Portail des Humanités Environnementales

Call for Papers. Discourse in Environmental Policy 30 mars 2014

Call for Papers
Special Issue: Discourse, power and environmental policy Two decades of discursive policy analysis
Journal of Environmental Policy and Planning
Deadline for abstract submission: March 31st, 2014

Call for Papers. Discourse in Environmental Policy
I Background and objectives

In 2005, the Journal of Environmental Policy and Planning published the special issue “Does discourse matter? Discourse, power and institutions in the sustainability transition”. In the meantime, discourse analysis in the field of environmental policy and planning has evolved rapidly. On the one hand, discourse research has advanced in terms of methodology and theoretical concepts. On the other, new environmental discourses have emerged, such as the Anthropocene or the Bio-Economy discourses, as well as variations to well known ‘discursive pathways’, related to concepts such as the “Green Economy” or “Sustainable Intensification”. Against this background, the Journal of Environmental Policy and Planning will host a new special issue on environmental discourse research in 2015. The aim is to bring together original contributions that represent the latest thinking on environmental discourse analysis, reflect on the development of the field over the past two decades and map out research challenges and ways forward. We are in particularly looking for papers which (1) explore the development of discourse research in the field of environment, (2) provide critical assessments of recent theoretical developments, and (3) offer novel analytical and empirical insights. The ambition is to assemble a set of papers which together represent the state of the art in environmental discourse analysis, and enhance our understanding of environmental policy and planning.

II Expected contributions/invited abstracts

We invite theoretical and empirical contributions that address the following questions:

1. Theoretical and conceptual trends in environmental discourse analysis: What are innovations, trends and challenges in different ‘schools’ of discourse research related to environmental issues? Which new concepts have emerged and which problems and topics have shaped the agenda in terms of both research fields and theoretical issues? How does discourse analysis engage with concepts such as narrative policy analysis, political ethnography and political ecology, dispositive analysis and practice studies, and with novel themes such as the role of emotions in public policy or shifting formats of political knowledge and communication (digitalization, visualization, cloud)?

2. The development of new (and old) environmental discourses: When authors such as Litfin and Hajer established discourse analysis in the field of environmental policy analysis, ecological modernization appeared to be the dominant game in town. How have discourses on the environment evolved over the past two decades? Which new discourses and discursive concepts have emerged and gained prominence? How do these discourses shape policy making and policy outcomes? What is the political work that these discourses do, and has it changed over time? How is knowledge structured and produced by discourses in specific policy fields (e.g., climate change, biodiversity, land use policies), and across such fields? How are (multiple, contested, overlapping) scales constructed in environmental policy discourses? What dynamics are evolving between dominant and marginalized discourses? How is power constituted and how does resistance unfold within discourses?

We are looking for original and novel contributions to academic debates and research. The Journal of Environmental Policy and Planning does not publish textbook-style articles or mere literature reviews.

III Process and timelines

We envisage the following timeline for this special issue:

• Deadline for the submission of abstracts: 31 March 2014

• Notification of abstract acceptance: 15 April 2014

• Deadline for the submission of full paper drafts for internal review by the guest editors: 15 October 2014

• Author workshop: 30-31 October 2014

• Deadline for paper submission at journal: 15 January 2015

• Publication of the special issue in fall 2015 (print version, accepted papers will be immediately published online first)

The core of the writing process will be the two-day authors’ workshop in Freiburg, Germany, on October 30th-31st, 2014. Reasonable expenses for travel and accommodation of invited participants can be reimbursed.

IV Submission of abstracts

Please send your abstract of no more than 400 words to Sina Leipold (sina.leipold@ifp.uni-freiburg.de ) no later than March 31st, 2014. The abstract should explain the objectives of your paper, the theoretical perspective, methods and (if applicable) data/findings/arguments, and include a statement outlining the paper’s contribution to the special issue and the wider literature. Notifications of acceptance will be sent to authors by April, 15th. Please respect a word limit of 400 words.

V Guest editors & contact

Peter H. Feindt, Professor of Strategic Communication, Wageningen University


Reiner Keller, Professor of Sociology, University of Augsburg


Sina Leipold, Institute of Social Environmental Sciences and Geography, Forest and Environmental Policy Group, University of Freiburg, Germany


Georg Winkel, Institute of Social Environmental Sciences and Geography, Forest and Environmental Policy Group, University of Freiburg, Germany