Voices of Vulnerability: The Reconfiguration of Policy Discourses

Maarten Hajer and Wytske Versteeg

in The Oxford Handbook of Climate Change and Society

Published in print August 2011 | ISBN: 9780199566600
Published online January 2012 | | DOI:

Series: Oxford Handbooks in Politics & International Relations

 Voices of Vulnerability: The Reconfiguration of Policy Discourses

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Discourse analysis is a way to make sense of the process of solidifying, or of the biases in the way public problems are addressed. This article aims to make sense of the reconfigurations of discourses by relating the way in which climate change is conceived to the institutional practices by means of which meaning is given, illuminating the way in which discursive dominance is produced. It traces the reconfiguration of climate change discourse paying particular attention to the influence of the institutional molds in which this discourse was produced. Examining the period of intensive climate change discourse from the 1980s to 2010, this article distinguishes three phases: the phase in which climate rose to the political agenda, the classical-modernist response to ‘first get the facts right’, the mature years of the IPCC and UNFCCC as fully-fledged global science-policy interface producing successive policy results.

Keywords: vulnerability; policy discourses; global climate modeling; sustainable development; global political debate

Article.  7085 words. 

Subjects: Politics ; Public Policy ; Political Theory

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