Law and Public Policy
Session: D14(b) - Workshop - Environmental Politics: Environmental Framing and Discourse I
Date: Jun 1, 2017 | Time: 01:30pm to 03:00pm | Location: VIC-608 (Victoria Building)| iOS / Outlook
Chair/Président: Malcolm Campbell-Verduyn (Balsillie School of International Affairs)
Discussant/Commentatrice: Stephanie Tombari (University of Guelph)
Participants & Authors/Auteurs: David Blair
(Huron University College) : Framing Contests in Canadian Climate Policy: The Issue of International CompetitivenessAbstract:
A report published by the OECD has concluded that concerns about the potential impact of climate policies on international competitiveness are perhaps the most significant barrier to ambitious policies in OECD countries. These concerns are reflective of a 'trade-off' frame of the relationship between climate policy and international competitiveness, in which stringent climate mitigation policies are represented as undermining the ability of firms to compete in a global market as well as the ability of jurisdictions adopting such policies to attract investment. This frame has been challenged by a 'synergy' frame in which climate policies are depicted as actually enhancing the international competitiveness of businesses and attracting investment. Both of these frames have been invoked at various times by successive federal governments in Canada, particularly over the past fifteen years. While the trade-off frame has been dominant in the communicative discourse of both Liberal and Conservative federal governments over most of this period, the synergy frame has gradually grown in prominence. This paper draws on the advocacy coalition framework (ACF) and discursive institutionalism in order to better understand how framing contestation among political actors in Canada has shaped government framing of the relationship between climate policy and international competitiveness. In doing so, the paper also considers whether and to what extent the prospects for overcoming an important barrier to the adoption of more ambitious climate policies may be improved.
Beth Jean Evans
(University of Toronto) : REDD as Bane, REDD as Boon: The Role of Strategic Interpretation and Framing in Making and BreakingAbstract:
REDD is a multilateral, incentive-based mechanism through which developed states finance avoided deforestation activities in developing states in exchange for tradable carbon emission reduction credits. Developing states’ responses to REDD range from strong opposition to enthusiastic support, even amongst states with similar incentive structures. This suggests a disjuncture between the theory of incentives and the complex range of domestic factors impacting whether and how states choose to understand and participate in international policies such as REDD. Extant policy diffusion and adoption literature suggests that an international policy idea or norm is likely to be adopted within a state if it can be made to ‘fit’ or ‘match’ domestic ideas and interests. While this literature largely focuses on the role of transnational actors’ interpretation and framing of international policies to establish this ‘fit’ with recipient states’ ideas and institutions (thus encouraging policy diffusion), my research suggests that actors in recipient states are not passive transmitters of internationally framed policies, but rather play an important role in interpreting and framing their meaning-in-use, and therefore their risks and opportunities. Drawing on fieldwork conducted in Bolivia and Peru in 2015, this comparative analysis suggests that local agents engage in strategic acts of policy interpretation and manipulation in pursuit of political agendas that are ancillary, and sometimes antithetical, to international policy objectives, resulting in unanticipated and path-dependent policy outcomes.
Hamish Van der ven
(Yale University ) : Does Non-State Market-Driven Governance Create Unintended Land Use Impacts? Lessons from SustainableAbstract:
Non-state market-driven (NSMD) governance systems address some of the planet’s most pressing environmental challenges. Existing research on these systems has largely focused on their emergence, development, credibility, and the effects of fragmentation and intra-sector competition. The purpose of this paper is to assess the potential unintended impacts of NSMD systems on land use. This issue has come to the fore in recent years through charges that NSMD systems inadvertently incentivize deforestation by raising the price of plantation crops or by shifting production towards less-regulated and environmentally-damaging crops. In this paper, we ask: what is the effect of NSMD systems on land use in general? We address this question through a comparative analysis of sustainable soy certification in Brazil, palm oil in Indonesia, and cocoa in Côte d’Ivoire. While different, all of these countries are heavily dependent on the agricultural commodity under analysis and have relatively high levels of NSMD certification. We use these different cases to inductively build a number of hypotheses on how NSMD systems interact and impact land use change. We expect to draw theoretical and practical insights for research on indirect land use change and scholarship on impacts in transnational sustainability governance.
Panel: How environmental issues are framed and discussed is an important line of inquiry for political scientists, across issue areas. This panel invites papers on media analysis, discourse analysis, perception, and framing. The focus of these papers is open, with papers anticipated to address multiple theoretical and empirical aspects of framing and discourse, including (but not limited to): strategies of framing; the effects of competing frames; and methodologies for discursive and content analysis.