Contested framings and policy evolution: evolution of the GM biosafety policy-making process in Iran, 2006-2009

Souzanchi Kashani, Ebrahim (2011) Contested framings and policy evolution: evolution of the GM biosafety policy-making process in Iran, 2006-2009. Doctoral thesis (DPhil), University of Sussex.

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Abstract

Vigorous debates have taken place in many European countries, and between the EU and
the USA, about regulatory policy regimes covering the assessment and approval of GM
crops. In such countries the debates have, to a large extent, taken place in public arenas
and with the active participation of broadcast and print media. In Iran, a very vigorous
and hotly-contested policy debate concerning legislation covering GM crops took place
between 2004 and 2009, but it was almost entirely confined within the Government with
no public debate and minimal media coverage. From early 2006 to late 2008 a protracted
dispute occurred between different parts of the Iranian regime, which was characterised by
an apparent stalemate. In 2008-2009, conspicuous policy shifts occurred, which
culminated in the passage of a Biosafety Law by the Iranian Parliament (or Majlis). This
thesis describes, analyses and explains the policy-making process from 2006 to 2009. It
explains firstly how and why a stalemate arose in the disputes between ministries and
departments. It then explains how that impasse was overcome, and how a particular policy
regime came to be adopted. The chosen analytical framework draws mainly on two bodies
of literature, namely the regulation of technological risk, and the analysis of public policymaking.
A task-specific analytical framework is developed which uses the concept of the
‘framing assumptions’, which underpin the particular positions taken by the diverse
protagonists in the debate, to analyse the characteristics of the seemingly irresolvable
dispute. The differences between those framing assumptions are used to provide an
explanation of why the stalemate arose and remained unresolved for several years. The
explanation of the eventual policy outcome takes account of those framing assumptions,
but on their own they are not sufficient to explain the eventual policy decisions. To
provide that explanation, considerations of the unequal division of political power
between parts of the Iranian regime are required. The Iranian case study, despite some of
its unique characteristics, can support several general conclusions about the dynamics of
risk policy making, the conditions under which disputes can arise and those under which
they may be resolved.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Schools and Departments: School of Business, Management and Economics > SPRU - Science Policy Research Unit
Subjects: D History General and Old World > DS History of Asia > DS251 Iran (Persia)
T Technology > TP Chemical technology > TP0248.13 Biotechnology
Depositing User: Library Cataloguing
Date Deposited: 08 Aug 2011 11:33
Last Modified: 17 Aug 2015 13:34
URI: http://sro.sussex.ac.uk/id/eprint/7076

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