Publication details

Incumbents’ Strategies in Media Coverage : A Case of the Czech Coal Policy

Authors

ČERNÝ Ondřej OCELÍK Petr

Year of publication 2020
Type Article in Periodical
Magazine / Source Politics and Governance
MU Faculty or unit

Faculty of Social Studies

Citation
Web https://www.cogitatiopress.com/politicsandgovernance/article/view/2610
Doi http://dx.doi.org/10.17645/pag.v8i2.2610
Keywords coal; Czech Republic; energy; discourse network analysis; media discourse; newspapers; public policy
Attached files
Description Transitioning to a decarbonized economy is a crucial part of climate change mitigation, with the phasing-out of coal, as the most significant source of carbon dioxide emissions, being the centerpiece of this effort. In the European context, the increasing pressures exerted especially on the basis of the European Union’s energy and climate policy, coupled with the inherent uncertainty of the transition process, encourage various struggles among the involved policy actors over the setting of specific transition pathways. One site of such contestation is media discourse, which may facilitate or limit policy change through agenda-setting, framing, and other processes. Importantly, discursive struggles also include industry incumbents, who have a vested interest in preserving the existing sociotechnical regime. This article focuses on the position of incumbents in terms of their relationship with governing political parties and the discursive strategies they employ. It explores the policy debate on coal mining expansion which took place in 2015 in the Czech Republic, a post-communist country with a coal-dependent economy, a skeptical position on energy transition, and a powerful energy industry. The research employs discourse network analysis to examine a corpus compiled from daily newspapers and applies block modeling techniques to analyze patterns of relationships within and between actor groups. The results show that incumbents successfully prevented policy change in the direction of rapid coal phase-out by exploiting discourse alignment with governing parties and efficiently employing discursive strategies based primarily on securitization of socioeconomic issues.
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