Up with Ecology, Down with Economy? the Institutionalization of the Idea of Climate Change Mitigation in the Global Public Sphere

Monday, 16 July 2018: 15:42
Oral Presentation
Tuomas YLA-ANTTILA, University of Helsinki, Finland
Juho VESA, University of Helsinki, Finland
Veikko ERANTI, University of Tampere, Finland
Anna KUKKONEN, University of Helsinki, Finland
Markku LONKILA, Univeristy of Jyväskylä, Finland
Eeva LUHTAKALLIO, University of Tampere, Finland
Building on theories of valuation and evaluation, we develop an analytical framework that outlines six elements of the process of discursive institutionalization of an idea in the public sphere. We then use the framework to analyze the process of institutionalization of the idea of climate change mitigation between 1997 and 2013, focussing on the interplay between ecological and economic evaluations. Our content analysis of 1274 articles in leading newspapers in five countries around the globe shows that (1) ecological arguments increase over time, (2) economic arguments decrease over time, (3) the visibility of environmental NGOs as carriers of ecological ideas increases over time, (4) the visibility of business actors correspondingly decreases, (5) ecological ideas are increasingly adopted by political and business elites and (6) a compromise emerges between ecological and economic evaluations, in the form of the argument that climate change mitigation boosts, rather than hinders economic growth.