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The Gate-Resonance Model - The interface of policy, media and the public in technology conflicts


  • Helge Torgersen
  • Jürgen Hampel


The gate/resonance model provides an analytical frame for the description of technology conflicts. It offers an analytical scheme to conceptualise the interaction between public opinion, interest representing organisations, the media and the political system. The model distinguishes structural elements, functional elements and processes. Structural elements are the public with sub-publics and representational fields, the regulatory system with its institutions, intermediary organisations representing interests and bridging the gap between the public(s) and the regulatory system, the regulatory space and the media that mirror and participate in interest conflicts. Functional elements are resources, which enable intermediary organisations to convey interests to regulation, and filters that prevent information overflow within regulatory institutions: the gate as a formal function selects information according to statutory criteria, detectors according to usefulness for the institution. Processes described are the movement of issue fields due to re-interpretation; resonance, the tuning-in on issue interpretation among different actors; mobilisation, the generation of political pressure through resonance; and policy change through the abol-ishment of established interest and actor equilibrium due to mobilisation and ensuing gate failure. The model is applied to the example of biotechnology conflicts.

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  • Helge Torgersen & Jürgen Hampel, 2001. "The Gate-Resonance Model - The interface of policy, media and the public in technology conflicts," ITA manu:scripts 01_03, Institute of Technology Assessment (ITA).
  • Handle: RePEc:ita:itaman:01_03

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Scharpf, Fritz W., 1993. "Positive und negative Koordination in Verhandlungssystemen," MPIfG Discussion Paper 93/1, Max Planck Institute for the Study of Societies.
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    theoretical framework; technology conflict; interest representation; public mobilisation; resources;

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