Saturday, November 10, 2012

Changing climate, changing frames

One of the PhD researchers I'm working with, Martijn Vink, has just published a paper in Environmental Science and Policy. The paper is about water policy frames in the context of a rise and fall of attention to climate change on the public agenda in the Netherlands. A comparison is made between the framing of water policy and climate change in the Room for the River programme, the Delta Commission and the Delta Programme.

On the right a regularly updated overview of climate change coverage in newspapers worldwide by Maxwell Boykoff, where the peak around the combination of Climategate and the Copenhagen summit is also clearly visible, as is the reduced media coverage afterwards.

This is the abstract:
Water management and particularly flood defense have a long history of collective action in low-lying countries like the Netherlands. The uncertain but potentially severe impacts of the recent climate change issue (e.g. sea level rise, extreme river discharges, salinisation) amplify the wicked and controversial character of flood safety policy issues. Policy proposals in this area generally involve drastic infrastructural works and long-term investments. They face the difficult challenge of framing problems and solutions in a publicly acceptable manner in ever changing circumstances. In this paper, we analyse and compare (1) how three key policy proposals publicly frame the flood safety issue, (2) the knowledge referred to in the framing and (3) how these frames are rhetorically connected or disconnected as statements in a long- term conversation. We find that (1) framings of policy proposals differ in the way they depict the importance of climate change, the relevant timeframe and the appropriate governance mode; (2) knowledge is selectively mobilised to underpin the different frames and (3) the frames about these proposals position themselves against the background of the previous proposals through rhetorical connections and disconnections. Finally, we discuss how this analysis hints at the importance of processes of powering and puzzling that lead to particular framings towards the public at different historical junctures.

Vink, M. J., Boezeman, D., Dewulf, A., & Termeer, C. J. a. M. (2012). Changing climate, changing frames. Environmental Science & Policy, 1–12.

The paper can be downloaded here.

No comments:

Post a Comment