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Re-Producing a Neoliberal Political Regime: Competing Justifications and Dominance in Disputing Fracking

Justification, Evaluation and Critique in the Study of Organizations

ISBN: 978-1-78714-380-7, eISBN: 978-1-78714-379-1

ISSN: 0733-558X

Publication date: 1 June 2017

Abstract

While the use of the pragmatic sociology of critique has enjoyed increasing academic popularity, the relationship between justification and broader power relations remains unclear. Recent attention to the concept of ‘domination’ suggests the need for a greater focus on how employed public goods reinforce prevailing social arrangements. In this article we explore the public debate over the expansion of hydraulic fracturing of shale gas (so-called ‘fracking’) in the United Kingdom (UK). This technology has generated significant debate and controversy. Through a detailed examination of public inquiries into the technology we explore how different actors employ discursive strategies to justify their claims for the expansion or rejection of fracking. Through this analysis, the article identifies how some of these justifications enjoy precedence over others within the prevailing neoliberal political regime. By explaining how such a political regime is constituted, our study contributes to better understanding how different justifications support hegemonic political ideologies.

Keywords

Citation

Nyberg, D., Wright, C. and Kirk, J. (2017), "Re-Producing a Neoliberal Political Regime: Competing Justifications and Dominance in Disputing Fracking", Justification, Evaluation and Critique in the Study of Organizations (Research in the Sociology of Organizations, Vol. 52), Emerald Publishing Limited, Bingley, pp. 143-171. https://doi.org/10.1108/S0733-558X20170000052005

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

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