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Getting invasive species on the political agenda: agenda setting and policy formulation in the case of ash dieback in the UK
Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Geography and Economic History, Economic and social geography.ORCID iD: 0000-0001-5516-1109
Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Geography and Economic History, Economic and social geography.
2017 (English)In: Biological Invasions, ISSN 1387-3547, E-ISSN 1573-1464, Vol. 19, no 7, 1953-1970 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

This study reviews how the issue of ash dieback has been placed on the political agenda in the UK, a country where the disease has affected one of the largest national extents, thus representing a particularly severe case. Comparisons are made between how the scientific community framed the ash dieback threat and the resulting response strategy and how both the media and the British government framed the problem. Representing one example of media framing, the study analyses one British newspaper’s coverage of the disease and the response strategies (the Daily Telegraph). The analysis highlights a gap between the biologically rooted perspective and the perspective of policymakers, where policy must manoeuvre between disparate viewpoints and needs. Crucially, none of Pautasso et al.’s (Biol Conserv 158:37–49, 2013) five plant-science-based solutions were explicitly adopted by the British Government in their response strategy to ash dieback disease. The same is true of the biological control recommendations offered by Kirisits et al. (J Agric Ext Rural Dev 4(9):230–235, 2012). Instead, the government adopted a broader, more comprehensive approach than that recommended by plant scientists. The present analysis thus provides an example of a holistic perspective on the multiple competing factors that policymakers must navigate in their attempts to delineate action. It highlights instances in which proposed biological responses were rendered less applicable by a failure to understand the agenda-setting process and the policy-making arena. The present findings suggest that an improved understanding of the factors influencing agenda setting and policy action is essential to arriving at a more effective and integrated understanding of responses to biological threats.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Springer, 2017. Vol. 19, no 7, 1953-1970 p.
Keyword [en]
Invasive species, Ash dieback, UK, Framing, Agenda-setting, Policy
National Category
Human Geography
Research subject
Political Science; biology
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-136383DOI: 10.1007/s10530-017-1415-3ISI: 000404777100001OAI: oai:DiVA.org:umu-136383DiVA: diva2:1110694
Projects
Future Forests
Funder
Mistra - The Swedish Foundation for Strategic Environmental Research
Available from: 2017-06-16 Created: 2017-06-16 Last updated: 2017-10-31Bibliographically approved

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