Slik er det ikke lenger. Historiske fortellinger i utformingen av norsk jordbrukspolitikk etter 1950
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- Master theses 
I have investigated the role of historical in Norwegian parliamentary policymaking by studying agricultural policymaking between 1950 and 2012. I have examined six government white papers, together with their preceding green papers and the following recommendations from the parliamentary standing committees. The role of historical narratives has been to legitimize policies by constructing a limited space for political action, so that the desired policy is seen as the only possible outcome, or by forming a clear imperative for action. I have found that historical narratives are used to first establish a problem area, then limit the space for political action to only have one outcome – the proposed policy. From 1950 to the 1990s, this was done by narratiberves portraying an ongoing, society-wide development or progress that the agricultural sector was struggling to keep up with. Within this narrative framework, only two political outcomes are possible: falling behind, or implementing the policy that progress demands. Thus, desired policies are made “apolitical” by portraying them as a natural adaptation to the inexorable advance of history. From the 1990s, the narratives have gradually changed their temporal dimension toward the future. In these new narratives, change happens so quickly that the past is rendered irrelevant. The imperative is no longer to catch up with developments, but to be able to meet them. Despite the emphasis on rapid change, certain trends are portrayed as certain and inevitable – the eventual arrival of international free trade, foreign pressure on prices and efficiency, and the constant progress of technology. Historical narratives define which factors are fixed and timeless – how it is and should be - and which are temporal – it is no longer so. Historical narratives determine the possible and impossible, and thus play a fundamental role in the rhetoric of parliamentary papers.