Finding ways through the empirical material

A case study based on an inductive approach leaves open the question of how to best organize the empirical data so that it can provide a meaningful basis for analysis and conclusions. This study follows two basic approaches.

The first approach attempts to reconstruct a chronology of events, with specific attention to the research questions about how climate change is framed and the knowledge base that comes to the fore. In practice the analysis was carried out by systematic reading of the process documentation. The analysis of the interviews was mainly carried out in direct connection with transcribing them. There was no attempt to code the material to identify all possible themes. Rather, the analysis focused on issues related to the research questions. Quotes have thus been selected to represent major themes in the material insofar that they were relevant to the research questions and analytical issues. Chronology is used as the organizing principle for Chapter 5 of this dissertation, where a major goal is to provide a substantial body of description that anyone who had observed the ACIA process could have noticed or recorded. Phrased another way, the purpose is to provide a description that is as valid as possible of the process by triangulating the empirical data.25 The time period covered has an emphasis on events between 1999 and 2004, which coincides with the formal part of the ACIA process. Some reports and protocols go back to the beginning of the current circumpolar cooperation in the early 1990s.

The second approach takes its starting point in the formal outcome of the ACIA process (i.e. the ACIA reports) and reflects on the process and history for potential explanations. The methodology is described under content analysis earlier in this chapter and in more detail in Chapter 6 of this dissertation. This approach also entailed a reevaluation of parts of the analysis in Chapter 5 with attention to consistency and to potential alternative explanations. This approach is the guiding principle for Chapter 6 of this dissertation, where the goal is to provide a description of the major messages found in the ACIA scientific and overview reports by investigating what issues are highlighted and backgrounded. How is Arctic climate change framed? What persistent patterns of interpretation and presentation are visible in the texts? The focus is thus on the end result of the process, in contrast to the process focus used in Chapter 5, even if the discussion of potential drivers connects to the process description. To facilitate for the reader,

25 Stake, The Art of Case Study Research, 109-110.

some material from the initial process analysis is presented in Chapter 6. The analysis of the policy document was carried out as a separate exercise and its results included in Chapter 5, in connection with discussion of the policy process.

The two approaches - one documenting the chronology of events and one examining the end results of the process - complement each other and should together provide a solid base for analyzing the influence of regimes and actors, including how and when their influence is exerted in this specific case.

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