Political attention to environmental issues: Analyzing policy punctuations in the Netherlands

G.E. Breeman, A. Timmermans

Research output: Contribution to conferenceConference paperAcademicpeer-review

Abstract

One of the most dramatized features in Al Gore's movie The Inconvenient Truth is the effects of a rising sea-level in the Netherlands. The film is an example of how the mobilization of bias in the Netherlands resulted in sudden high levels of attention for climate change problems. We analyze agenda setting on Dutch environmental policy, using various policy issue datasets about parliamentary activities, media, and expert organizations and focusing on the interrelations between these policy venues. All datasets are coded by the same topic codebook. The findings show that interest in environmental issues is largely determined by the state of the economy, unexpected incidents, and the competition for attention with other issues in the political arena. We show that political interest in environmental issues has initially been flagging, since the environment was mostly seen as a European topic, and Europe has not been popular since the referendum on a European Constitution. However, once the climate change problem was translated to a national problem, popular attention increased enormously. We conclude that climate change framed as a European problem does not increase attention, nationalization of the problem does.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 2009
Event67th Annual National Conference Midwest Political Science Association, Chicago, USA -
Duration: 2 Apr 20095 Apr 2009

Conference

Conference67th Annual National Conference Midwest Political Science Association, Chicago, USA
Period2/04/095/04/09

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