Triandafyllidou, A. and Fotiou,
A. (1998) 'Sustainability and Modernity in the European Union: A Frame Theory
Approach to Policy-Making'
Sociological Research Online, vol. 3, no. 1, <http://www.socresonline.org.uk/3/1/2.html>
To cite articles published in Sociological Research Online, please reference the above information and include paragraph numbers if necessary
Received: 14/4/97 Accepted: 18/2/98 Published: 31/3/98
We were pointing since three years the importance of addressing the question of equity (..) because it is absolutely clear, you cannot expect to internalise the pollution and so on and so forth, if you are not taking care of the poor. (Environmentalist, 2 emphasis added)
For me, those parts of industrial activity which can be changed to use less resources, to have less costs are the ones that are going to be implemented and those parts of environmental aspirations which are simply additional costs ... they are going to be bad for the environment as well. (Economic Actor, 2)
But if you are recycling in a logical way, you find where is the trickiest stream, then you find where is the biggest producers and you go to them and say: What are you going to do about that? That would be the sensible way. ... the biggest common ground would be the logical one which would be to incinerate with energy recovery ... from the technological and scientific and energy point of view this is a very logical conclusion. (Economic Acto, 2, emphasis added)
... what I want to know is what is the latest state of technology, what kind of projects could I finance, who could I impose on, emission standards on? ... my natural context is the expert. (DG-XI Official, 2 )
Public opinion has a big influence but it should have bigger. ... People start to understand that if they do not make noise, they do not get anything. ... You have to mobilise people." (Environmentalist, 2)
We [environmental organisations] represent ... democracy. Because public decision-makers have turned the public policy-making into the private sphere, the private interest who only care for their short-term profit and do not care about the circumstances in which they make it (ibid)
If you have an informal network based on good will of everybody, then you can accept that sometimes some things are not happening. (DG-XI Official, 3)
while stressing the main problem of the partnership approach, ie. the fact that each actor opts for their private interest instead of searching for a common standpoint:
I think one of the big problems of the EU and the European Commission is that they should try to think in less absolute terms; because everybody in every DG is only looking for the maximum of its own policies, but not for the optimum for the Commission or for the Union. (ibid)
Car recycling has a fairly competitive element to it because the public would like their car to be entirely recyclable, at least that is part of the image of the market, and individual companies try to demonstrate that their cars are more recyclable than the next one. (ibid)
We haven't got any proof of those things, no, but neither has the Commission, neither has any official, really. And that's why we have a strategic impact assessment coming up. ... We don't really need proof. I mean, [name] thinks that it is good for the region that they build the road. That's what you're up against. You don't really... even if you had proof, it wouldn't convince him, because he knows it's good for his region. (Environmentalist, 3)
... A better environment makes good business sense. Urban and rural environments which are cleaner, safer and quieter are also more attractive places to work and visit. ... (Economic Actor, 3)
...in fact, one must understand a little bit the psychology of people who work in transport (DG-VII). They see environmentalists as opponents. (DG-VII Official, 2)
... social and economic issues of this importance cannot be advanced only through private discussions and negotiations among specialists. They require a public debate, a higher level of information and unconventional ideas. (Economic actor, 1)
... As providers and major users of transport, business have a direct role to play in improving the contribution of transport to sustainable development. ... Further action is also needed ... by government and business ... to ensure that investment appraisal methods give proper weight both to environmental and strategic economic issues. (Economic actor, 3)
... very much a second best solution. The first best solution is that everybody understands about sustainability and takes it into account. (DG-VII Official, 2)
The Europeanization of infrastructure policy does pose a threat to the adequate representation of local and regional needs and interests. It is clear that while the environmental cost of new long-distance transport routes will be heaviest at the local and regional level, others, for the most part will reap the benefits of this development. (Environmentalist, 3)
... the reinforcement and improvement of functioning of the internal market in transport, free movement of people and goods; ... [and] the role of infrastructure in contributing to economic and social cohesion. (CEC, 1992b)
Sustainability is our aim that's by far the most important thing. We could even say that that should go at the expense of anything. But ... we also want people to have a nice life - that includes jobs - so a good balance between sustainability and employment. (Environmentalist, 3)
... in fact, the guidelines [for the creation of TENTs] state that one of the characteristics of the networks is that they should contribute to an improvement of the environment. ... Which could be possible, if you improve rail, and combine transport on the waterways ... but in the meantime, you build new infrastructure, which is very bad for the environment.. so there is a strange attitude towards sustainability ... it is a nice thing as long as it doesn't hinder economic growth. (ibid)
... T&E is probably, together with WWF and BirdLife, the most pragmatic of the six [environmental organisations], ... we say 'we're not against the TENTS; we're against excessive roadbuilding.' ... Greenpeace and ACD would be more extreme in their vision, saying no more roads at all, which is something I think is not always realistic. ... that was really never a point of discussion, because we were focused on lobbying environment and the main thing then was to improve the text, and that's what we did. (ibid)
2 For a review and critique of methods and approaches in discourse analysis see Van Dijk (1985).
3 Eco (1979) speaks about encyclopedias that each individual has at his/her disposal in order to make sense of his/her world. These encyclopedias are provided by culture and previous experience of the individual. Thus, argues Eco, meaning is determined by social cognition which helps people in making sense of objects, texts or situations.
4 With regard to the cultural and symbolic aspects of public problems see also Gusfield (1981).
5 The list of the names of the interviewees as well as the complete interview texts are available upon request to the authors and after permission of the funding institutions.
6 The coding scheme can be made available upon request to the authors.
BECK, U. (1992) Risk Society, Towards A New Modernity. London: Sage.
BENFORD, R. D. (1993) 'Frame Disputes within the Nuclear Disarmament Movement', Social Forces, vol. 71, no. 3, pp. 677 - 701.
CEC (1992a) Vers un Developpement Soutenable. Programme Communautaire de Politique et de l'Action pour l'Environnement et le Developpement Durable et Respectueux de l'Environnement. Bruxelles: Commission Europeenne, COM/92/00023.
CEC (1992b) White Paper on the Future of the Common Transport Policy, Commission of the European Communities: Brussels, COM(92)494final.
CONRAD, P. and KERN, R. (editors) (1994) The Sociology of Health and Illness. Critical Perspectives. New York: St. Martin's Press, fourth edition.
DIJK VAN, T. A. (editor) (1985) Handbook of discourse analysis (4 vols). New York: Academic Press.
DONATI, P. (1994) 'A Primer for Political Discourse Analysis with an Application to Sustainable Development', unpublished manuscript. European University Institute, Florence.
ECO, U. (1979) The role of the Reader. Bloomington, In: Indiana University Press.
EDER, K. (1990) 'The Cultural Code of Modernity and the Problem of Nature: A Critique of the Naturalistic Notion of Progress' in J Alexander & P Sztompka (editors) Rethinking Progress: Movements, Forces and Ideas at the End of the 20th Century. Boston: Unwin Hyman.
EDER, K. (1993) 'Communication Ecologique et Culture Environnementaliste' in D Bourg (editor) La Nature en Politique, ou L'Enjeu Philosophique de L'Ecologie. Paris: L'Harmattan and Association Descartes.
EDER, K. (1996) 'The Institutionalisation of Environmentalism: Ecological Discourse and the Second Transformation of the Public Sphere' in S. Lash, B. Szerszynski and B. Wynne (editors) Risk, Environment and Modernity. London: Sage.
FARR, Robert M. and Serge MOSCOVICI (editors) (1984) Social Representations. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
GAMSON, W. A. and LASCH, K. E. (1983) 'The Political Culture of Social Welfare Policy' in S E Spiro, E Yuchtmann-Yaar (editors) Evaluating the Welfare State. New York: Academic Press.
GAMSON, W. A. and MODIGLIANI, A. (1989) 'Media Discourse and Public Opinion on Nuclear Power', American Journal of Sociology, vol. 95, no. 1, pp. 1 - 37.
GANS, H. J. (1979) Deciding What's News: A Study of CBS Evening News, NBS Nightly News, News Week and Time. New York: Pantheon.
GIDDENS, A. (1990) The Consequences of Modernity. Cambridge: Polity Press in association with Blackwell.
GITLIN, T. (1980) The Whole World is Watching. Berkeley: University of California Press.
GOFFMAN, E. (1974) Frame Analysis: An Essay on the Organisation of Experience. New York: Harper.
GUSFIELD, J. R. (1981) The Culture of Public Problems: Drinking-Driving and the Symbolic Order. Chicago: The University of Chicago Press.
HASTIE, R. (1981) 'Schematic Principles in Human Memory' in E T Higgins, C P Herman and M P Zanna (editors) Social Cognition: The Ontario Symposium on Personality and Social Psychology. Hillsdale, NJ: Erlbaum.
HEIDER, F. (1958) The psychology of interpersonal relations. New York: Wiley & Sons.
JOHNSTON, H. (1995) 'A Methodology for Frame Analysis: From Discourse to Cognitive Schemata' in H. Johnston and B. Klandermans (editors) Social Movements and Culture. UCL Press: London
JONES, B. D. (1994) Reconceiving Decision-Making in Democratic Politics: Attention, Choice, and Public Policy. London: University of Chicago Press.
KELLEY, H. H. (1972) Causal Schemata and the Attribution Process. Morristown, NJ: General Learning Press.
LASH, S., SZERSZYNSKI, B., WYNNE, B., (editors) (1996), Risk, Environment and Modernity. London: Sage.
McLENNAN, G. (1989) Marxism, Pluralism and Beyond: Classic Debates and New Departures. Cambridge: Polity Press.
MARCUS, H. & ZAJONC, R. B. (1985) 'The Cognitive Perspective in Social Psychology' in G. Lindzey and E. Aronson (editors) The Handbook of Social Psychology. New York: Random House.
MINSKY, M. (1975) 'A Framework for Presenting Knowledge', in P A Winston (editor), The Psychology of Computer Vision. New York: McGraw-Hill.
PIAGET, J. (1954) The Construction of Reality in the Child. New York: Basic Books.
REICHER, S. and HOPKINS, N. (1996) Self-Category Constructions in Political Rhetoric: An Analysis of Thatcher's and Kinnock's Speeches Concerning the British Miners' Strike (1984-5), European Journal of Social Psychology, vol. 26, pp. 353 - 371.
SAUNDERS, P. (1995) Capitalism, A Social Audit. Buckingham: Open University Press.
SCHÖN, DA & M. REIN (1994), Frame Reflection: Toward the Resolution of Intractable Policy Controversies. New York: Basic Books.
SNOW, D. A., BURKE ROCHFORD E, WORDEN S K, BENFORD, R.D. (1986) 'Frame Alignment Process, Micromobilization and Movement Participation', American Sociological Review, vol. 51, no. 4, pp. 464 - 481.
SNOW, D. A. and BENFORD, R. D. (1988) 'Ideology, Frame Resonance and Participant Mobilisation', International Social Movement Research, vol. 1, pp. 197 - 217.
SNOW, D. A. and BENFORD, R. D. (1992) 'Master Frames and Cycles of Protest' in A D Morris and C McClurg-Mueller (editors) Frontiers in Social Movement Theory. New Haven, Cn: Yale University Press.
SPECTOR, M. and KITSUSE, J. (1987) Constructing Social Problems. New York: Aldine de Gruyter.
TARROW, S. (1992) 'Mentalities, Political Culture and Collective Action Frames: Constructing Meanings Through Action' in A D Morris and C McClurg-Mueller (editors), Frontiers in Social Movement Theory. New Haven, Cn: Yale UP.
TRIANDAFYLLIDOU, A. (1996) Green Corruption in the Italian Press: Does Political Culture Matter?, European Journal of Communication, vol. 11, no. 3, pp. 371 - 391.
TUCHMAN, G. (1978) Making news: A Study in the Construction of Reality. New York: Free Press.
WEALE, A. (1993) The New Politics of Pollution. Manchester: Manchester University Press.
WHELAN, R. (1989) Mounting Greenery. London: Institute of Economic Affairs WORLD COMMISSION on ENVIRONMENT and DEVELOPMENT (1987) Our Common Future. Oxford: Oxford University Press.