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Open AccessArticle

Drought Victims Demand Justice: Politicization of Drought by Farmers in Southern Germany over Time

Forest and Environmental Policy, Albert-Ludwigs-University Freiburg, Tennenbacher Str. 4, D-79106 Freiburg, Germany
Water 2020, 12(3), 871; https://doi.org/10.3390/w12030871
Received: 31 January 2020 / Revised: 11 March 2020 / Accepted: 18 March 2020 / Published: 20 March 2020
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Attention and Water Governance: An Agenda-Setting Perspective)
Farmers have an important role in problematizing and politicizing drought. Following the argumentative turn in policy analysis, the paper analyzes the process of problem definition by means of a framing analysis, zooming in on four major drought events covered in German farming sector journals that are published by farmers’ associations. The article compares the framing of the four most-cited drought events—1947, 1975–76, 2003, and 2011–12—in order to better understand how problematization has changed over time, and how farmers justify and rationalize calls for political action. Three research questions are answered: What problems are named by farmers journals when describing drought events, and what solutions are proposed? Who is considered responsible for problems and solutions? How has framing of drought changed over time? The paper shows that farmers frame drought as a matter of justice and assert their perceived right to subsidies, compensation, farmer-friendly tax policies, and market regulations by the state. From 2003, drought has been framed in association with climate change. The data findings suggest that there is no post-productivist, post-exceptionalist paradigm shift connected to proposed drought policy solutions. Drought framings appear to be persistent, giving priority to assured farmers’ incomes, not water distribution. Considering the lobby power of farmers’ associations in Germany, this finding helps to understand why state interventions remain the same over time. View Full-Text
Keywords: drought; frame analysis; water governance; policy analysis; Germany; agriculture; media analysis drought; frame analysis; water governance; policy analysis; Germany; agriculture; media analysis
MDPI and ACS Style

Müller, W. Drought Victims Demand Justice: Politicization of Drought by Farmers in Southern Germany over Time. Water 2020, 12, 871.

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