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Reputational pragmatism at the European Central Bank: preserving reputation(s) amidst widening climate interventions

Central banks have expanded their roles, integrating new responsibilities due to climate change. Adriana Cerdeira and Dovile Rimkute explore how these dynamics influence banks' behaviour, focusing on preserving existing reputations, fostering new ones, or achieving a compatible integration of both.

Adriana Cerdeira, Dovile Rimkute
28 May 2024
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Amidst climate change, central banks’ roles have broadened, encompassing new responsibilities beyond traditional ones through widening interventions. To obtain a better understanding of these dynamics, the authors draw on bureaucratic reputation theory to examine the climate engagement of the European Central Bank (ECB). Utilising a three-fold frame analysis, they examine the ECB’s communication about its greening agenda, complemented by interview data from stakeholders. Their analysis indicates that the reputation management strategy of the ECB, amidst widening interventions, encompasses the simultaneous presence of three frames: prudence, promotion, and strategic ambiguity. Leveraging the three frames, the ECB engages in reputational pragmatism to navigate diverse audience expectations, conflicting priorities, and mitigate potential reputational risks.

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