By: Mendez, C (2011)
This article examines the rise and effects of a new discourse – the place-based narrative – on the EU Cohesion policy reform agenda. Employing a modified Discursive Institutionalist framework, three key arguments are made. First, the place-based narrative has played an influential role in challenging redistributive conceptions of the policy and in structuring the post-2013 reform agenda. Second, despite these effects, the narrative’s prescriptions remain contested, evidenced by discursive struggles with competing and institutionally rooted frames under the Europe 2020 ‘meta-narrative’. Lastly, the theoretical implication is that Discursive Institutionalist conceptions of discourse should be expanded to include institutional properties, and pay more attention to the external coherence of discourse in conditioning ideational effects, particularly in boundary-spanning policy domains and fragmented policy-making systems.