Extremes in justice: How arguments are framed by conservation and farmer groups when attempting to influence water policy

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A great deal has been written about the role of stakeholder groups in influencing policy. Here, I focus on two related theoretical concepts in the policy literature: 'frame' construction and agenda setting. I use a case study of NSW to show how competing stakeholder groups (Peak Farmer Groups and Peak Conservation Groups) attempt to garner support from the wider community about water policy. They use a number of frames based around justice and security to connect with the wider community. These frames not only simplify a complex debate, but also enable a stakeholder group have a message that resonates within the wider community. Associated with this messaging, are attempts by the stakeholder groups to form diverse coalitions. These coalitions help disseminate the message and give the substantive issues within each frame perceived legitimacy. These tactics seem to be used because the support of a more powerful urban community and media are critical in winning battles over water policy. However this approach comes at a cost. By simplifying a message and creating coalitions, complex and uncertain water problems cannot be adequately communicated and this, in turn, may in turn end up throttling policy innovation.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publication6th Australian Stream Management Conference
Subtitle of host publicationManaging for extremes
EditorsIan Rutherfurd
Place of PublicationAustralia
PublisherRiver Basin Management Society
Number of pages8
Publication statusPublished - 2012
Event6th Australian Stream Management Conference - National Convention Centre, Canberra, Australia
Duration: 06 Feb 201208 Feb 2012


Conference6th Australian Stream Management Conference
Abbreviated titleManaging for extremes


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