den politiserende virksomhed: Biobrændstof som polykontekstuel kommunikation

Toke Helmø & Mads Svaneklink

Student thesis: Master thesis


The Danish government calls for a green change in the energy sector. Denmark’s long-term vision for a low-carbon future, is for all Danish energy supply to come from renewable sources by 2050. An energy reform of this scale invokes companies’ interest to influence the political decisions for new, long-term political investments in green energy. The global market leader in enzymes for production of biofuels, Novozymes, is one of the Danish based companies who seek to influence the Danish policy makers in this matter. By using a system theoretical approach inspired by Niklas Luhmann, we seek to semantically analyze how Novozymes are communicating about second generation biofuels in a political context throughout the case study. In order to examine this communication, we focus on the Danish political debate on the green energy change - especially the focus on second generation biofuels. This we are doing by interpretation of media coverage of Novozymes and second generation biofuels in the time interval from 1st of Juli 2009 to 31st of March 2012. We base our analysis on classical theory of understanding political systems and newer research on the dynamics of partnerships. In the examination we also use both think tank analyses and selected Novozymes documents, which the company itself finds of certain interest for their public affairs. This analysis shows four central themes in the communication of second generation biofuels: Economy, environment, innovation and security. On basis of these four themes and on basis of our own interviews with eight selected stakeholders in the political system of energy policymaking, we determine three models of argumentation in the public communication from Novozymes: The growth model, the eco gift model and the risk model. The models combine the various arguments from Novozymes across the communicative themes - to the political system - explaining the benefits of second generation biofuels technology as the future energy greentech, and thereby a subject for public subsidies. The responses to the Novozymes argumentation from politicians are reflected upon, in the form of three common constructions of Novozymes in the political system.

EducationsMSocSc in Political Communication and Managment, (Graduate Programme) Final Thesis
Publication date2012
Number of pages161