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Conflicting discourses of knowledge: understanding the policy adoption of pro-burning knowledge claims in Cape York Peninsula, Australia
journal contributionposted on 2023-06-07, 17:00 authored by David OckwellDavid Ockwell, Yvonne Rydin
Using as a case study the dominant pro-burning policy paradigm in Cape York Peninsula, Queensland, Australia, this article examines how knowledge claims become adopted in environmental policy. Stakeholder views in Cape York are polarised between pro and anti discourses regarding anthropogenic burning, each with their own contested knowledge claims. This article carries out a discourse analysis of stakeholder views on the use of fire and enhances this with detailed stakeholder consultation and policy analysis. Through this it demonstrates how an examination of the discursive nature of the conflicts and alliances among different knowledge-holders within an environmental policy debate can provide a powerful heuristic approach to fully understanding how contested knowledge claims become accredited and established in policy.
Department affiliated with
- Geography Publications
NotesThe view that science is not value-free and objective lies behind this paper, which calls upon discourse analysis, based on the work of Foucault and especially Hajer. This is applied to the coalitions for and against anthropogenic burning in the studied region of Australia, a practice that dates back to prehistoric times. The approach is shown to be a powerful tool to understand how competing bodies of knowledge become established for policy-making. This paper is based on a study led by Dr Ockwell and based on original analysis conducted and text that formed part of his doctoral research.
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