongly organized interest groups and 
especially in the active audience. Globalization and the communication revolution together 
have strengthened global networks across national borders and given rise to a much more 
active civil society. 
The case "Liechtenstein and the German tax affair", however, intends to use media reporting 
in the critical time period to show how national and political interests were asserted through 
issues management and agenda setting via the international and especially German media. 
While this was a political debate, it was primarily conducted via the media. 
4 Methodology 
This master's thesis is based on an overview and document analysis of the reporting in the 
German media, primarily news agencies and print media, on the case "Liechtenstein and the 
German tax affairs", which was triggered by the "Zumwinkel case" on 14 February 2008. On 
the basis of clippings in the time period from 1 January to 31 March 2008, a media resonance 
analysis was performed. The media resonance analysis is an instrument for assessing PR work 
in which media reports are evaluated qualitatively and quantitatively. 
Print media are given priority here, since they have a more sustained effect than television, 
which may have an intense impact for a short period, but does not have as sustained traction 
in the minds of media consumers (see Kepplinger 1998). 
Since the starting point of the crisis was in Germany and since Germany had in preceding 
years enjoyed the number 1 priority in the communication work of the Principality of 
Liechtenstein — both on the part of the Government and also on the part of various business 
associations and culture — it made sense to focus primarily, albeit not exclusively, on 
reporting in the German media. 


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