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Between guilt and obligation: debating the responsibility for climate change and climate politics in the media


Post, Senja; Kleinen-von Königslöw, Katharina; Schäfer, Mike S (2018). Between guilt and obligation: debating the responsibility for climate change and climate politics in the media. Environmental Communication:1-17.

Abstract

The “common but differentiated responsibility” of developed and developing countries to mitigate climate change is a core principle of international climate politics—but there is disagreement about what this “differentiated responsibility” amounts to. We investigate how newspapers in developed countries (Australia, Germany, United States) and emerging economies (Brazil, India) covered this debate during the UN climate summits in 2004, 2009, and 2014. Newspapers in both types of countries attributed more responsibility to developed than to developing countries. In line with social identity theory, however, media in developed countries attributed less causal responsibility (blame) to other developed countries than media in emerging economies. The latter countries’ media, in turn, attributed less responsibility to other developing countries than media in developed countries. At the same time, in line with the “differentiated responsibility”, media in developed countries attributed more responsibility to their own countries than media in emerging economies.

Abstract

The “common but differentiated responsibility” of developed and developing countries to mitigate climate change is a core principle of international climate politics—but there is disagreement about what this “differentiated responsibility” amounts to. We investigate how newspapers in developed countries (Australia, Germany, United States) and emerging economies (Brazil, India) covered this debate during the UN climate summits in 2004, 2009, and 2014. Newspapers in both types of countries attributed more responsibility to developed than to developing countries. In line with social identity theory, however, media in developed countries attributed less causal responsibility (blame) to other developed countries than media in emerging economies. The latter countries’ media, in turn, attributed less responsibility to other developing countries than media in developed countries. At the same time, in line with the “differentiated responsibility”, media in developed countries attributed more responsibility to their own countries than media in emerging economies.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:06 Faculty of Arts > Department of Communication and Media Research
Dewey Decimal Classification:700 Arts
Uncontrolled Keywords:Attribution of responsibility, climate change communication, climate politics, quantitative content analysis, internationally comparative, social identity theory
Language:English
Date:1 May 2018
Deposited On:25 Jan 2019 13:15
Last Modified:01 May 2019 00:03
Publisher:Taylor & Francis
ISSN:1752-4032
OA Status:Green
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1080/17524032.2018.1446037
Project Information:
  • : FunderSNSF
  • : Grant ID100018-153651
  • : Project TitleTransnationale politische Öffentlichkeit? Eine empirische Untersuchung von Printmedienberichterstattung undInternetkommunikation am Beispiel der Klimapolitik.

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