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Clashing coalitions: A discourse analysis of an artificial groundwater recharge project in Finland

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Details

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1317-1331
JournalLocal Environment
Volume21
Issue number11
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2016
Publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed

Abstract

The purpose of this paper is to increase understanding of the dynamics of knowledge production in the context of large-scale environmental projects causing local conflict. In particular, the paper analyses the discourse coalitions that formed around an artificial groundwater recharge project for the Turku Region in Finland. The material for this study consists of over 400 articles and opinion pieces which were collected from local and regional newspapers between 1999 and 2010. The articles were analysed by using Hajer's [1995. The politics of environmental discourse. Ecological modernisation and the policy process. Oxford, UK: Clarendon] discursive framework, and the analysis was complemented with the concept of knowledge coalition by Van Buuren and Edelenbos [2004. Conflicting knowledge. Why is joint knowledge production such a problem? Science and Public Policy, 31 (4), 289–299]. Results of the study indicate that knowledge coalitions were formed among the researchers, lay residents, and policy-makers, and they all utilised similar expertise-based factual arguments to support their cause. Thus, the paper participates in the academic discussion on the use and interpretation of expert knowledge in environmental policy-making by reshaping the division between experts and lay residents.

Keywords

  • civil society, Environmental conflict, infrastructure projects, knowledge production, local government

Publication forum classification

Field of science, Statistics Finland