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Mark Rhinard, Framing Europe: The Policy Shaping Strategies of the European Commission (Pb)

Untitled document Mark Rhinard
Swedish Institute of International Affairs

Published: 2010 - download a flyer for this book
paperback ISBN 9789089790453; EUR 39; USD 49 (2010) 262 pp.

Studies in International Institutional Dynamics, 3 (International Studies Library, 24)

About this book
Public policymaking increasingly takes place on an international stage, drawing attention to how international bureaucracies set agendas and shape policy outcomes. This book focuses on the European Union and reveals a key strategy used to influence policymaking by one of its central institutions, the European Commission. While most scholarship on the Commission examines its formal means of influence, this book demonstrates how the Commission employs a more informal method of "strategic framing" to manipulate the ideational framework in which policymaking takes place. This method helps the Commission to privilege certain actors, institutional processes, and policy goals in pursuit of preferred outcomes. The effects of strategic framing are examined in four cases of policy change in the fields of agriculture and biotechnology.

"Mark Rhinard has produced a significant study of policymaking in the European Union. He points to the complex interactions of ideas and institutions in making policy. The work is especially important for linking ideas of social construction with theories of the policy process. This book deserves reading by all students of the EU and public policy."
B. Guy Peters, University of Pittsburgh

Table of Contents

List of Tables
List of Frequently Used Acronyms

Chapter One: Introduction

Chapter Two: The European Commission and the EU Policy Process
Chapter Three: Strategic Framing

Chapter Four: A Crack in the Armor: EU Agricultural Reform, 1988-1992
Chapter Five: Building On Momentum: EU Agricultural Reform, 1993-2003

Chapter Six: "Hijacking In Progress": EU Biotechnology Laws, 1980-1990
Chapter Seven: Backlash Towards EU Biotechnology Policy, 1991-2001

Chapter Eight: Conclusions: Framing As Strategy

Works Cited Index

About the Author(s)/Editor(s)
Mark Rhinard (PhD, Cambridge) is Senior Research Fellow at the Swedish Institute of International Affairs where he leads the Europe Research Program. He has published extensively on the European Union in scholarly texts and journals.

A good book on `policy framing', and a way to conceptualise how issues are shaped in strategic ways. Case studies are limited to agriculture and biotechnology, so there could be more examples to round out the analysis. Still, the general approach is good and without a doubt useful for students.
Axel Berkofsky

This book offers a useful analytical approach for studying "strategic framing", which the author defines as the manipulation of ideas, institutions and interests in ways that bias outcomes. The strategic "framer" in this case is the European Commission which, using this method, exploits its structural advantages in the EU policy process to provoke reform. This book is important reading for those interested in "policy framing" as an analytical approach. The added value of this book's approach is that the framing argument comes with a strategic angle, one in line with the pursuit of preferences. Whatever the policy area one is interested in, the analytical framework in this book should be helpful in understanding EU level change more generally.
John Kotsopoulos, University of Milan and European Policy Center (EPC)

Mark Rhinard’s Framing Europe investigates how the European Commission can manipulate the policy-making process at its outset through ‘strategic framing’. Building on Kingdon (2003), Rhinard stresses the informal power resources of the Commission and its capacity to induce policy change. Strategic framing is defined as ‘the manipulation of the ideational framework within which policymaking takes place in order to privilege certain actor networks, alter decision structures, and link specific policy options to broader societal issues’ (p. 2). This links in with the debate about the formal and informal powers of the European Commission […]
The research design consists of four cases from two policy areas, which represent highly informative illustrations. The case selection boils down to a newly emerging domain (biotechnology) and an established policy domain with vested interests (agriculture), which he claims represent ‘an“ easy case” versus “hard case”’ (p. 9) for Commission influence via strategic framing. […] Relying on a fascinating pool of primary sources that include interview data, archival records, and documents, the study pursues a longitudinal design with respective time-frames of 15 and 21 years. While this harbors the risk of succumbing to a post hoc ergo propter hoc fallacy when seeking to causally link Commission agency and outcomes, Rhinard presents a careful, overall convincing account of Commission influence.
The case studies give credence to the argument that strategic framing is a useful analytical tool for explaining the dynamics of policy change. This directs our attention to the Commission’s influence through forging coalitions, selectively mobilizing expertise, and manipulating decision venues. Thus, Rhinard’s in-depth investigation paves the way for future studies that will need to systematically flesh out the scope conditions of Commission influence.
Lukas Obholzer, Journal of European Integration

This product was added to our catalog on Monday 08 November, 2010.
Untitled document Studies in International Institutional Dynamics  

Editor-in-Chief: Amrita Narlikar, University of Cambridge

ISSN: 1874-2025

Editorial Board

Richard Higgott, Centre for the Study of Globalization and Regionalization, University of Warwick;
Karl Kaiser, Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University;

S. Neil MacFarlane, Department of Politics and International Relations, University of Oxford;

John Odell, School of International Relations, University of Southern California;
Louis Pauly,
Centre for International Studies, University of Toronto

Studies in International Institutional Dynamics is a peer-reviewed book series that aims to provide a forum for the publication and dissemination of theoretical and empirical frontal research on international institutions, and the processes that underpin them. International institutions – whether they take the form of formal organizations, regimes, or informal networks – are dynamic entities, often serving as the playground where new balances of power are negotiated, and new norms emerge and are legitimized. This series seeks to contribute to a better understanding of how international institutions emerge across issue areas, work on an everyday basis, and evolve. Treatments focusing on the notions of institutional process in its broadest sense (such as bargaining, negotiation, legalization, and argumentation), and how it affects the creation of and change in international institutions are welcome. We also encourage works that focus on how institutions respond to changing balances of power, for instance to the rise of the BRICs, and further how aspiring great powers attempt to lead, reform, or destabilize international institutions.

Authors Authors/Editors are cordially invited to submit proposals and/ or full manuscripts to the series editor or to the publisher Hendrik van Leusen.

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