Panel: Examining Communications, Preferences, and Causal Mechanisms of Policy Change
(Politics, Media, and the Policy Process)

Saturday, November 9, 2019: 10:15 AM-11:45 AM
I.M Pei Tower: Terrace Level, Beverly (Sheraton Denver Downtown)

*Names in bold indicate Presenter

Organizer:  Creed Tumlison, University of Arkansas
Panel Chair:  Geoboo Song, University of Arkansas
Discussants:  Geoboo Song, University of Arkansas and Sara Hughes, University of Toronto

The origins of policy change are often diverse and generally involve conflict of some sort due to issues associated with the policy domain itself, the values and attitudes held by both relevant actors and the general community, and specific events related to the policy conflict. This panel includes four papers that examine such antecedents to policy change, focusing on the role of policy relevant events, attitudes toward actors within the policy debate, values, and knowledge and learning in shaping the policy-making process and, ultimately, policy change. Together, these four papers provide insights into potential antecedents to policy change, providing for a better understanding of the policy-making process within the policy contexts investigated specifically, as well as the policy-making process generally.

The first paper utilizes the Advocacy Coalition Framework (ACF) to examine the causal mechanisms of policy change regarding Dam construction and removal in two contexts – South Korea and the United States. Focusing on the emotion of anger, the second paper examines how support for hydraulic fracturing is impacted by perceptions of environmentalists – an important coalition in the hydraulic fracturing policy domain. The third paper uses the context of the urbanization of bats in Australia to examine how focusing events shape the narratives that are utilized in the discussion of human-bat conflict, particularly focusing on changes in sentiment and perceived villains and victims based on both time and distance from the focusing event. Again examining hydraulic fracturing, the final paper investigates how individually held values and policy-relevant knowledge – both actual and perceived – interact to shape the policy preferences of local policy elites.

Anger Towards Environmentalists and Public Support for Hydraulic Fracturing
Jonathan Pierce, University of Colorado, Denver and Nicole Schmitt, Alaska Wildlife Alliance

Narrative Variation in Time and Space from a Focusing Event
Elizabeth Shanahan and Sara Guenther, Montana State University