How policies become contested: a spiral of imagination and evidence in a large infrastructure project

How policies become contested: a spiral of imagination and evidence in a large infrastructure... This article investigates how framing processes lead to polarization in the public debate on a large infrastructure project. Drawing on an analysis of newspaper articles about the “Oosterweel connection” in Antwerp (Belgium), it concludes that imaginative framing (appeals to emotions via symbolic language) and framing through evidence (appeals to rationality via factual language) mutually reinforce each other. Because of the mutual reinforcement, we talk of a spiralling motion. When evidence backs up appeals to the imagination, such as when facts back up metaphors, these appeals are endowed with authority and hence legitimacy. While this strengthens appeals that have been “proven” to be true, it also makes actors backing these appeals increasingly frustrated with other parties that still refuse to accept them. Because of their frustration, the former are spurred to launch new imaginative appeals conveying their anger and to seek new evidence to substantiate these new appeals. Going back and forth between imaginative appeals and appeals to evidence, all parties in a conflict develop their own vision of the contested issue and their own evidence base for the policy position. Over time, their tolerance for ambiguity decreases and the debate polarizes. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Policy Sciences Springer Journals

How policies become contested: a spiral of imagination and evidence in a large infrastructure project

Loading next page...
 
/lp/springer_journal/how-policies-become-contested-a-spiral-of-imagination-and-evidence-in-0WUQrXI5uC
Publisher
Springer US
Copyright
Copyright © 2017 by Springer Science+Business Media New York
Subject
Political Science and International Relations; Political Science; Economic Policy; Public Administration
ISSN
0032-2687
eISSN
1573-0891
D.O.I.
10.1007/s11077-017-9275-3
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

This article investigates how framing processes lead to polarization in the public debate on a large infrastructure project. Drawing on an analysis of newspaper articles about the “Oosterweel connection” in Antwerp (Belgium), it concludes that imaginative framing (appeals to emotions via symbolic language) and framing through evidence (appeals to rationality via factual language) mutually reinforce each other. Because of the mutual reinforcement, we talk of a spiralling motion. When evidence backs up appeals to the imagination, such as when facts back up metaphors, these appeals are endowed with authority and hence legitimacy. While this strengthens appeals that have been “proven” to be true, it also makes actors backing these appeals increasingly frustrated with other parties that still refuse to accept them. Because of their frustration, the former are spurred to launch new imaginative appeals conveying their anger and to seek new evidence to substantiate these new appeals. Going back and forth between imaginative appeals and appeals to evidence, all parties in a conflict develop their own vision of the contested issue and their own evidence base for the policy position. Over time, their tolerance for ambiguity decreases and the debate polarizes.

Journal

Policy SciencesSpringer Journals

Published: Jan 12, 2017

References

You’re reading a free preview. Subscribe to read the entire article.


DeepDyve is your
personal research library

It’s your single place to instantly
discover and read the research
that matters to you.

Enjoy affordable access to
over 18 million articles from more than
15,000 peer-reviewed journals.

All for just $49/month

Explore the DeepDyve Library

Search

Query the DeepDyve database, plus search all of PubMed and Google Scholar seamlessly

Organize

Save any article or search result from DeepDyve, PubMed, and Google Scholar... all in one place.

Access

Get unlimited, online access to over 18 million full-text articles from more than 15,000 scientific journals.

Your journals are on DeepDyve

Read from thousands of the leading scholarly journals from SpringerNature, Elsevier, Wiley-Blackwell, Oxford University Press and more.

All the latest content is available, no embargo periods.

See the journals in your area

DeepDyve

Freelancer

DeepDyve

Pro

Price

FREE

$49/month
$360/year

Save searches from
Google Scholar,
PubMed

Create lists to
organize your research

Export lists, citations

Read DeepDyve articles

Abstract access only

Unlimited access to over
18 million full-text articles

Print

20 pages / month

PDF Discount

20% off