T10P01 - Power, Networks, Learning and Communication Models in Public Policy Analysis

Topic : Methodologies

Panel Chair : Volker Schneider - volker.schneider@uni-konstanz.de

Objectives and Scientific Relevance of the panel

Call for papers

Session 1

Policy Networks as Power Structures

Volker Schneider - volker.schneider@uni-konstanz.de - University of Konstanz - Germany

Public policy-making in mainstream policy analysis is often reduced to problem-solving or information processing in state intervention. In such a perspective depoliticized technocratic views and pure efficiency criteria often dominate at the expense of the political dimension of societal problem-processing, and issues of conflict-resolution. In this perspective, critical questions with regard social differentiation, power structures, and democratic deficits get easily dismissed. But the blindness to the power dimension is not a general feature of the policy studies, at least not in the domain of policy network analysis. Important network studies in political sociology and political science were particularly inspired by sociological power structure research. During the 1970s and 1980s many studies tried to uncover relations of power, domination, and social differentiation by new techniques of structural and relational analysis. Their aim was to unveil elite circles and inner cores to reveal political inequalities, political closure and democratic shortcomings.

This paper aims to rejuvenate the power structure perspective of political sociology in its application to policy-making. Drawing from social network analysis, the paper will expose and outline major concepts and empirical applications, and will demonstrate their fruitfulness in an application to climate policy making in Germany. Germany's network in the climate policy domain is depicted at the same time as a distributed information processing system, and as a power configuration based on specific political-institutional and political-economical structures.

Air-Pollution and the Korean Public: Understanding the Effects of Responsibility-Attribution and Emphasis Frames

Matthew Shapiro - shapiro@iit.edu - Illinois Institute of Technology - United States

Existing research has shown that the Korean media attributes airborne pollution inconsistently to air pollution blowing in from China. This paper assesses these varying messages by conducting a framing effects study of the Korean public. As a communicative process, framing involves making salient certain considerations as a way to simplify or shape the way that an audience understands a particular problem and its potential solutions. Frames related to the effects and potential solutions for air pollution-related issues can be employed strategically by various actors in an effort to shape public opinion and public policy. The frames that have emerged in public discourse (e.g., media coverage) on air pollution will ultimately determine the considerations that are available, accessible, and applicable when individuals think about aspects of the issue. They are simultaneously strategic devices that communicators employ to influence or persuade audiences to think about a problem in a particular way. We are thus faced here with the dual tasks of discerning both framing effects as well as framing strategies. At the center of this research project is the following concerns: How do attribution frames, emphasis frames, or a combination of the two affect the following with regard to transboundary air pollution: attributing responsibility, engaging China in more effective dialogue, establishing agency, and changing views about personal health and political choices? As a preface, updates to media reporting will be presented, utilizing an established tool provided by the National Informatization Agency. This search tool, affiliated with the Korean central government, summarizes all news articles, social media, and online blog posts from approximately 300 Korean news companies. The framing effects study of the Korean public will be based on several different framing treatments. We will examine variance across attributions of responsibility by altering whether China is solely to blame or whether China is a pollution haven, i.e. that Korea and other countries set up manufacturing centers in China to take advantage of lower labor costs and looser environmental standards. We will test for emphasis-framing effects by focusing on increased future impacts, i.e. that the subsequent year will see increased days of hazardous air pollution blowing in from China. This survey will be launched in March/April 2017 when the air pollution is expected to be most severe. We expect that emphasis frames will have the greatest effect on changing views about personal health and political choices as people recognize that the problem will become more severe. The same logic applies to our expectation that there will be a greater call for engagement with China over this issue. Attribution frames will primarily impact how the public identifies who is responsible as well as establishing agency.


Judicialization of Armed Forces Special Powers Act, 1958 in Northeast India: Policy Approaches and way forward


Every country dealing with insurgency or internal conflict has its own laws and legislations to tackle the menace. Likewise, India also has laws to fight insurgency and internal conflict which has given immense power to the armed forces operating under the Armed Forces Special Powers Act, 1958 (AFSPA). The North Eastern part of India has always been kept separate from the mainstream India due to its diverse culture and region. Infact the region is so diverse and culturally heterogeneous, that the diversity has often led to conflict in the region.

Since, the Government of India had always a policy difference for the North Eastern States ,the Armed Forces (Assam and Manipur) Special Powers Ordinance was promulgated by the then President of India to function within the disturbed area of Assam and largely egalitarian tribal society of Union territory of Manipur in 1958, conferring wide reaching powers on the military and paramilitary forces operating in the region. The Northeastern region has been gripped by armed insurrections and political violence, directed in equal measures against settlers, against different ethnic groups and authorities since the inception of the Indian Republic.

The Armed Forces Special Powers Act, 1958 gives formal immunity to army personnel under section 4 of the Act to kill, even on mere suspicion. The Armed Forces, while exercising the power vested, have often been accused of extra-judicial execution of innocent civilians; illegal imposition of curfew; rape, molestation and sexual harassment of women; torture. The armed forces, however, while exercising the power under the act often violate the existing legal norms and constitutional mandate of the country, and overstep the limits. Due to immunity clause under section 6 of the Act, the forces are immuned from any kind of prosecution under the general laws of the country. The constitutionality of the Act has been challenged before the Apex Court in Naga Peoples Movement for Human Rights V. Union of India in 1997. In this background the paper seeks to study the pre and post impact of Naga decision in the judicial forums and follow up trends in those lines.   

Therefore the present paper seeks to analyse the judicial trends with respect to the operationality of the Act with special emphasis of the rights of people in the respective region.




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