“Framing Environmental Problems” by Magalie Bourblanc

“Framing Environmental Problems: Problem Entrepreneurs and the Issue of Water Pollution from Agriculture in Brittany, 1970–2005” by GovInn researcher Magalie Bourblanc was included in the special selection that the Journal of Environmental Policy & Planning on the occasion of the The 9th International Conference on Interpretive Policy Analysis.
The papers included in the selection are described as “excellent examples of the deployment of interpretive and critical approaches in the field of environmental policy and planning”.

Abstract: The claim that public problems are constructs is now widely recognized as justified and was first established in social problem theory. The high instability of problem definition activities in the case of water pollution coming from agriculture in Brittany demonstrates this particularly well. The objective of this article is to describe ways by which an environmental movement organization (EMO) conceives its activities of public problem construction. Inspired by social movement theory, but aiming at overcoming its weaknesses, the paper seeks to highlight the influence of EMO endogenous meaning production in problem construction processes, a dimension often overlooked even by framing theory. In a bid to support that claim, the paper shows the influence of the affective dimension over the strategic one within the problematization process. Forging a conceptual distinction characterized by a perceived problem and strategic definitions, the paper underlines the fundamental interrelated nature of these two components and consequently emphasizes the reciprocal dependence of the perceived problem over the strategic (either material or cognitive) definitions. Finally, the paper evokes the benefit and impact of this conceptual distinction on the policy-making process. Read the full paper here