Handbook of European Policies
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Handbook of European Policies

Interpretive Approaches to the EU

Edited by Hubert Heinelt and Sybille Münch

This definitive Handbook addresses the current lack of research into European policymaking and development using an interpretive perspective. Questioning areas that mainstream approaches tend to neglect, contributors target the ways in which ideas, arguments and discourses shape policies in the institutional context of the EU.
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Chapter 5: The framing of EU policies

Falk Daviter


This chapter discusses how framing analysis can contribute to studies of policymaking in the European Union (EU). Framing analysis is understood as an analytical perspective that focuses on how policy problems are constructed and categorised. This analytical perspective allows researchers to reconstruct how shifting problem frames empower competing constituencies and create changing patterns of political participation at the supranational level. Studies that assume a longitudinal perspective on EU policy development show how the framing of EU policy is constitutive of the way in which the jurisdictional boundaries and constitutional mandates of the EU evolve over time. Reviewing the growing body of empirical studies on EU policy framing in the context of the diverse theoretical origins of framing analysis, the chapter argues that framing research, which takes seriously the notion that policymaking involves both puzzling and powering, allows this analytical perspective to contribute a unique perspective on EU policymaking.

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