Agenda Setting and Issue Definition at the Micro Level: Giving Climate Change a Voice in the Peruvian Congress

Congress of PeruBruno Takahashi & Mark S. Meisner “Agenda Setting and Issue Definition at the Micro Level: Giving Climate Change a Voice in the Peruvian Congress,” Latin American Policy, 4(2). 340-357, 2013.

Abtract

Agenda setting and policy formulation processes, including those involved in global issues such as climate change, have been a focus of continuous research during recent years. However, most studies have taken a broad longitudinal perspective, with limited emphasis on the individual level decision-making that can better explain the broader dynamics thoroughly tested in the past. This study presents an analysis at the micro level that uncovers specific instances of individual decision-making within an information-processing framework. Additionally, little is known about how climate change is defined in developing nations that are highly vulnerable to its effects. Therefore, this micro level analysis focuses on national legislators and advisers in the Peruvian Congress.  This paper presents a detailed narrative of the processes of formulation of several climate change bills and the development of a special committee on climate change and biodiversity in the 2006-2011 legislative period in the Peruvian Congress. The study discusses the role of policy entrepreneurs, the influence of limited or inaccurate information, and the competition with other policy issues, through an analysis of in-depth interviews with these legislative elites. The results show the significant influence of media reports and Internet use in a low information environment.

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Re-examining the Media-Policy Link: Climate Change and Government Elites in Peru

CulturePoliticsandClimateChangeBruno Takahashi & Mark S. Meisner “Re-examining the Media-Policy Link: Climate Change and Government Elites in Peru,” Chapter 6 in Culture, Politics & Climate Change: How Information Shapes our Common Future, Edited by Deserai A. Crow and Maxwell T. Boykoff. London: Routledge, 2014.

Abstract

The ways in which the mass media report on policy and scientific issues such as climate change have an influence on the attention to–and understanding of–such issues by decision makers. However, the study of such influence has been quite limited. This chapter is motivated by this gap in the literature, as well as by limited research about media and climate change in developing countries. We want to understand the ways in which media coverage of climate change interacts with individual traits (e.g. values, knowledge, attitudes) of national legislators in Peru, and how such interaction influences the design of policies. Additionally, it focuses on the circumstances that allow such effects to occur. The results reveal that a low policy information environment, coupled with issue attributes, enables both the media and alternative sources of information such as the Internet to play an important role in shaping how legislators perceive the issue and act upon it. In a highly vulnerable country such as Peru, the need to increase information of local issues related to climate change is necessary.

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Mass-Media Coverage of Climate Change in Peru: Framing and the Role of Foreign Voices

AcrossBordersBruno Takahashi & Mark Meisner “Mass-Media Coverage of Climate Change in Peru: Framing and the Role of Foreign Voices” in Across Borders and Environments: Communication and Environmental Justice in International Contexts, ed. Stacey Sowards, Cincinnati: International Environmental Communication Association, 2012.

Abstract

Media coverage of climate change has been an area of continued research during the last few years, mostly with a focus on developed countries. This study attempts to contribute to this body of work by analyzing the coverage in a developing country. The study presents a content analysis of newspaper coverage of climate change in Peru through the study of frames, geographical focus, and climate change strategies (mitigation/adaptation). Additionally, the role of foreign voices is assessed by comparing news coverage by Peruvian reporters with the news coverage by wire services and by determining the types of sources present in the articles. Results show a prevalence of an effects frame, followed by a politics frame. Also, the study found a significant number of stories originating from wire services. In general, coverage prioritizes mitigation strategies and policies while providing limited attention to adaptation, which can be inadequate for a highly vulnerable country.

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Climate Change in Peruvian Newspapers: The Role of Foreign Voices in a Context of Vulnerability

El-ComercioBruno Takahashi & Mark Meisner “Climate Change in Peruvian Newspapers: The Role of Foreign Voices in a Context of Vulnerability,” Public Understanding of Science, Vol.22 No.4, 427-442, 2013 (first published online February 20, 2012).

Abstract

Media coverage of climate change has been an area of continued research during the last years, mostly with a focus on developed countries. This study attempts to contribute to this body of work by analyzing the coverage in a developing country. The study presents a content analysis of newspaper coverage of climate change in Peru through the study of frames, geographical focus, and climate change strategies (mitigation/adaptation). Additionally, the role of foreign voices is assessed by comparing the coverage by Peruvian reporters with the coverage by wire services, and by determining the types of sources present in the articles. Results show a prevalence of an effects frame, followed by a politics frame. Also, the study found a significant amount of stories originating from wire services. In general, coverage prioritizes mitigation strategies and policies while providing limited attention to adaptation, which can be insufficient for a highly vulnerable country.

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Comparing Influences on Peruvian Climate Change Policy: Information, Knowledge, and Concern Among Political Elites

interculturalcommunicationBruno Takahashi & Mark Meisner “Comparing Influences on Peruvian Climate Change Policy: Information, Knowledge, and Concern Among Political Elites,” Journal of Intercultural Communication Research, Vol.40, No.3, 181-202, 2011.

Abstract

Climate change is considered as the most important contemporary global environmental problem. Despite research efforts from the social sciences to understand how individuals perceive the problem, few studies have focused on policy makers, specially in developing countries. This study seeks to determine the similarities and differences between elite government groups in Peru. It focuses on the knowledge about climate change, environmental concern, and sources of policy information, and how these factors affect policy preferences. Studies in other countries reveal that these factors can influence both the prioritization of environmental policy issues and the content of policy proposals.

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A Brief Explanation of why Global Warming is Misunderstood in America

The following article was commissioned by my local PBS station, WCNY, to accompany a program called Arctic Air, broadcast in the fall of 2010. The article was originally published on the WCNY Arctic Air web site. Continue reading

Environmental Art Discussion

Gas station wrapped in fabric

The Syracuse, NY gas station that got wrapped.

Here is a video about environmental art and its role in questioning and shifting culture and values. It features Jennifer Marsh’s 2007-2009 Gas Station Project in Syracuse to wrap an abandoned gas station in my neighborhood with panels of various fabrics. In addition to an interview with Jennifer, you can watch me and my student Caroline Massa talk about the project and environmental art in general.


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