Communicating extreme event policy windows: Discourses on Hurricane Sandy and policy change in Boston and New York City
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Communicating extreme event policy windows: Discourses on Hurricane Sandy and policy change in Boston and New York City

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  • Journal Title:
    Environmental Science & Policy
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    The potential for extreme weather events to open windows for public policy changes or transitions has been studied from various theoretical and analytical perspectives. Following extreme weather events, the media (including popular press and journalism) contributes to critical moments, where a potential window opens to transform public understandings of issues and challenges in established extreme event discourses. This paper examines government engagement with the media to better understand conditions of the post-event policy window from the perspective of critical discourse moments. More specifically, the paper uses keyword analysis and critical discourse analysis to examine discursive constructions of the post-event policy window following Hurricane Sandy by two city governments– Boston and New York. We contrast the language of city government engagement with media about post-disaster policy responses and compare this with the language of proposed city policies on climate risk adaptation and mitigation strategies. The outcomes of this analysis illustrate differences between government engagement with media in the post-disaster window and their eventual climate policy responses. The results raise questions regarding the influence of the media on post-disaster policy responses and focus attention on the proximity of an extreme weather event as potentially affecting the type of policy response (either proactive or reactive) by a governing body.
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    Environmental Science & Policy, 100, 55-65
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    Accepted Manuscript
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