The 'Authoritarian Turn' in Environmental Governance? Examining the (Re)politicisation of Shale Gas Fracking in the U.K.

Lead Research Organisation: Newcastle University
Department Name: Sch of Architect, Planning & Landscape


This research will investigate the possibility of an 'Authoritarian Turn' in environmental governance. Through a cross-disciplinary and qualitative study, it will critically analyse the discourse of the political and planning processes which have led to the resumption of shale gas fracking in the U.K. This will be further supplemented with semi-structured interviews of those involved. It will draw on three specific planning decisions in the U.K, as well as the national debate as its case studies to understand whether anti-fracking activists are able to challenge the post-political consensus and the hegemonic position of the state. It will question whether the success of activists compelled the state to take more authoritarian action, and examine whether the state used the contestation to make changes to the planning system in order to preserve the integrity of the political discourse. It will examine the role of fracking companies and wider governance within this, as well as the different political understandings and perspectives that form the anti-fracking movement.


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Studentship Projects

Project Reference Relationship Related To Start End Student Name
ES/P000762/1 30/09/2017 29/09/2027
1953728 Studentship ES/P000762/1 30/09/2017 28/02/2021 Gareth Fearn