the value of framing concepts

Framing concepts are definitely very helpful for analysing - or in a first step heuristically describing - policy making processes in complex environments like the European Union.

Two important reasons stand out in this regard: Firstly the very limited amount of actual knowledge about the a given policy that exists among the relevant actors; and secondly the fact that policy processes and - even more so - policy documents are highly abstract in nature, which makes it very difficult to conceive many actors that have direct experience or schemata that could function as an a priori context for a policy message.

Thus, if almost nobody knows what exactly a policy tries to accomplish, and even fewer people have a preconceived idea how to judged such a policy, a policy frame (which defines the problem, identifies the cause, provides a value judgement and proposes a remedy to address the problem) becomes the most important cognitive basis for the policy making process. Applied to a concrete case, an interesting question is exactly how few people can be expected to know what a policy is about and why it is necessary.