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Sustainability and Modernity in the European Union: A Frame Theory Approach to Policy-Making


  • Calloni and Mikrakis Triandafyllidou
  • Fotiou


Frame analysis has been often used by scholars studying New Social Movements to analyze their discourses and their ability to mobilise people. This paper refers to the application of 'frame analysis' to a different context, namely to discourses of both social movements and institutional actors in the context of public policy-making. More particularly, the study is concerned with the discourses of social actors who participate in the making of EU environmental policy. The advantages and limitations of frame analysis as a method for analysing discourse in an institutional context are discussed. Two case-studies are used to highlight the pros and cons of the method. First, the competing discourses of environmental organisations, business associations, and EU officials with regard to environmental sustainability and the Fifth Action Programme are examined. The second case study addresses the issue of Trans-European Transport Networks (TEN-Ts) and examines different types of framing of sustainable mobility developed by policy actors. Conclusions are drawn with regard to the contribution of frame theory in the analysis of policy-making processes.

Suggested Citation

  • Calloni and Mikrakis Triandafyllidou & Fotiou, 1998. "Sustainability and Modernity in the European Union: A Frame Theory Approach to Policy-Making," Sociological Research Online, Sociological Research Online, vol. 3(1), pages 1-2.
  • Handle: RePEc:sro:srosro:1997-29-1

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    1. repec:bla:devpol:v:35:y:2017:i::p:o338-o356 is not listed on IDEAS
    2. Junseop Shim & Chisung Park & Mark Wilding, 2015. "Identifying policy frames through semantic network analysis: an examination of nuclear energy policy across six countries," Policy Sciences, Springer;Society of Policy Sciences, vol. 48(1), pages 51-83, March.
    3. Larsson, Bengt, 2005. "Auditor regulation and economic crime policy in Sweden, 1965-2000," Accounting, Organizations and Society, Elsevier, vol. 30(2), pages 127-144, February.
    4. Thornton, Mary & Hawkins, Benjamin, 2017. "Between a rock and a hard place: Economic expansion and social responsibility in UK media discourses on the global alcohol industry," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 175(C), pages 169-176.
    5. Psarikidou, Katerina, 2007. "Environmental Ethics and Biodiversity Policy in Tourism: The Caretta-Caretta Case in Greece," MPRA Paper 25381, University Library of Munich, Germany, revised 24 Dec 2007.


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