Depoliticisation, Metagovernance and Coal Seam Gas Regulation in New South Wales

Paul FAWCETT, Mathew Wood

Research output: A Conference proceeding or a Chapter in BookChapterpeer-review


The coal seam gas industry and its future in New South Wales (Australia) is an extremely contentious policy issue that encompasses multiple policy actors and a wide variety of concerns. This chapter examines the NSW Government’s attempt to meta-govern this policy domain through storytelling. It does so by creating a link between ‘discursive’ depoliticization, statecraft, and storytelling as a strategy of meta-governance. We focus on three stories in particular—energy security, economic growth, and ‘credible science’—and argue that they have had simultaneously politicizing and depoliticizing effects. We argue that this has provided different policy actors with the opportunity to engage in ‘discursive hopping’ whereby the same story has been used to both politicize and depoliticize the issue. We argue that there is a need to ‘call out’ political actors who attempt to ‘change the subject’ of political debate by ‘hopping’ between issues in a poorly justified way.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationAnti-Politics, Depoliticization, and Governance
EditorsPaul Fawcett, Matthew Flinders, Collin Hay, Matthew Wood
Place of PublicationUnited States
PublisherOxford University Press
Number of pages26
ISBN (Print)9780198748977
Publication statusPublished - 2017


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