Policy Sciences

, Volume 48, Issue 1, pp 51–83 | Cite as

Identifying policy frames through semantic network analysis: an examination of nuclear energy policy across six countries

  • Junseop Shim
  • Chisung ParkEmail author
  • Mark Wilding


This study uses semantic network analysis to investigate nuclear energy policy frames in six countries: USA, UK, Germany, France, Japan, and South Korea. It is suggested that semantic network analysis represents a useful tool to investigate policy frames in complex policy environments. The discourse of top-level decision-makers is analyzed to highlight similarities and differences in policy frames and to identify the key policy arguments in the integrated network of all six countries. In total, 14 major policy arguments are identified, which relate to the three major frames of energy security, clean energy, and nuclear safety, along with the meta-issue of economic growth. There are differences in the degree of emphasis on each of the frames in the six countries, and Germany can be seen to have diverged the most following the Fukushima accident, as the emphasis is on clean energy, to the exclusion of the other frames. In contrast, both the USA and Japan have framed the issues primarily in terms of nuclear safety and energy security, while the UK and France have stressed the economic growth frame, and Korea has prioritized nuclear safety.


Policy frame Text network analysis Frame analysis Nuclear energy policy 



This work was supported by the National Research Foundation of Korea Grant funded by the Korean Government (NRF-2013S1A3A2055108).


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Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of Public ServiceChung Ang UniversitySeoulKorea
  2. 2.School of Nursing, Midwifery, Social Work & Social SciencesUniversity of SalfordManchesterUK

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