Disconnected: Unpacking policy framing processes of energy exclusion in Spain

This paper examines the process of policy framing and narrative construction in the context of energy exclusion. Through qualitative analysis of case studies of collective, systematic, and recurrent electricity disconnections at the neighbourhood level in Spain, the study identifies two policy framings, the ‘criminalisation’ and the ‘degradation’ framing, in the process of building the phenomenon of energy exclusion as a policy problem. Highlighting the central role of problem construction in policy development, the research shows how this stage shapes the whole policy trajectory, not only determining the character of the problem but also how to solve it. The research uses textual material collected through in-depth qualitative interviews, news and press, and policy documents to critically analyse the framing process and narrative construction. The results show how conflicting interpretations of a policy situation can lead to different policy messages and the influence of structural elements, such as the dominant electricity model, in reinforcing these interpretations ​
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