The Dynamics of Justification in Policy Reform: Insights from Water Policy Debates in Ireland

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Title: The Dynamics of Justification in Policy Reform: Insights from Water Policy Debates in Ireland
Authors: O'Neill, Eoin
Devitt, Catherine
Lennon, Mick
Duvall, Phoebe
Astori, Laura
Ford, Ruaidhri
Hughes, Ciaran
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Date: 1-Apr-2018
Online since: 2019-05-09T08:32:21Z
Abstract: Policy reform can be complex and fraught with contending arguments. Although much research has been conducted into the politics of coalition formation, less attention has been devoted to legitimating logics in policy reform. Drawing on the work of Boltanski and Thévenot, this exploratory study addresses this deficit by examining the influence of justifications deployed in policy debates. The paper analyses the role of shifting reasoning in contentious debates concerning attempts to reform water policy, including the introduction of domestic water charges in Ireland. Employing data from parliamentary deliberations, the paper traces the changing forms of justification used by those favouring and opposing the reforms. This examination suggests the importance of aligning an argument’s content with the shifting context into which it is introduced. The paper highlights the benefits of an investigative approach concerning policy justification for understanding policy reform dynamics at the intersection of politics and environmental communication.
Type of material: Journal Article
Publisher: Taylor & Francis
Journal: Environmental Communication
Volume: 12
Issue: 4
Start page: 451
End page: 461
Copyright (published version): 2018 Taylor & Francis
Keywords: Policy reformEnvironmental communicationEnvironmental policyWater chargesPolicy justification
DOI: 10.1080/17524032.2018.1429478
Language: en
Status of Item: Peer reviewed
Appears in Collections:Architecture, Planning and Environmental Policy Research Collection

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