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Governance via persuasion: environmental NGOs and the social licence to operate

Murphy-Gregory, H ORCID: 0000-0002-9993-3331 2017 , 'Governance via persuasion: environmental NGOs and the social licence to operate' , Environmental Politics , pp. 1-21 , doi: 10.1080/09644016.2017.1373429.

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The ‘social licence to operate’ (SLO) concept is increasingly associated with environmental activism in nations with prominent resource extractive industries. Environmental non-governmental organisations (ENGOs) deploy it as a campaigning strategy to contest corporate activity, in particular, the environmental sustainability of existing or planned commercial projects. Drawing on two prominent Australian ENGO campaigns – against Seafish Tasmania’s Abel Tasman vessel and Tassal’s proposed fish farm operations on Tasmania’s east coast – the SLO strategy is assessed in the context of the governance literature, arguing that it constitutes ‘governance via persuasion’, a mode that incorporates appeals to normative values. Australian SLO campaigns are primarily directed at the state, promoting opportunities for ENGOs to shape reviews and revisions to environmental regulation alongside governmental and corporate actors. SLO campaigns are therefore a contemporary expression of environmental strategies seeking regulatory change in contrast to ENGO-led private governance initiatives that often bypass the state.

Item Type: Article
Authors/Creators:Murphy-Gregory, H
Keywords: Environmental politics, Australian politics, governance, NGOs, Tasmanian politics
Journal or Publication Title: Environmental Politics
Publisher: Frank Cass Co Ltd
ISSN: 0964-4016
DOI / ID Number: 10.1080/09644016.2017.1373429
Copyright Information:

© 2017 Informa UK Limited

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