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Chapter 3. Policy, policy communication and discursive shifts

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Abstract

This chapter presents a closely related discursive and generic analysis of European Union policy on climate change. The analysis focuses on the years 2007–2011 when the EU climate change policy accelerated and underwent several significant shifts. At the discursive level, the analysis of the said shifts is framed by such concepts as “discursive change” and “discursive shifts” which help looking for both global/transnational frames and local, actor-specific appropriations/responses to social, political and economic transformations. At the level of genre analysis, the chapter scrutinizes the EU climate-change policy dynamics by examining discrepancies within/between the well-established field of “policy” and the relatively new field of “policy communication”. As the analysis shows, while appropriating different facets of discursive change in local discursive shifts, the policy itself is dynamic and responsive to developments within both the EU and its more or less distant social, political and economic context. However, at the same time, the policy-communication remains relatively unchanged in its focus throughout the period of investigation thus showing that, whereas the EU policies such as those on climate change do change over time, such a change is often not communicated to the general public despite the actual presence of policy-communication genres which, at least hypothetically, should facilitate that process.

References

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