Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences at the University of Colorado Boulder

CSTPR Noontime Seminar

Discourse networks and climate change: Comparing media debates on climate change policy in Canada, the US, Finland, Brazil, and India

This talk will be available via webcast here.

Abstract: Climate science has developed greatly during the last decades but climate change policies are still lagging behind all around the world. One of the biggest reasons for the inaction is that climate change is a cultural problem. In this presentation, I discuss my doctoral research which compares media debates on climate change in the US, Canada, Finland, Brazil and India. I use a method called discourse network analysis and show how it can be used to analyze policy debates in different countries. My research is interdisciplinary, using insights from political science (the Advocacy Coalition Framework) and cultural sociology (Boltanski and Thévenot’s justification theory). 

My dissertation focuses on three research questions: 

  • What types of policy beliefs divide policy actors into competing coalitions in different countries?
  • How central are different policy actors such as NGOs, business actors and researchers, in the debates on climate change in these different countries?
  • What types of moral justifications, such as appealing to market worth or ecological worth, are most central in debating climate change policy in these countries?

Anna KukkonenAnna Kukkonen is a Fulbright visiting scholar at the Center for Science and Technology Policy Research. Anna’s PhD research deals with comparative climate change politics, comparing media debates on climate change in five different countries: the US, Canada, Brazil, India and Finland. More specifically, she is interested in examining the formation of advocacy coalitions, the centrality of international organisations and the role of different moral justifications in the climate change debates in these diverse political-economic contexts.

Anna was awarded a Fulbright Graduate Grant to continue her PhD research at the University of Colorado Boulder where she aims to develop her knowledge on environmental governance, science-policy interactions and media's role in the politics of climate change. Anna holds a Master’s degree in Sociology from University of Helsinki where she also begun her graduate studies in 2014. She has specialized in comparative and political sociology but has recently become increasingly interested in combining comparative sociology with the study of public policy.

Anna is part of the international research project Comparing Climate Change Policy Networks (COMPON) which analyzes cross-country differences in climate change responses and currently includes 20 countries. She has been involved in the COMPON project for almost 4 years, collaborating with research teams around the world by sharing data, developing common research protocols and publishing articles in peer-reviewed journals.


Wednesday, March 14, 2018
2018 - 12:00 to 13:00





  • CIRES employees
  • CU Boulder employees
  • General Public
  • NOAA employees
  • Science collaborators


  • Seminar
  • Open to Public



CSTPR Conference Room