The climate of debate: How institutional factors shape legislative discourses on climate change. A comparative framing perspective

Thomas Häussler, Hannah Schmidt-Petri, Silke Adam, Ueli Reber, Dorothee Arlt

Abstract


Although political institutions and their actors are at the heart of the democratic process, we know little about the effect of institutional configurations on legislative discourses. The article conducts a comparative frame analysis of climate change debates in the legislative bodies of four countries—Switzerland, Germany, the UK and the US—that differ in the degree to which they correspond to majoritarian or consensus democracies. The study finds systematic differences with regard to salience of the issue, frame and actor diversity and the degree of polarisation. The implications are discussed and the article addresses limitations and areas for future research.

https://doi.org/10.1016/j.scoms.2016.04.002


Keywords


Cross-country comparison; Legislative discourse; Climate change; Frame analysis; Consensus; Majoritarian

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Copyright (c) 2017 Thomas Häussler, Hannah Schmidt-Petri, Silke Adam, Ueli Reber, Dorothee Arlt

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Studies in Communication Sciences | ISSN: 1424-4896