Social Policy for a Low Carbon Future: The Possibilities of Design, Discourse and Deliberation in a Comparative Context

Thursday, 19 July 2018: 17:30
Oral Presentation
Greg MARSTON, The University of Queensland, Australia
The necessity of moving towards a low-carbon society is recognised at the international level by organisations ranging from the EU and the OECD to the UN; yet national policy makers in Australia have struggled to develop integrated policy solutions. As such, a crucial research question is how do we institutionalise a coordinated transition to a low-carbon society? In this paper the goal is to explore the ways in which social policy, economic and environmental policy solutions to the low-carbon issue might be better integrated in the Australian context, drawing on comparisons with other countries. The paper has three components. First, it problematizes the issue of social and environmental integration. Second, it sets out the research design and theoretical orientations of an interdisciplinary project, sponsored by the Australian Research Council, which is examining the possibilities of social and environmental integration through a number of different lenses. Third, it drills down into one of aspect of the project’s design – the analysis of policy discourse at the national policy level – in order to present findings about the integrative (and disintegrative) possibilities of policy framing and political communication in relation to Australia’s National Electricity Market and its Renewable Energy Targets. Implications for policy theory and policy synergy are discussed in the final section of the paper.