96 research outputs found

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

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    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

    The value of theoretical multiplicity for steering transitions towards sustainability

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    Transition management, as a theory of directing structural societal changes towards sustainable system innovations, has become a major topic in scientific research over the last years. In this paper we focus on the question how transitions towards sustainability can be steered, governed or managed, in particular by governmental actors. We suggest an approach of theoretical multiplicity, arguing that multiple theories will be needed simultaneously for dealing with the complex societal sustainability issues. Therefore, we address the steering question by theoretically comparing transition management theory to a number of related theories on societal change and intervention, such as multi-actor collaboration, network governance, configuration management, policy agenda setting, and adaptive management. We conclude that these related theories put the managerial assumptions of transition management into perspective, by adding other steering roles and leadership mechanisms to the picture. Finally we argue that new modes of steering inevitable have consequences for the actual governance institutions. New ways of governing change ask for change within governance systems itself and vice versa. Our argument for theoretical multiplicity implicates the development of multiple, potentially conflicting, governance capacitie

    Cultivating trust : how do public policies become trusted

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    Trust research has become vitally important in the study of public administration. Many scholars emphasize the importance of trust for society, because it may improve co-operation. The relation between trust and policy making, however, has not yet been discussed very thoroughly. This is remarkable because the formulation of public policies can both increase and decrease trust. A new policy could satisfy one group of citizens while at the same time antagonizing another group. Policies can give hope, but they might also result in frustration; policies can satisfy expectations, but they can also confirm prior cynicism. In other words, administrators and politicians may both establish and lose trust while formulating and adjusting policies. The aim in this study is to understand how these competing processes play out through the study of the history of agricultural policy making in the Netherlands.LEI Universiteit LeidenThe politics and administration of institutional change - ou

    Beleving en werking

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    Strategies for Improving Semi-automated Topic Classification of Media and Parliamentary documents

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    Since 1995 the techniques and capacities to store new electronic data and to make it available to many persons have become a common good. As of then, different organizations, such as research institutes, universities, libraries, and private companies (Google) started to scan older documents and make them electronically available as well. This has generated a lot of new research opportunities for all kinds of academic disciplines. The use of software to analyze large datasets has become an important part of doing research in the social sciences. Most academics rely on human coded datasets, both in qualitative and quantitative research. However, with the increasing amount of datasets and the complexity of the questions scholars pose to the datasets, the quest for more efficient and effective methods is now on the agenda. One of the most common techniques of content analysis is the Boolean key-word search method. To find certain topics in a dataset, the researcher creates first a list of keywords, added with certain parameters (AND, OR etc.). All keys are usually grouped in families and the entire list of keys and groups is called the ontology. Then the keywords are searched in the dataset, retrieving all documents containing the specified keywords. The online newspaper dataset, LexisNexis, provides the user with such a Boolean search method. However, the Boolean key-word search is not always satisfying in terms of reliability and validity. For that reason social scientists rely on hand-coding. Two projects that do so are the congressional bills project (www.congressionalbills.org ) and the policy agenda-setting project (see www.policyagendas.org ). They developed a topic code book and coded various different sources, such as, the state of the union speeches, bills, newspaper articles etcetera. The continuous improving automated coding techniques, and the increasing number of agenda setting projects (in especially European countries), however, has made the use of automated coding software a feasible option and also a necessity

    Zorgvuldig vertrouwen!

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    Politieke besluitvorming over intensieve veehouderij is regelmatig onderwerp van heftige discussies. Aan de orde zijn vele en onderling conflicterende waarden, opvattingen en feiten. Dit essay analyseert een besluitvormingsproces over de vestiging van een megastal. Tijdens dit proces bleken de verschillende belevingswerelden van boeren, burgers, politici en wetenschappers te botsen
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