Journal Article


Ciaran Hughes
Ruaidhri Ford
Laura Astori
Phoebe Duvall
Mick Lennon
Catherine Devitt
Eoin O'Neill



water policy policy reform environmental communication policy justification water ireland policy ireland water charges environmental policy

The Dynamics of Justification in Policy Reform: Insights from Water Policy Debates in Ireland (2018)

Abstract Policy reform can be complex and fraught with contending arguments. Although much research has been conducted into the politics of coalition formation, less attention has been devoted to legitimating logics in policy reform. Drawing on the work of Boltanski and Thévenot, this exploratory study addresses this deficit by examining the influence of justifications deployed in policy debates. The paper analyses the role of shifting reasoning in contentious debates concerning attempts to reform water policy, including the introduction of domestic water charges in Ireland. Employing data from parliamentary deliberations, the paper traces the changing forms of justification used by those favouring and opposing the reforms. This examination suggests the importance of aligning an argument’s content with the shifting context into which it is introduced. The paper highlights the benefits of an investigative approach concerning policy justification for understanding policy reform dynamics at the intersection of politics and environmental communication.
Collections Ireland -> University College Dublin -> College of Engineering & Architecture
Ireland -> University College Dublin -> Architecture, Planning and Environmental Policy Research Collection
Ireland -> University College Dublin -> School of Architecture, Planning and Environmental Policy

Full list of authors on original publication

Ciaran Hughes, Ruaidhri Ford, Laura Astori, Phoebe Duvall, Mick Lennon, Catherine Devitt, Eoin O'Neill

Experts in our system

Mick Lennon
University College Dublin
Total Publications: 33
Eoin O'Neill
University College Dublin
Total Publications: 8