Policy narratives in action

I have, over the course of my doctoral research, increasingly come to appreciate the power of story-telling practices in environmental politics. I have also enjoyed engaging my students in discussions around them. There’s this story, for instance, narrated by UNEP Goodwill Ambassador (and guy from Fight Club) Edward Norton:

And this one, produced for The Natural Capital Project:

The structure of these narratives have been easy for my students to identify, highlighting what context is established, what kind of problem is framed, and what solution is posited. Indeed, once encouraged to spot these aspects of the environmental texts swirling around us, it’s hard to unsee. These particular clips serve as windows into the forms of reason driving the “economic turn” in conservation, which my dissertation seeks to analyze, and they provide revealing glimpses into the kinds of work effectively mobilized discourses can do.