Shal(e) we frack? A value-based comparative case study of the shale gas debate in the United Kingdom and France.

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The issue of energy security is set to become a crucial aspect in our everyday lives. The struggle for securing an energy resource (preferably a domestic one) has become a crucial aspect in the geopolitical agenda of every state. The recent discussion on the exploitation of shale gas and oil has drawn the attention of several countries and resulted to the adoption of various and strongly antithetic public policies on the issue. This discussion on whether countries rich in shale gas reserves should proceed with their exploitation, eventually led to the eruption of a public debate in several states where it was introduced. In this paper, we take two characteristic and completely opposite case, the shale gas debate as developed in the United Kingdom and in France. First, the two cases are analyzed separately. Each case includes the major actors involved in this debate (proponents and opponents) and their arguments. Based on these official arguments used, the underlying values of the debate are eventually presented. In the end, there is a comparison of the two cases by applying two separate yet widely used theories on them; Sabatier’s advocacy coalition framework and Hajer’s concept of discourse coalitions.
Faculteit der Managementwetenschappen