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Public Policy Analysis: agenda setting and formulation

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Agenda setting and formulation are the first two stages of public policy. A public policy is a set of actions and decisions that governments take to solve a problem. Four stages are followed by all public policies.

The first step is to put the public problem on the agenda and try to solve it. The purpose of the agenda-setting phase is to specify what the state's problem is and why it should intervene.

The second step is the formulation of public policy or programming policy, which will answer the question of what is the solution envisaged, what is the legitimate solution, what is the acceptable solution for the policy.

The analysis of agenda setting will try to explain why the problems addressed by public policies are constructed. Without forgetting that it is very difficult to initiate a new public policy, since the construction of these problems does not automatically ensure that they have access to the agenda.

Setting the political agenda: "construction" of public problems[edit | edit source]

Definition of a public problem[edit | edit source]

The political agenda is the set of issues that are considered as priorities by political and administrative authorities. We speak of a "political agenda", but we can also very well speak of a "media agenda". The media diary is the main stories that are told in a newspaper, a television or radio station or even on the few pages of a newspaper's website. The agenda of the political authorities can be found, for example, at parliamentary level. Parliament's agenda is nothing more than the subjects dealt with by the various parliamentarians, and that is why, through motions, private members' initiatives, postulates, questions or interpellations by parliamentarians, what subjects are they concentrating on. The Government's agenda is what the Federal Council talks about during its meetings. In Switzerland, there is no transparency on the deliberations of the Federal Council, so we do not know exactly what it is talking about. He makes press releases when he has made decisions, but it is not clear what he has decided to decide or not to intervene or not to communicate.

The agenda covers all the priority themes, public policy issues and public problems addressed by political actors. When we talk about the media agenda, it is the media, when we talk about political parties' agendas, it is the agenda of political parties that translates into the themes they talk about in their election campaigns.

These agendas are excessively limited. When you read a newspaper, there is an excessively small number of topics that are covered. If we look at the themes dealt with in a parliamentary session, in relation to all the problems that arise, there is a very limited number of public policies that are the subject of parliamentary debate. Therefore, when we want to launch a public policy, it is difficult to attract the attention of the media, political parties, parliamentarians or government actors to the problem. They have very little space to discuss things. A newspaper discusses an average of twelve to very many stories on its first page in priority to everything that happens except when there are a few exceptional pages, a newspaper always has the same structure and the same number of pages. It is an agenda that is very limited and there is a very strong selection of what we are going to talk about, what are the priorities given by the editorial line of the newspaper management committees, what are the priorities that the parties will set when they launch an election campaign. A political party discusses few themes, perhaps three or four themes because it seeks to profile itself on those specific policies and not on the rest. The same is true at the government level. The Federal Council usually meets one afternoon a week to discuss and decide on the direction of the state. It will not be able to deal with a large number of problems indefinitely; it concentrates and focuses on certain limited priorities. This means that there is competition between the different themes. If one theme takes a place on the agenda, another is evacuated. The agendas are not extensible, parliamentary committees have a predetermined duration, so access to the agenda, even for the media, is very difficult. The actors who want to put a problem on the agenda will try to build this problem so that it gets the attention of the media, parties, parliamentarians and government. This is the main issue on the agenda, i.e. how to be able to use this very scarce resource, which is the attention of political decision-makers, the media or even citizens. To be listened to or manage to put your problem on the agenda, you have to go through a process with different steps.

The agenda therefore represents all the public problems considered to be priorities. For example, we read the front page of a newspaper every day, and we codify after reading it, which areas of public policy and what issues are specifically concerned. With this pathology, there are many of us who systematically code, in different countries, the media agendas of political and governmental, parliamentary or budgetary parties with the same technique. We have defined 200 categories of public policies, which are 200 fields of intervention in which the State can intervene, and we apply this coding grid with these 200 categories of public policies to different agendas such as, for example, how much attention is paid to the economy or to environmental issues, but also to monetary issues. On the basis of multiannual analyses, it is possible to really see which issues are on the media or parliamentary agenda as a matter of priority. For the Swiss parliament, for example, more than 22,000 speeches by parliamentarians have been coded, asking questions or tabling postulates and private members' initiatives in order to find out what parliamentarians' priorities are.

In order to code the governments, it is possible to code its press releases, but also possibly codify the government agreements that we have in some countries, namely the agreement that the coalition of different parties that will form the government negotiates at the beginning of the legislature by stipulating their priorities. If you're in a Westminster system, what you code is speech of the queen', which is when the government announces its thematic priorities, it's a long list of priority actions that a government in the United Kingdom, written by the government and read by the queen.

In terms of the budget, it is exactly the same thing. It is possible to reread the budget, i.e. take each budget item, and ask what public policy it refers to, and so it is possible to show the budget priorities according to different themes.

The big question that arises once all these agendas have been coded over a long period of time in different countries is how to explain that some themes are given priority in one agenda and in another, do the media and the press talk about the same thing and admit that they do not talk about the same thing, the question is what are the issues in democratic terms that arise. If they are talking about the same thing, the question is who influences who, whether the media reflects what parliamentarians are talking about or what parliamentarians are talking about in terms of visibility and media recognition, reflects what the media is saying. Cross-checking two agendas raises the question of who controls the agenda, which is an essential issue in terms of power analysis or even democratic issues.

Analyzing the agendas, it is possible to do so quantitatively by measuring the relative importance given to public policy for each agenda. It is possible to do something upstream, that is, try to understand why a theme arrives on the agenda, finds an institutional path, manages to retain the attention of political actors and the path that must be followed by those actors who want to bring a new problem to the agenda; how will they build it so that it arrives on the agenda. Problems are never given away, they are always built. It is moderate constructivism, because objective things happen in real life, but they are only politically important if they are taken up, articulated and framed by political actors.

For example, there are agri-food GMOs; what is the problem? If we look at the debates on agri-food GMOs, according to international analyses, have been constructed as a problem in a very different way. For some, this is a purely agricultural problem; do GMOs in the food industry allow farmers' productivity growth to "yes" or "no"? For others, this has been an environmental problem, namely whether plant transgenesis on one plant will not lead to genetic pollution risks with unwanted cross-breeding with other plants that have not been genetically modified. In the same environmental register, some have said that it is indeed an environmental problem, but it is not at all an unintended pollution problem between species, but it is simply a problem of reducing herbicides. Others have again argued in terms of health by saying that the problem of GMOs is not a problem of agricultural productivity and how to save the world's hunger, nor is it a positive or negative environmental problem, nor is it a problem of how our bodies will react and whether we will not develop allergies to certain GMOs once they are introduced either as animal feed or directly into the environment. Other actors have framed and defined the problem in a totally different way in a purely economic power relationship parliament; Major seed companies and biotech firms such as Monsanto, which produce GMOs for agri-food, are rather North American-type companies, which, by controlling the seed market, will create an asymmetry between the North American market and the markets in Latin America, India or Europe that will be economically dependent on these major seed companies.

We can see that starting from the same technological development of agri-food GMOs, there are perceptions of the magnitude of the problem, which is necessarily multidimensional and very different. The question that arises is which definition of the problem is most relevant to political decision-makers and is there one of the dimensions that will promote access to the political agenda; is there a better chance of seeing the issue of GMOs in the agri-food sector in parliamentary debates if we talk about the environment rather than economic dependencies? This is the empirical question that arises for the researcher in public policy analysis, but it is also the very practical question that people who participate in these public policies and who strategically ask themselves how the problem fits. We are talking about "framing", i. e. how to find the right definition, the right social construction of the problem in order to attract the attention of political decision-makers.

The construction of problems is complicated because in order to really arrive at the political agenda and eventually lead to the beginning of a cycle of public policy, we have to go through different stages and at each of these stages, there are possible pitfalls, possible drifts, we leave the cycle, we never manage to reach the agenda.

Varone 2015 app mise à agenda et formulation 1.png

This diagram represents the long road that promoters of a public problem must follow in order to build it.

Generally speaking, we start from a private situation that is considered problematic and we will try to say that the situation that affects many people in their private sphere, and sometimes even their physical integrity, is not purely a problem that affects the private sector, but it is certainly a broader problem, a problem called "collective", a problem called "societal". We must try to articulate this first link, which is to say that the situation affecting these people is not a private problem, but a collective problem or a social problem. The barrier is generally very high, it is the highest that can be observed in the whole process of constructing a problem. The main pitfall here is simply the social non-recognition of the problem, there is no mobilization on an individual basis, there are no associative actors who carry the problem to give it a certain resonance, speaking on behalf of the people who suffer from this problem.

For example, if we look at the situation of domestic violence objectively and statistically, this is not a problem that is obviously minor. If we look at the difficulties in articulating this problem to make it recognized as a collective problem, we realize that the first handicap is to move the problem towards social recognition. The same applies to incest and doping in sport. Moves from individual choice to thematisassions as a collective problem, but not as a public theme, it is a jump that is hard to get past. Let us assume that the private situation which concerns a certain number of people and that there is an association which is a spokesperson, sometimes we only need one individual, for example, someone who is a politician who says: even I, myself, suffer from domestic violence, it is a public problem. Suddenly, it's getting hotter, the media starts to take an interest in it, the parties take over.

If the first leap has been made into a social or collective problem, we still have to make a second leap, a second step in order to ensure that this problem is recognised as a public problem, i. e. that it should be solved not in an associative way by a collective of corporate or other actors, but that it should be solved by the political authorities, that it should lead to a public policy. Quite often, articulated problems may not be placed on the political agenda, they are not thematised as political problems or at least not as priority political themes. Paedophilia networks and child labour are known problems, for which there are associations that have been advocating for years or decades, which are often discussed in the media, but which have difficulty being discussed at the political level simply because politicians prefer to remove this issue from their own agendas. Often the political power, if it does not foresee a simple, easy and immediate solution, it will prefer to remove a problem from the agenda rather than wanting to deal with it. This is referred to as "non-scheduled" or "non-decisions". One of the most quoted articles in political science is called "La Non-Decision" (Baratz and Bachrach). He says that in order to understand who has power in a democracy, we must not look at who influences the decisions that are taken in public policies, but rather at who is able to remove certain problems from the agenda, to prevent the state from interfering in their affairs. Therefore, non-decision, a deliberate decision not to put on the agenda and not to intervene, is also a default public policy and it is a public policy that applies to a majority of cases. A minority of problems follow this causal chain and a majority of public problems end up in its pitfalls.

Assuming that there has been a social problem on the agenda which has become a public problem, nothing tells us yet that the next phase, the formulation of a public policy, is going to succeed and that there will indeed be a solution to the problem, that there will indeed be actions taken by the State. For example, in the absence of political consensus, there may not be a policy adopted, but the issue remains on the agenda and sometimes even for a long period of time. Maternity insurance has taken a few decades to be accepted; therefore, between a constitutional article, its implementation by law and the insurances that recognize this "sickness" that is maternity, this is an emblematic case where this link has really been very difficult. As far as the Taubin tax on financial transactions is concerned, we have been talking about it since 1972, and this has even been reflected in presidential statements and government agreements, but it is not about to be implemented and levied on all transactions.

Thus, the definition of a public problem is a difficult process with successive steps to be taken. Public policy analysts who have been interested in this phase of problem building and sequencing in agenda setting have asked themselves what dimensions are manipulated by the actors trying to build a problem and what are the dimensions that allow them to reach their goals and put a problem on the agenda.

Strategic construction of problems[edit | edit source]

Several empirical studies have hypothesized that the problems on the agenda have certain characteristics, which are not necessarily objective characteristics, but characteristics that can be constructed.

The first is that they all have a certain severity, that is, the people who wanted to put the problem on the agenda have told the political authorities that this problem is serious and severe and that the estimated consequences of non-intervention are dramatic. Often, people who build this problem also do so by using labels. The very term used to characterize the problem refers to the idea of the severity and consequences of the problem in relation to the negative effects, especially if nothing is done. It is better to say that the problem is severe than not so important.

The second dimension that complements the first is the question of perimeter. If the former is concerned about what is happening in dramatic terms, the second dimension says who is concerned. A priori, the greater the perimeter of a problem, the wider its audience, the more likely it is to attract the attention of policy makers. This issue of perimeter or hearing is not just a quantitative issue, it may be the nature of the people affected by the problem, affected by the problem, that matters more than their numbers. There is a very interesting analysis that was done at the time on AIDS, and that is why AIDS gets the attention of policy-makers in the US Congress; today AIDS is not very much present in our debates, between the attention of politicians and the objective figures in relation to the problem, there is no direct link. The question was how parliament discusses AIDS-related issues in relation to the hearings held by the various congressional committees and the budget allocated by the U. S. Congress to fight AIDS. There had been some sort of tiering in the relative attention of parliamentarians: at first, it was not much, and then suddenly a jump. These researchers wondered what explains why attention varies over time, and why budgets vary over time. They realized that this depended largely on the audience, namely who was concerned, who was politically constructed, in the political discourses, in the demands of the associations as the people who suffered from this problem of AIDS. Initially, the clientele, audience and perimeter of this problem were confined to gay homosexual communities and drug-dependent people; they are social groups that have a certain negative image at the time when this problem broke out, having a fairly strong political power in the case of gay people and very weak in the case of drug-dependent people. As long as the problem was limited to these actors, the attention was rather weak, there were even people who said that the problem and its solution at the same time, if it only concerns them, it will make it possible to eradicate these people, there were rather nauseating speeches at that time. All of a sudden, there was a leap in 1991 in the relative attention paid by congressional committees, which was reflected in the budget. When in 1991, Magic Johnson, a basketball player, said that he contracted AIDS, it completely reverses the image of the problem we have of who is affected, and we think that even if such a personality can suffer from the problem, then we really have to do something about it. The statement of Magic Johnson resulted in increased attention to Congress and the budget that is allocated. A third stage in the development of this policy and the inclusion or retention of this policy in the policy agenda is when it was discovered that another group still suffers from this problem, namely the hemophiliacs who had been transfused with blood, who had not been sufficiently heated, who were already sick, who had a rather positive social construction and were coming back for treatment. So this is a truly problematic situation that is strategically easy to build to tell the government that it must do something for these people. Thus, the perimeter of who is concerned is a second dimension on which the actors play to try to attract attention.

The third area of attention that has been empirically demonstrated is the novelty of the problem. Politicians don't like to deal with old problems, they don't like to repeat the same stories. So, regardless of the land tenure nature of the problem that we want to put on the agenda, we must label it again, we must reformulate it, bring it up to date, we must combine it with a concern that seems to be a priority. If we take the case of air pollution, this was initially perceived as something excessively localized, namely urban "smog", now the focus of attention for a few years, but subsequently, attention to air pollution was put back on the agenda thanks to something that was the death of forests that traumatised part of German-speaking Switzerland, much more people than urban smog in terms of attention and in terms of the environment. A problem must be new to be attractive.

The fourth dimension is that people construct their problems as urgent with a need to intervene immediately. You have to build your problem as a crisis situation. It is sometimes obvious to do so, as in the case of attacks, which is a very easy case, since there is no need to declare a state of emergency. This is something that is common in pandemics and epidemics. People who have difficulty in constructing their problem as a matter of urgency are people like the Swiss Foundation for Landscape Protection, which tries to explain that the degradation of the landscape is a priority problem and that it is urgent to act today to prevent anything from being done for fifty years and gradually degrading the landscape. Depending on the type of issue we want to raise, it will be very difficult not to be downgraded by problems that are considered more urgent.

When we build a problem, we will say what are the causes of the problem, but we will also say who suffers from the problem. By defining the causes of the problem, we will identify, we will designate politically, we will sometimes politically stigmatize actors as being responsible or even guilty of the problem. The question is, what kind of cause can we use when we talk about what our problem is? Some actors' behaviours are identified as the cause of the problem, but the question is whether they are doing it deliberately, through negligence or whether it is purely accidental. A debate makes it possible to make an analysis that took place after the collapse of a house following an earthquake in Morocco. We are trying to remedy this situation. For some, it is an accidental cause, there is no public policy to prevent earthquakes. For others, this is negligence on the part of the state, because they knew full well that there were going to be earthquakes, but they did not designate non-constructible areas in particular seismic zones, or they did not identify safety standards for building construction so that they would withstand earthquakes; Therefore, it is negligence on the part of the State or some local actors in identifying seismic zones or in not defining anti-seismic standards for building construction. In the first case, we cannot prohibit the occurrence of an earthquake by the constitution, but in the second case we can already conduct a public policy by saying that we are going to make land use planning and building laws aimed at preventing houses from collapsing. There is also an intentional cause which is the situation where, always in the same case, it is said that it was known that there were earthquakes, in addition to the fact that the State had made seismic zones, had adopted particularly strict construction standards for houses in these seismic zones. What has happened is that there are developers and builders who intentionally, intentionally, deliberately, did not meet construction standards to make more money and that is why the houses collapsed. What we learn from the literature is that problems where there is an intentional cause are much more easily on the agenda than others. When someone is identified as being responsible for the problem and intentionally guilty of it, they knew the consequences of their actions and they did it deliberately, so it is easy to identify a target group and intervene to try to change their behaviour. Usually, the stories that come to light when a problem is debated are those of identifying a culprit and an intentional cause. When you read the press critically, you have to try to find out what the cause is.

The complexity of the problem or cause being stated is also a factor that explains why a problem keeps the agenda or does not keep it. The simplicity of the hypotheses, and this is a bit saddening for people who are trying to fight populism, is that the simpler the story, the more likely it is that it will make its way onto the agenda. If you tell a complex story with a multitude of causes and you don't know exactly where the government should prioritize action, then it's going to be more difficult. The worst things we have been able to do is to stigmatize people as the cause of all the problems. In the less dramatic case with the debate on: it is necessary to regulate the bonuses of top-managers in order to fight against the financial crisis, this is rather simplistic and it is a history that has been well established by limiting the flexible part of top-managers' remuneration, we are going to solve the problems of perverse incentives and imbalances in the financial market. For people who work in the field, this is a bit simplistic, but it quickly retains public opinion and possibly that of some parties.

The last dimension is that of quantifying the problem, by being able to objectify, to make visible or even monetize, to give a value to the problem or to the negative effects of the problem that we want to put on the agenda. Air pollution generally does not exist until statistics are available to demonstrate harmful effects such as fine particles or radioactivity. Therefore, we need actors who can construct the problem, in particular through statistics, or even give a blow to the nature of the problem to challenge minds. This presupposes certain actors' capacities for action.

Which actors play an important role?[edit | edit source]

Why does a problem follow this causal pathway to the end? This is perhaps because it has certain characteristics that refer to the way in which it is constructed by the actors because it is severe, because it has a large perimeter because it has been objectified, quantified, because it has found an intentional cause. The question that also arises is which actors construct these problems, who are able to manipulate these decisions on the construction of the problem. In other words, who builds the public problems on the agenda.

There are different theoretical approaches and hypotheses that have been proposed in the literature. Five of them are quite dominant and we find empirical demonstrations for these hypotheses quite conclusive.

Some people talk about a model of media coverage, saying that political power will keep only what is on the media agenda. The media talk about certain themes that are then taken up by the political authorities, such as the press, social networks and polling institutes, which, for example, express which problems are considered to be priorities. There is empirical evidence of this media coverage mechanism, which means that the media will construct the problem that will be on the agenda in cases of political, financial and other scandals or in other cases raised by investigative journalists. It is also sometimes found in more surprising cases such as dangerous dogs. The media can build the attention of political actors.

Some speculate that it is the political offer, i. e. the themes put forward at the time of the election campaigns, which are then taken up by the government and parliament. It is a fairly logical hypothesis and quite attractive, one is elected by making promises and will keep promises once elected. This works very well for some parties, such as the radical right-wing parties and immigration issues. Analyses show the relative share that some parties give to immigration issues and what is the result of parliamentary interventions by these parties on immigration issues and what control these parties have over the framing of the political debate, and we can see that there is a strong congruence between these different agendas. So if we believe this hypothesis, we have to look at what the parties are talking about in election campaigns and we will understand what governments and parliaments are talking about in the following legislature.

These first two rather obvious hypotheses deny the fact that private or associative actors also play a decisive role in the construction of problems. Several hypotheses have been put forward to suggest that it is the interest groups, lobby groups and lobbyists who formulate completely sectoral demands that only concern their own fields of activity and which are able to attract the attention of political decision-makers. This is called the silent corporatist action model. Farmers and bankers alike seem to have made frequent use of this kind of agenda setting. In this case, it is a professional association, for example, the Swiss Farmers' Union or the Swiss Bankers' Association or the private bankers' association, which anticipates a problem and makes requests directly through, for example, a party or a department to intervene in their field. Generally, they say that there is a problem and that we should intervene, we have a solution and we need to delegate the resolution of this problem and they want a guarantee from the State, to control the political agenda by saying that it must not be other people who are dealing with problems that concern us. This silent corporatist action involves lobbying activities that are not generally publicized, which are sometimes politicized by certain parties, but not necessarily, and which lead to entries on the agenda of the government or parliament.

The new social movements are actors who are not constituted as organisations, but who nevertheless mobilise important masses on particular themes such as, for example, in the case of the anti-nuclear struggle or anti-globalisation struggles and who, through demonstrations or even non-institutional violent demonstrations, try to put on the agenda a theme that nobody wants to talk about. The main hypotheses that have been formulated here are which type of event is particularly promising for an inscription on the agenda. Three main hypotheses were discussed:

  • Is it the frequency of demonstrations that will make the theme of the problem higher? Are there more people in the street and the more often they are on the agenda?
  • Others said that it is the size of the demonstration that matters most. Is the more people on the street, the more the theme will be on the agenda? So we do not need to have a few demonstrations of civil servants from a canton, but we need a very important demonstration not only of civil servants, but of a much larger section of the population once to get a government moving, for example, in a micro-republic.
  • The third hypothesis is not the frequency or size of the manifestation, but the degree of violence of the manifestation. If the demonstration is conventional, policed, first of all, it may have less media appeal, but it will have much less impact than if the demonstration is not institutionalized, not supervised, not allowed, or even simply violent.

A third actor is the administration. In the model of internal anticipation, we know that the political actor is central to the inclusion of a problem in the agenda. We talk about anticipation because even if there is no media coverage, politicization, interest group or social movement, there are certain problems on which the administration has expertise and which it wishes to include in public policy. This is quite often observed in the health sector, particularly in terms of prophylaxis policy.[1], that's all about preventing addicts, tobacco, alcohol. These themes are often put on the agenda by senior officials (members of a ministry) who have privileged and direct access to politics, as their department head is a member of the government college, the executive. It is therefore easy for them to attract the direct attention of policy-makers.

For example, the Euro has emerged through the European Commission, which anticipated problems without social movements, the media, parties or political groups to lobby. The European administration has therefore made internal anticipation by creating this single currency.

In practice, these models are not enough to explain everything, there are still other actors like international organizations that can push the agenda of a problem, impose their agenda. It can be ignored or unwanted by local actors (media, politics, associations, etc.) in a country, but can come from outside. International organisations (OECD, EU) have sometimes imposed issues such as tax evasion and evasion on the Swiss agenda by "forcing" Switzerland to reform its practices to protect tax evaders.

To understand why a theme is on the agenda, we need to see how it was constructed by these different actors using the problem-building strategies seen before.

Example of the death penalty in the United States[edit | edit source]

This is an issue where the state appears in its most violent form. According to Max Weber, the state has a monopoly on legitimate violence and uses it in some cases to wage war. It is also a legitimate form of tax-raising violence, but the state can also give death legitimately if you are in a political system where the death penalty is provided for.

Frank Baumgartner, Suzanna De Boef and Amber Boydstun, in the book The Decline of the Death Penalty and the Discovery of Innocence published in 2008, made an analysis of how the death penalty problem was constructed on the basis of the different frameworks that exist, the views held by Americans on the death penalty and the possible impact of these different definitions of the problem on the criminal policy that is being pursued, and in particular on the number of executions or death sentences that are carried out each year in the United States.

If we read the press, we know that quite frequently people are exonerated after having been on death row for decades. One of the last cases that has been heavily publicized is Anthony Hinton. This person, for unfair trial, remained on death row in Alabama for 30 years before being cleared and released.

In order to analyse this phenomenon and in particular the impact of the cognitive dimension, i. e. world view and the construction of problems, Baumgartner and his colleagues have made an analysis of the problems as represented in the death penalty press.

This empirical case deals with putting a problem on the agenda, or rather the reformulation of a problem, the redefinition of a problem. There is a cycle of public policy, but it is not a once-only loop, it is something that must be conceived as a spiral in the sense that if we have adopted a policy, implemented it, evaluated its effects, then perhaps the evaluation of these effects will lead us to reconsider the problem, to reformulate the problem, which may eventually influence a new cycle of "public policy".

In this particular case, the empirical analysis of the death penalty in the United States, we are really in the process of putting a problem back on the agenda that has not been definitively resolved.

Number of countries that have abolished the death penalty.

This graph shows the number of countries that have gradually abolished the death penalty, and we can see that it is truly from the 1960s onwards that there has been an almost exponential increase in the number of countries that have renounced the use of legitimate violence by the State in the form of execution. As far as the United States is concerned, still not; it is a great democracy that has still not abolished the death penalty.

Number of executions in the United States.

This policy is reflected in administrative decisions, popular juries and administrative acts of implementation, which consist of executions. These executions have increased since the early 1800s. Then there is a whole phase where there was none in the mid-1970s, since there was a whole debate on the constitutionality of the death penalty, particularly at state and federal level. As a result of this debate, which established that there were no problems with the constitution, then there was a new growth and a resumption of executions. This is the long-term historical perspective.

What Baumgartner and his colleagues will do is to truly analyse the period from 1960 to 2010, which also coincided with the period when many countries abandoned the death penalty.

Executions by American State: 1977 - 2007

If we look from 1977 to 2007, the executions that are carried out are not done everywhere with the same "intensity" according to the American states. In Texas, there were 279 executions while in Alaska or Hawaii, there were no executions between 1977 and 2007. This number of executions is in proportion to the number of death sentences that exist.

Population on death row and executions since 1976.

There is the case of Texas where there are 392 people who, between 1977 and 2007, were sentenced to death or are on death row and of those 392,379 were executed by the state. That is about 96% of the people who, once convicted, are executed. We therefore move on to the implementing act in an almost "automatic" way. There are other states, such as California, where there are many people on death row or sentenced to death, but executions are an exception; about 2% of people are executed in California. Attention must be paid to the number of executions, the number of convictions and the differences between States.

What Baumgartner and his colleagues will analyse is the impact of a new framing of the problem, a new definition of the death penalty, what they will call the "discovery of innocence". By using DNA tests in particular, we discover that many people on death row are in fact innocent. So potentially, and this is what the framing brings, innocent people have been executed. The scientific evidence of the innocence of some people sentenced to death on death row is a cognitive change that will have a central and cascading impact on effective enforcement practices.

They are going to look at how this concept of innocence, which started in law schools where people tried to try to re-trial people who were sentenced to death and to see how fair their trial was or whether they were sentenced without sufficient evidence or even against any empirical evidence. They have discovered that the system is broken, the system is not necessarily fair, that there are innocent people being executed. By highlighting this redefinition of the problem, they had a media impact and a political impact and finally an impact on the concrete decisions made by juries.

This discovery of innocence or the argument that perhaps innocent people are being murdered and that we need to think again perhaps about the death penalty is one of many arguments. What Baumgartner and colleagues show in his inquiry is that this argument is the strongest argument in history, but also the most recent and probably the one that has had the greatest impact on enforcement decisions.

We will see how they construct their argument to reach their conclusion. What they did was analyze the press. They have analyzed articles in the New York Times, not only in the New York Times, they have also taken press coverage at the state level and other federal level. Since 1960, they have scrutinized all articles concerning the death penalty policy, i. e. about 4000 articles identified. They read these articles and coded each of these articles, asking whether the author is in favour or against the death penalty and on the basis of which argument, therefore, inductively without predefined categories. They identified the various arguments that were used by the editors of the articles to discuss a death penalty case. They finally aggregated these arguments into 65 broad categories.

By coding these 4000 articles, the arguments in these articles, they were able to see the relative importance given to different arguments.

In particular, there is the efficacy argument of maintaining the death penalty because it has a deterrent effect. If people know they can be executed, they may think twice before committing a crime. This is the "deterrence" argument that is quite easily retained in debates on the death penalty.

There is the moral argument that just because someone has killed doesn't make it morally acceptable to kill for revenge. The question is whether it is moral for the state to execute people.

The third argument is potential fairness. The question is whether executing someone means that for sure the upstream trial was fair or does the rich always get away with it and the poor unfortunately not for example.

There is a debate about whether it costs more to execute people than to keep them in centralized prisons or even make money if we privatize prisons. It is a debate that is far from moral in terms of efficiency, whether the death penalty is too expensive.

A debate is about the modes of execution, which was highly thematized.

Another argument was that of international pressure or the image of the United States as a democracy in relation to this issue. Since 1960, a significant number of countries have been abandoning the death penalty and the question is whether there is a need to address the fact that more and more international pressure is being put on the United States to abandon the practice of the death penalty.

There are altogether 65 arguments found in the press and by codifying the 4000 articles since 1960, identifying the arguments that are in each of these articles, Baumgartner comes to the conclusion that there is a growth in the attention given to the issue and especially around the years 2000. So for one year there are more than 200 articles devoted to the death penalty, it is a peak of relative attention.

Number of articles in the New York Times: Highlighting the issue.

We can clearly see what is similar to an "issue salliance", which is the prominence, visibility and priority given to this issue in media debates. It's quite impressive if you think there are nearly 250 articles on a year, so two days out of three we talk about this subject. There, there is truly a growth is the most important growth of the attention that is focused around the years 2000 on this theme. There was another peak when we discussed constitutionality in the 1970s. There has never been so much talk about the death penalty since the early 1960s as there has been during this period of the 2000s.

Growth of the concept of "innocence": new framing.

If we look at these articles in particular and how they speak of the death penalty, according to which definition, which framing, we find in this graph the term of innocence which appears to be the clearly dominant theme in this peak of attention, in this punctuation, that is to say nearly 120 out of the 250, so one article out of two deals with the death penalty from the point of view of the potential innocence of people who have been executed or people who have been executed. In the past, it was something that wasn't dominant, we didn't care much about whether or not we executed innocent people; all of a sudden, everybody, at least one in two stories told in the press, approached the subject from this angle. So there is a cognitive framing of how people think. Newspapers not only tell us what to think about, but also how we think about it. It seems to work, through a ripple effect, because people stay in the innocence registry.

The third element beyond saying that there is a very high level of prominence that there is an obvious dominance of this theme of innocence is the tone of the article, i. e. whether it is "pro" death penalty or whether it is "anti" or "neutral".

Tonality "of media coverage: growing opposition.

With this graph, the question is what are the normative conclusions and the editorial line. If we look from 1960 to the most current period at what is the content of the debates, then we see a balance between the "pro" and "anti" death penalty; we are somewhere around a neutral position, there is no clear direction in either direction. While in the years when there is a peak of attention, the framework of innocence is imperative, it is really there in a posture of supporting the position of the "anti" death penalty. The tone of the articles is truly very negative and negative as never before; it is a historical evolution, it is an absolutely remarkable peak and rare are the reversals in the construction of a problem where the attitude and positioning of the actors have this magnitude.

On the strength of these three observations, Baumgartner and his colleagues tell us that the framework of innocence has replaced framing. This framework of innocence is so attractive because it allows us to gather and bring together former frameworks of the previous problem, and in particular the inequalities in justice between blacks and whites in the United States, between rich and poor in the United States, between the fact that we can rely on support from lawyers.

This trend in the New York Times has also been observed in other newspapers in different states. More importantly, this change in the cognitive level of the debate has had an impact on the number of convictions or executions. It's not just stories that are told in the press, it's not just a change of opinion, perhaps public, media or politicians, it's something that will change the practice.

In an attempt to test whether this change of setting could explain what was happening in practice, they simply took the number of convictions and looked at the impact of the change of setting and the discovery of innocence in particular on the reduction of convictions that can be observed from the 2000s onwards. It is a rather sophisticated statistical model allowing to see if a new framing of the problem reduces the practice in terms of condemnation, but also in terms of enforcement and they control notably for all the variables which could also explain why we have a reduction of executions such as, for example, the transformation of public opinion, homicides or even the inertia of public policies carried out in different States. So they really come to the conclusion, reframe and redefine a problem of such magnitude, which then has major impacts on the implementation of this policy and, even further upstream, on its reformulation.

Therefore, this debate has surely had an impact on the legislative changes in the States and then on the decisions made by the popular juries or judges when they have to carry out a sentence or an execution.

Public policy formulation: objectives and instruments[edit | edit source]

Once a problem has been put on the agenda, it is the political powers, i.e. the government, parliament and its administration, that will be responsible for devising different options and solutions to try to solve the problem in public policy. The formulation or programming phase will generally result in the adoption of normative bases and laws that can be transformed in international law, amendments to constitutional articles such as, for example, following the adoption of a popular initiative, this can be federal laws, federal decrees, urgent federal decrees or even ordinances or directives, whatever is normative support of public policies.

When analysing the content of a public policy as formulated by the political authorities, we will focus on three elements in particular, namely the objectives of public policy (1), the policy instruments that will be put in place to achieve those objectives (2) and the so-called institutional or organisational arrangements that are the actors who will be responsible for implementing the instruments (3).

Public policy objectives[edit | edit source]

The objectives of a public policy are nothing more than the formulation or explanation of the solution you want to achieve once you have solved the problem. In other words, this is the part of the problem that public policy will solve. A public policy aims to solve a problem, so the objectives are to explain what you would like to see as an ideal situation once you have solved the whole problem or part of it.

Objectives, in order to be operational and to guide the action of different actors involved in public policy, should be smart. These are specific, sustainable, realistic and time-bound measures.

If we take the case of the fight against unemployment, a credible political objective is to say that, through this law, we want to reduce, for example, in five years' time, the rate of registered jobseekers in regional employment offices for the long-term unskilled unemployed by 5%. This is an objective that makes it possible to steer public policy.

Often, if one reads the laws, one notices that the objectives are anything but "smart".

With the Federal Spatial Planning Act, the first article stipulates the aims "The Confederation, the cantons and the communes shall ensure a measured use of the land...". Article 1 of the Federal Environmental Protection Act states that "The purpose of this Act is to protect humans, animals and plants, their biocenoses and biotopes from harmful or inconvenient interference...". Article 1 of the Federal Energy Act states that "The purpose of this Act is to contribute to an adequate, diversified, secure, economic and environmentally compatible supply of energy...".

So, quite often, the objectives are very unclear, remain vague and sometimes contradictory. Why? Why? Simply because if the objectives are too precise, they become less politically acceptable. The more concretely we say what we want, the more we say what we do not want by default. Clarifying and clearly displaying "smart" objectives shows the distributive effects of public policy, i. e. who will be served or the problem of who will be solved and therefore by default also which part of the problem is not dealt with and is not considered to be a priority. As soon as we make it clear, there is no longer political acceptability. This is why, in general, the objectives defined in the constitution and laws are vague and general, and why the objectives become more precise only at the level of acts of concretization of the laws that are ordinances. The adoption of a constitutional article or law requires a parliamentary majority and often, for example, in Switzerland, a popular vote with a double majority of the cantons and the people. These are thresholds of political acceptability that are very high, whereas if we only make those orders with which we can be more precise, the orders are not subject to an optional referendum and therefore only the government has to agree to adopt an order. The more we want to be precise and therefore the more we will have to be precise at the level of regulatory concretisation and not at the level of the constitution or legal norms.

Tools for action[edit | edit source]

Since public administrations do not always have objectives that are always well defined, this is generally the most tangible element that can be observed in public policy, and it is even the most natural apprehension of government intervention. The instruments are what connects the target groups in civil society to the administration. An instrument may be an authorization, prohibition or prescription. When formulating these public policies, the State has the choice of a variety of instruments to achieve the desired objectives. There is a great deal of research in public policy analysis that looks at why this instrument is accepted and implemented and, above all, how effective different instruments are at achieving public policy objectives.

There is a spectrum of instruments ranging from the least intrusive to the most intrusive. When we formulate a public policy, we see that the various actors are fighting to have one instrument adopted rather than another.

The first category is a category based on self-regulation as an instrument. So, the State wants to solve a problem, it wants to change the behaviour of certain actors that cause this problem, but it will delegate to these actors, to the target groups themselves the choice of how they will implement public policy. The most emblematic example are the gentlemen's agreements or conventions to banks' duty of care in the banking field. In order to combat money laundering, tax evasion, terrorist financing and the recycling of dictators' money, banks have often been delegated to deal with this problem. In the context of these due diligence agreements, the Swiss Bankers' Association negotiates with the banks for compliance with certain sound asset management rules in order to combat money laundering, terrorist financing and the recycling of dictators' money. This is a very weak intrusion into the autonomy of the target groups of banks. This instrument, namely the due diligence conventions, has been in existence since 1977 and has been undermined only very recently by international pressure.

Beyond delegating the management of public policy to the target group themselves, one can still try to be a little more intrusive. The state tries to direct or guide the behaviour of target groups in a somewhat more direct manner. What can be done is information or persuasion campaigns. This is typically a campaign to raise awareness of issues such as AIDS and wearing the condom, which is an act of public implementation, or not consuming too much tobacco with the insertion of photos on cigarette packs, or information on bottles of alcohol. This means that we have a vision of the target group that lacks information. Once he has the information, he will have the cognitive psychological possibility, the intelligence to adopt the right behavior. The government can be a little more interventionist and try to leave a little less room for manoeuvre in our behaviour, because if we are in tobacco consumption policy, we ourselves are the ones who consume the problem and therefore suffer first.

One can try to give positive or negative incentives. Positive incentives can be subsidized policies such as withdrawal programmes with the support of purchasing patches for example. Subsidies are instruments which represent a large part of the Confederation's budget and which are very fashionable these days, as in the agricultural field, farmers demonstrated not long ago on the federal level against the decline in their subsidies, with the State giving them several billions of dollars to ensure that farmers adopt environmentally friendly production methods. Economic incentives, i. e. market instruments, are not only positive in order to ensure that the right behaviour is adopted, they are also sometimes based on an action that is only a sanction by the purse when trying to change behaviour through the levying of taxes.

The further along this continuum of instrument categories, the greater the degree of constraint becomes and the more difficult it becomes to get them accepted.

The next category is even more burdensome than those incentives based on prescription, typically authorisations or prohibitions. We are sometimes subject to prescriptive instruments such as not driving a car without a licence. This register of authorisations and prohibitions is even more intrusive in the case of freedoms which aim to leave less room for manoeuvre and thus to modify the behaviour of the target group in a more predictable manner.

Finally, at the very bottom end of this scale, where the degree of coercion is the highest, is simply when whole sections of what is managed by civil society are removed and it is the State which, through state ownership, now deals with an area, it goes through nationalisation such as, for example, network industries such as electricity, railways or the post office, which have often been nationalised private initiatives.

Cette liste illustre le fait qu’on doit choisir parmi ces grandes catégories d’instruments lesquelles vont être au cœur de notre politique publique ; une question qui se pose toujours et il y a de contraintes juridiques qui le rappelle si on l’oublie est de savoir quel est le lien en termes de proportionnalité que l’on a entre les objectifs voulus et les instruments retenus. Il doit y avoir une certaine adéquation et proportion entre l’ambition des objectifs et le degré de contrainte que l’on a dans les instruments. Le débat sur sécurité et liberté et où mettre le curseur en termes de proportionnalité par rapport aux objectifs que l’on veut et au degré de contrainte que l’on impose aux différentes personnes est assez illustratif de cette tension.

Example of energy efficiency policy[edit | edit source]

The choice of objectives and the choice of instruments are therefore two central elements in the choice of public policies. Sometimes the objectives remain vague, general and contradictory, so they have little incentive to program public policy and guide its implementation, while the instruments are a central element on which we cannot ignore, there is no public policy without instruments.

There is a whole range, a broad repertoire of public policy instruments, and this is where a partisan and central choice is often expressed in the formulation of public policies. Along this continuum, there are different categories of instruments. We will see how this continuum can be applied in the context of a public policy that is on the Confederation's agenda and certainly will be applied in the next legislature, the energy efficiency policy.

We have in memory the incident of Fukushima which is one of those events that marked or focused that put the energy issue on the agenda. The answer of the Federal Council was to say that we will try to get out of nuclear energy, today they are dithering without really setting a date for the release. If we read the latest report of the federal inspectorate on nuclear safety, we see that there are about 950 in the mantle of the oldest nuclear power plant in the world, which is in Switzerland in Beznau.

So, in addition to announcing the end of nuclear power, it was decided to focus this energy policy on various elements, certainly, the promotion of renewable energies, but also the promotion of what is called energy efficiency.

Energy efficiency is nothing more than the amount of energy, kilowatt-hour we need to run our computers, for example. A computer that is highly efficient or energy-efficient is a computer that uses very little electricity to run, it is also the number of litres we need to run our car. The problem that arises in terms of the public problem is that today there are technologies that would make it possible to increase the energy efficiency of a majority of appliances and if we increased the energy efficiency of all these appliances, we would save a huge amount of electricity and therefore reduce the need to produce electricity, especially nuclear power. It is a known and demonstrated problem with all the physical constraints of energy efficiency since the first oil shock and therefore since the early 1970s. Over the years, various countries have tried to adopt instruments to promote energy efficiency, to try to solve this problem, to try to make up for the technological gap that we have a majority of appliances; we buy far too many appliances, far too many cars that do not use the latest technologies when it is technologically feasible and economically rational.

If we apply the categories of instruments to the specific case of energy efficiency, then we will see that in different countries different target groups have been targeted as the cause of the problem and we have tried to change their behaviour through a particular instrument.

Some have said that the problem comes from consumers who don't buy the right appliances simply because they don't know what their appliance consumes, so you have to give them the right information through an energy label, a label or an information campaign. For example, the introduction of energetic labels and quality labels has taken about ten years, because there was so much resistance on the part of producers to agree to inform consumers about the consumption of appliances. Some have said that we need to focus not only on consumers, but also on the buyers of these office appliances or appliances, and sometimes the purchaser of the appliance is not the end user. If you think of household appliances such as lava washing machines, dishwashers, cookers or refrigerators, you know that Switzerland is typically a country of renters, and it is therefore the owner who will buy a appliance and the tenant who will pay the operating costs of this appliance as well as the electricity needed to operate it. The interest of the buyer and buying the appliance that is the cheapest to buy and often these appliances that are the cheapest to buy are the least energy efficient appliances. The landlord is not concerned by the operating cost since it is the tenant who will pay the operating costs and therefore the electricity costs.

So there is a basic problem is to solve this problem there is the divergent interests of the buyer and user of these devices and perhaps the need to encourage buyers to adopt the right behavior. It is possible to do this with an economic incentive such as, for example, a bonus system - malus, for example, we will give a bonus such as a subsidy to the buyer who buys the most efficient appliances and we will tax sales of less energy-efficient appliances, the tax revenue being used to finance subsidies.

Others argued that it was neither consumers nor buyers, but distributors or sellers were the problem since when you buy these appliances you are usually in contact with a distribution chain and these sellers had no idea of the energy consumption of these different appliances so they did not advance energy efficiency as a selling point. Therefore, if we want to increase the distribution of energy-efficient devices and thus reduce, for example, the need for nuclear energy, we must train distributors or sellers.

Another strategy, another target group which is a fourth entry point that has been the subject of political debate in parliamentary debates or governmental discussions in several countries, was to say that we must focus public policy and choose instruments that target the producers of these devices, because it is they who will have to change their behaviour upstream of the chain. How can we try to change the behaviour of these producers, for example, by introducing binding standards; we set a maximum allowable electricity consumption for an appliance and if, as a producer, we cannot achieve this level of energy efficiency, we simply cannot make our appliances more commercial on the market. It is therefore a binding standard that must be met if we want to continue to be a producer in this area.

Others have argued further upstream that it is the cost of electricity that may be too low or the role of electricity companies that needs to be reviewed, including encouraging and inviting electric utilities to provide more detailed factors to households so that they know what type of device it uses, how much they need to know about the financial stakes for them of their appliances' electricity consumption, and whether these bills are being paid.

In fact, all these instruments will be back on the agenda in Switzerland and are instruments that have already been recorded with energy labels. There are policies that are implemented and what is interesting to observe in any case when we analyse the formulation of public policies and when different countries have adopted different instruments to solve the same problem and especially at very different times.

Instruments adoptés par 5 pays de 1973 à 1997.

The pioneering country in this area is the United States, which, since the first oil crisis, introduced a labelling system and binding standards in 1978. Fifteen years later, Switzerland is lagging behind in terms of policy formulation and choice of instruments. If we look at what has happened in Switzerland in terms of regulating the consumption of household appliances or office equipment, in Switzerland there are no binding standards on this subject that have been quickly adopted, unlike, for example, in the United States. So there is a huge margin for manoeuvre in order to promote energy efficiency, for example in the field of household appliances or office automation.

Do these instruments serve any purpose and are the standards more efficient?icaces que les étiquettes énergétiques ; c’est une question à laquelle on s’intéresse lorsqu’on fait des analyses de politiques publiques et quand on va regarder les effets des instruments donc la quatrième phase est celle de l’évaluation.

Effets réels de l’étiquetage dans Union européenne.

This curve shows the energy efficiency through the labels. Appear the devices that use little electricity to provide the service they are asked for, but also the least efficient and energy-efficient devices, those that use the most electricity to provide their service. It is true that in the long term we would like to have only low-energy appliances. Technologically, economically, environmentally and energetically, everyone would like that. Energy efficiency and relatively cost-effective and we benefit from the best technology.

What we can see is how the sale of the devices has evolved over time. This graph shows the sales that are made per year. Before the introduction of the label, it's the bar on the left, so if you look at the distribution of sales, a lot of devices that were energy trash, very few devices that were really efficient from an energy point of view. This is the situation before the introduction of the label. The question is whether the introduction of the label will be successful in changing consumer behaviour and changing the sales figures for this type of device. In black, indicates the situation five years later and shows that the curve is shifting towards more energy-efficient sales. At the end of the journey, there are many more devices sold than at the beginning and fewer devices that are energy dross sold than before. So we are able to transform the market through a measure as simple as informing consumers that energy consumption is a criterion of choice.

Of course, if we take this curve, we do not measure only the impact of the energy label, because other instruments have also been introduced at European Union level, such as energy efficiency standards. Typically, energy efficiency standards will intervene and set a threshold by saying that all appliances that consume more than this threshold can no longer be marketed. Gradually, we are going to move the threshold towards greater energy efficiency and eventually say that all the appliances on the wrong side can no longer be marketed. This curve will continue to push towards an increasingly efficient fleet of household appliances, office equipment and car fleets. These are things that have been observed in the United States, Japan, the Nordic countries, Europe and also in Switzerland.

Why different 'policy mixes' in different countries to solve the same public problem?[edit | edit source]

How can we explain the fact that in order to solve the same problem, that of energy efficiency, to which different countries are affected in the same way, we have very different answers in terms of public policy? the choice of instruments is not made at the same time and the type or composition, the mix of instruments is not the same from one country to another. Why are there differences between countries?

Different hypotheses can be used to explain the choice of policy instruments. We'll see four of them. Generally speaking, it is said that an instrument is adopted only if its degree of coercion is compatible with the ideology of the majority in power. For example, if there is a majority on the centre-right, we will only accept informative instruments, if we have a majority on the left, it is possible to expect that there will be an introduction of incentive instruments in the form of taxes or even binding standards. In the case of the United States, if we look at the dates and we know the history of the United States, we know that the binding standards were introduced in 1978 by President Carter with a Democratic majority, which means that we really do not have a divided government situation, which is an ideal situation to pursue an interventionist policy. When Reagan came to power in 1981, he tried to prevent the application of these standards and the courts still forced him to do this. Thus, we often explain the choice of instruments according to the political parties in power and we must have a certain adequacy between the degree of coercion of the instruments and the ideology more or less interventionist and more or less "pro" state.

Secondly, these instruments often target target groups that are more or less organised, for example consumers are not very organised, sellers and distributors are not very organised, producers, on the other hand, are very highly organised, there are associations of producers of household appliances, and they have mobilised strongly from the public policy formulation stage to avoid, for example, having binding standards and even when they have been imposed binding standards, they are not required to do so. Thus, understanding the role of interest groups that bring together actors such as producers, for example, is something that needs to be done if we want to analyse the choice of instruments.

The third hypothesis or factor that is often found in analyses of instrument choice is the international competition or harmonization that exists between different countries. When the U. S. adopted its standards, there were a lot of U. S. producers who had machines that no longer met the U. S. standards, so they could no longer be marketed in the U. S., so they were marketed in Canada. Canada did not have standards and they simply sold their appliances in Canada as an energy dump. What made Canada have had to react and Canada has itself adopted binding standards at the same level as the United States, and that's what we call the California effect, which is a competition between countries, but towards more regulation, not less regulation as we often think. International competition does not necessarily always allow a reduction in regulation and less public interventionism. In the case of the United States - Canada, there is a reaction from Canada to more interventionism and the choice of more restrictive instruments to avoid the negative effects of selling American aircraft that are the least energy efficient on the Canadian market.

Finally, the choice of an instrument means not only the political actors who will decide, the target groups that will be targeted, but also the actors and in particular the administrations that will have to apply these instruments. You have to have an energy administration when you implement it. At the time when the first instruments were adopted in 1973 and 1974, there were many countries that did not even know an energy board or department, it did not exist, it was not on the agenda. Thus, it was the departments of external affairs or trade that managed these policies and gradually, we saw the creation of energy administration or even energy demand management administration, which in the third stage were replaced by administrations with sustainable development, which is a recent concept dating from 1987 and 1992 with the Rio Conference and which led to the creation of new administrative structures in order to implement these policies. Therefore, it is difficult to adopt an instrument if you don't have an administration that is able to monitor compliance with labels, for example. When energy labels were introduced in Canada, the legislation failed to specify where those energy labels were to be affixed, and the producers put them under refrigerators, under clothes washers and dryers, they were complying with the law. If there is not an administration that is able to say that there is a problem with implementation, then the policy is inevitably ineffective.

Annnexes[edit | edit source]

References[edit | edit source]

  1. http://www.larousse.fr/dictionnaires/francais/prophylaxie/64379