Increasingly, policy scholars are using the Narrative Policy Framework (NPF) to systematically study the narrative elements and strategies that policy actors and groups use to advance their agendas. The majority of these studies analyze reports, documents, and websites published by the actors and groups that are most active in the policy subsystem. Though useful, these “public consumption documents” can be difficult to find and relatively static. In this article, we suggest that the constant flow of messages and content that competing actors and groups publish on social media may provide a solution to this problem. To test this proposition, we use the NPF to analyze messages published on Twitter by competing advocacy groups in the U.S. nuclear energy policy subsystem from January 2014 to May 2014 (n = 703). We find that both groups use Twitter to disseminate messages that contain the basic elements of policy narratives. Moreover, the narratives they use include strategies that are consistent with their position in the subsystem. These findings demonstrate the utility of the NPF for research on social media and, more importantly, validate the use of Twitter data in future work on the NPF.
Policy Studies Journal – Wiley
Published: Jan 1, 2018
Keywords: ; ; ;
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