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.
|Title of host publication||Anti-Politics, Depoliticization, and Governance|
|Editors||Paul Fawcett, Matthew Flinders, Collin Hay, Matthew Wood|
|Publisher||Oxford University Press|
|Number of pages||27|
|Publication status||Published - 2017|
FAWCETT, P., & Wood, M. (2017). Depoliticisation, Metagovernance and Coal Seam Gas Regulation in New South Wales. In P. Fawcett, M. Flinders, C. Hay, & M. Wood (Eds.), Anti-Politics, Depoliticization, and Governance (pp. 217-244). Oxford University Press. https://doi.org/10.1093/oso/9780198748977.003.0010