Changing climate, changing frames; the role of frame interactions in Dutch water safety policy

M.J. Vink, D. Boezeman, A. Dewulf, C.J.A.M. Termeer

Research output: Contribution to conferenceConference paperAcademicpeer-review

Abstract

Both climate change and water safety are textbook examples of wicked problems. Due to the ambiguous knowledge bases and contested values characterising these problems, frame differences among stakeholders and participants often result in severe political debate and not seldom evolve into controversies at and between different levels of governance, domains and scientific disciplines. An interesting exception appears to be the Dutch Second Delta Committee. In 2008 the committee presented twelve recommendations to the Dutch government on how to secure the Netherlands for severe flooding due to climate change. Despite the wicked nature of both climate change and water safety and the expensiveness of the recommended measures the committee succeeded surprisingly well in getting the new water management frame on the policy agenda without serious opposition or debate. In this paper we try to show how the dominant frame concerning water-safety issues in the Netherlands was influenced by the emerging climate change frame in the international media, policy and politics. By focussing on three different critical discourse moments we indicate how the existing Dutch water safety frame absorbed the climate change frame evolving into a new perspective on water safety which was successfully employed by the Second Delta Committee in tackling a classical wicked problem. Subsequently we show that with the recent fall of the climate change issue, this specific water safety frame evolved into a perspective disregarding climate change but remaining a wider timeframe indicating more political room to manoeuvre in times of budget cuts and increasing climate scepticism.
Original languageEnglish
Pages1-18
Publication statusPublished - 2011
Event6th International Conference in Interpretive Policy Analysis: Discursive Spaces. Politics, Practices and Power, Cardiff, United Kingdom -
Duration: 23 Jun 201125 Jun 2011

Conference

Conference6th International Conference in Interpretive Policy Analysis: Discursive Spaces. Politics, Practices and Power, Cardiff, United Kingdom
Period23/06/1125/06/11

Keywords

  • climatic change
  • flood control
  • water policy
  • stakeholders
  • governance

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    Vink, M. J., Boezeman, D., Dewulf, A., & Termeer, C. J. A. M. (2011). Changing climate, changing frames; the role of frame interactions in Dutch water safety policy. 1-18. Paper presented at 6th International Conference in Interpretive Policy Analysis: Discursive Spaces. Politics, Practices and Power, Cardiff, United Kingdom, . https://edepot.wur.nl/196615