How environmental bureaucrats influence funding legislation : an information processing perspective

Research output: Journal Publications and Reviews (RGC: 21, 22, 62)21_Publication in refereed journalpeer-review

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Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1284-1305
Number of pages23
Journal / PublicationEnvironmental Politics
Issue number7
Online published29 Mar 2020
Publication statusPublished - 2020


Government spending on the environment has long been explained as a reaction to ecological deterioration. Little is known about the role of political institutions and players in environmental funding decisions, which is surprising given the rapid institutionalization of environmental bureaucracies since the late 1970s. Grounded in information processing theories and employing data from Hong Kong, this research examines bureaucratic strategies for influencing environmental legislation. We find three salient bureaucratic choices in budget debates: framing environmental issues broadly to include health and technological implications; formulating rationales that emphasize (potential) performance of proposed projects; and presenting narratives of the consequences of funding decisions. These strategies are part of an evolving political narrative that reflects a broader political debate on environmental institutionalization, and the need for effective strategies to improve environmental funding in governments. Our findings contribute to understanding the bureaucratic politics of environmental funding legislation.

Research Area(s)

  • bureaucratic strategies, discourse analysis, Environmental spending, information processing, institutionalization